Program Purpose

Using an experiential model, the Philadelphia Outward Bound School (POBS) supports the professional development of educators inside and outside of the classroom with an emphasis on strengthening community, incorporating the experiential education cycle, building social-emotional awareness and skills and developing character. Educators will explore theory, practice, and the educator-learner relationship, among other practices. Programs are custom designed to meet the needs of the educational community in support of its growth and that of its students.

Educators! Did you know POBS offers scholarships for educators and youth-serving administrators in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas to attend a canoe expedition this summer in the Delaware Water Gap? Click here to learn more and apply for our Educators Expedition Merit Course >

Program options include:

  1. Challenge Course | Team Building on POBS Teams Challenge Course
  2. Workshops | On-Site or Off-Site
  3. Educators Expedition | Multi-Day Canoe

Learning themes may include:

  • Experiential Learning Cycle and Practice
  • Tone Setting and Engagement
  • Facilitation vs. Teaching
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Team Building Activities/Safety
  • Learning through Challenge and Failure


Educators will engage in the experiential learning process and be challenged as learners and observers. Through their own social and emotional engagement and thoughtful debriefing, they will discover new aspects of themselves and their colleagues, and become more aware of their personal and group strengths and challenges. They will be challenged to examine how their experience, success and challenges might parallel that of their students.


Through personal and group observation, reflection and debrief practices, educators will focus on how to incorporate experiential education into their classrooms and learning environments. How might they bring their own Outward Bound learning to the classroom? How might they facilitate differently to boost student engagement or build on positive character development following their student’s own experiences on course?

In this collaborative environment, educators will receive support from colleagues, and POBS tools and strategies to assist them in promoting relationship and community building among students and integrating experiential education practices in their classrooms. They will be encouraged to promote student personal responsibility, incorporate reflection and student-centered practices into their educational spaces.

To use what I've learned on an Outward Bound course and bring that into the classroom has clearly made me a better teacher.
Joel Jaroch, Overbrook Educational Center