The Philadelphia Outward Bound School (POBS) is a non-profit experiential education organization that serves people of all ages and backgrounds through active learning expeditions that inspire character development, self-discovery and service both in and out of the classroom.

Founded in 1992, POBS has delivered challenging outdoor learning programs that embrace our mission of changing lives through challenge and discovery for over 30 years. Every Outward Bound program is built around a progression that delivers powerful life lessons by encouraging participants to safely and confidently step outside their comfort zones while traveling through spectacular natural environments. These landscapes, in tandem with Outward Bound's internationally-recognized curriculum, teach the hard, technical skills necessary for survival, but also teach the relevant skills necessary for life.

A large part of Outward Bound focuses on group dynamics and development; however, it can be a very personal experience as well. By conquering their own challenges, participants discover their true potential and realize they are capable of more than they ever imagined.

There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.
Kurt Hahn


To change lives through challenge and discovery.


The core values of the Philadelphia Outward Bound School inspire all of the programs our instructors deliver for our partners and students, and all of the administrative decisions our staff and Board of Trustees make.


We recognize and respect the unique perspectives and experiences of our colleagues, our partners, and our students, and respond with a spirit of generosity.


We are committed to transparency, responsibility, and taking the right -- not the easiest -- path.


We are proud of Outward Bound’s history as the role model for outdoor experiential education for 80 years, yet are always looking inward and ahead for ways to continually improve our results.


We aim to create an equitable space that reflects our community and engages all students regardless of their experience.


POBS is proud to be part of a national network of 10 Outward Bound schools in the US and many more all over the world. Outward Bound entities collectively serve around a quarter of a million people a year in over 30 countries and has reached over seven million people in its 80-year history.

Outward Bound’s roots go back to 1941, when influential educator and philosopher Kurt Hahn developed a survival training program for British sailors based on a philosophy that training through challenges produced better outcomes and greater impact than training for challenges because through this process transferable character traits develop.

Outward Bound’s educational approach expanded to the USA in 1962 when the first group of Peace Corps volunteers came together using the Outward Bound experience to build character, inspire leadership and self-reliance, and encourage purposeful service. Now there are 10 Outward Bound USA regional schools delivering powerful educational experiences to students in classrooms, board rooms, urban parks, rural trails and in some of this nation’s most pristine wilderness settings, where students have discovered problem-solving, conflict resolution, leadership skills and, above all, the compassion needed to succeed in this expedition called life.