What does it mean to be resilient in a time like this? What does it look like to face adversity and unknowns with the same confidence and undefeatable spirit of a voyageur setting off into uncharted waters? We turn to what we know: to serve, to strive and not to yield. We ground ourselves not in the singular ‘me,’ but in the plural ‘we.’ We remind ourselves there is far more in us than we know, and together, much can be accomplished — challenges can be overcome.

This year, the challenges our students face aren’t fatigue or homesickness, but feelings of isolation or the loss of a loved one. This remarkably difficult time has tested the Philadelphia Outward Bound School’s ability to adapt and overcome, and it has reaffirmed our commitment to our students and our partners. We will not stop our work to change lives through challenge and discovery. We invite you to make a gift to POBS today to help students develop the emotional resilience needed to meet this moment. Thank you for being an important part of the POBS crew!


staying connected and making room to grow.


POBS instructors created distance-learning versions of our experiential education programs and began delivering them for students, educators, and corporate teams.

These sessions offer unique team-building experiences in an online setting where participants solve problems together, share personal challenges and, most importantly in our socially-distant world, feel connected to their peers.

During a POBS virtual program, students come away with new insights, confidence, and communication strategies that help them weather today’s challenges.

84% of students learned something about themselves
93% of students learned something about a group member
97% of people were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the program

Explore our Virtual Programs →

See the full interview with our partners
at Snider Hockey on the blog!


service to others.


Service is an important value of Outward Bound. It instills in us a sense of care and connection to the world around us and reminds us that we are important members of our communities capable of making a difference. More than ever, our staff is called upon to serve.

We’ve used our home at The Discovery Center as a distribution resource for food and (staff-made) masks for our neighbors in Strawberry Mansion and have strengthened our alliances with community partners at the St. James School, the office of State Representative Donna Bullock, Hank Gathers Rec Center, and the Strawberry Mansion NAC/CDC to drive forward this important work.

"As a whole, the POBS staff came together to serve our community. We reached out to local partners and used our space to connect neighbors with weekly food donations. I am honored to be on a team that not only 'talks the service talk' but also 'walks the service walk.'”

– Kendra Jordan, POBS Logistics Manager


lifting up our community one by one.


When educators were searching for resources to help with the transition to virtual learning, they turned to POBS for guidance and best practices. Over the summer, through a series of bi-weekly emails, POBS released six free virtual facilitation guides that included over 50 social-emotional learning activities for educators to use in their classrooms and online learning environments. These resources spread far and wide – including a mention in The EdTech Take Out podcast (skip to minute mark 51:11) – and as the school year started, we heard from educators putting these new skills into practice:

"I've been using activities from the Outward Bound activities guide pretty much every day with my remote learning pod and they have LOVED IT! Thank you so much for sharing this. It's really been a lifesaver."

–Elementary School Teacher

Explore our Virtual Resources →

Resilience is . . .

(above all) compassion.