POBS was founded in 1992 when co-founders Nancy Goldenberg, Tim Greenwood and Michael Nutter envisioned a city-based Outward Bound school dedicated to inspiring Philadelphia’s young people with self-confidence and leadership skills. As a satellite site of the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School (HIOBS) and with close ties to what is now the Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School (CBOBS), a small group of passionate Philadelphia Friends of Outward Bound formulated plans, raised funds and made connections in the School District of Philadelphia.

Students and teachers from Dimner Beeber Middle School who participated in the very first POBS expedition in 1993.

In 1993, they saw the first fruits of their labor when a group of 40 Philadelphia public school students and 8 teachers traveled by school bus to CBOBS in Baltimore to participate in a five-day canoeing course. The first expedition of what was to become the Philadelphia Outward Bound School was launched.

Today POBS is one of ten independent, autonomous organizations chartered by Outward Bound USA authorized to provide programs in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Northern Delaware.

Over the past 30 years, POBS has delivered Outward Bound’s Educational Framework to over 75,000 students in outdoor “classrooms” at our locations in Philadelphia, along the Appalachian Trail and across the Delaware River watershed.  In 2022, POBS served over 8,500 students, more than any year before.  While the heart of our audience remains young people who attend School District of Philadelphia middle and high schools, POBS is proud to serve a wide range of educational and nonprofit partners.

From the Archives

The following articles were written in 1993 by POBS co-founder Nancy Goldenberg for the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School newsletter: