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 USA

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.

In a divisive world, human connection has the power to unite and uplift. On Outward Bound courses, strangers become family and family are no longer strangers. For over fifty-five years in the USA, Outward Bound students have discovered the problem-solving, conflict resolution, leadership skills and, above all, the compassion needed to succeed in this expedition called life.

The Philadelphia Outward Bound School

In September of 1992, a group of Philadelphia leaders met to form the Philadelphia Friends of Outward Bound, a grassroots effort to bring Outward Bound’s renowned experiential education programs to students and teachers within the School District of Philadelphia. (Read more about our founding and history here).

Today, the Philadelphia Outward Bound School (POBS), serves more than 6,000 students, teachers, partners, and adults each year and is fully accredited by the Association for Experiential Education. POBS provides an impressive array of courses and programs for youth and adults in Philadelphia and across the region in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. For 30 years, POBS has provided access to Outward Bound’s time tested educational experiences for Philadelphia’s future leaders and we look forward to expanding our reach to more students from schools and communities across our northern Mid-Atlantic region.