Breathtaking wilderness settings coupled with challenge, adventure, and an amazing new group of friends, students can't help but gain new confidence.

Open enrollment courses are Outward Bound expeditions that are available for purchase by any individual. They teach participants technical skills like navigation, camp craft, the basics of backpacking, canoeing, or rock climbing and much more. As students learn these skills in challenging situations, they also learn the value of teamwork, compassion for others and the pursuit of excellence.

The courses below are designed to create a connection with nature and a newfound confidence in participants. Surrounded by like-minded peers and supportive instructors, students build bonds with one another, begin to test their own independence and return home with new insights and skills to share. 

Click below for more info and applications on programs starting in June!

Water Gap Backpacking, Canoeing & Rock Climbing

Backpack, canoe and rock climb in and around the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area on this expedition.

Explore the picturesque Appalachian Mountains as you backpack and canoe through the Delaware Water Gap National Reserve. Improve your leadership and teamwork skills, as you take on new and exciting challenges with your crew. Discover the lifelong benefits and perspective that only wilderness travel with Outward Bound can offer.

This is an “Expedition-style” course, meaning you will leave the Philadelphia base on the first day of course, travel the backcountry by foot or canoe daily, and return to base camp on the last day of the course. You and your group will be moving to a new campsite every night as you travel along your expedition route. This means no showers (perhaps some swimming), no cell phones, no television, nor any other modern luxuries to which you may be accustomed. Although it may take some getting used to, you’ll learn to appreciate time away from technology, with the sun on your shoulders, wind at your back and your crew by your side. Come to your course prepared for, and excited about, devoting all of your time and energy to your expedition, your crew and your Outward Bound experience!

Convenient course start location in Philadelphia.

Course #PPM7-2432
Dates: 6/15/2024 - 6/26/2024
Age: 12 - 14
Days: 12
Cost: $4,420

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Water Gap Backpacking, Canoeing & Leadership

Challenge yourself backpacking and canoeing through the picturesque Appalachian Mountains and canoe through S-shaped chasms of the Delaware River Water Gap on this leadership-building journey with Outward Bound.

This multi-element leadership course is an opportunity for you to challenge yourself backpacking and canoeing through the picturesque Appalachian Mountains and Delaware River Water Gap (the longest free-flowing river in the Eastern United States). Live and travel where the river cuts a twisting path through 1,400-foot Kittatinny Ridge and supports the largest winter populations of bald and golden eagles in the East. Take on new and exciting challenges and feel the adrenaline rush as you learn what it means to be part of a crew. You’ll trust, communicate, motivate and support one another as you test personal limits, practice leadership and teamwork, build confidence and compassion, and meet personal and group goals. You will be positioned to inspire others and sharpen your leadership skills in the outdoor environment. Leave No Trace ethics, backcountry camping skills, and leadership development techniques are part of your training. No prior experience is necessary, but you should bring an open mind, be prepared to take your skills to the next level and push yourself beyond what you thought possible.

You should arrive physically and mentally prepared for an “Expedition-style” course, meaning you’ll leave the Philadelphia base on the first day of course to travel the backcountry by foot or canoe daily, and not return to base until the last day of the course. You and your group will be moving to a new campsite every night as you travel along your expedition route. This means no showers (perhaps some swimming), no cell phones, no television, nor any other modern luxuries to which you may be accustomed. You should come to your course prepared for, and excited about, devoting all of your time and energy to your expedition, your crew and your Outward Bound experience!

Convenient course start location in Philadelphia.

Course #PPTL-2441
Dates: 7/3/2024 - 7/16/2024
Age: 16 - 18
Days: 14
Cost: $5,105

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Water Gap Backpacking, Canoeing & Rock Climbing

Backpack, canoe and rock climb in and around the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area on this expedition.

Explore the picturesque Appalachian Mountains as you backpack and canoe through the Delaware Water Gap National Reserve. Improve your leadership and teamwork skills, as you take on new and exciting challenges with your crew. Discover the lifelong benefits and perspective that only wilderness travel with Outward Bound can offer.

This is an “Expedition-style” course, meaning you will leave the Philadelphia base on the first day of course, travel the backcountry by foot or canoe daily, and return to base camp on the last day of the course. You and your group will be moving to a new campsite every night as you travel along your expedition route. This means no showers (perhaps some swimming), no cell phones, no television, nor any other modern luxuries to which you may be accustomed. Although it may take some getting used to, you’ll learn to appreciate time away from technology, with the sun on your shoulders, wind at your back and your crew by your side. Come to your course prepared for, and excited about, devoting all of your time and energy to your expedition, your crew and your Outward Bound experience!

Convenient course start location in Philadelphia.

Course #PPM7-2433
Dates: 7/5/2024 - 7/16/2024
Age: 12 - 14
Days: 12
Cost: $4,420

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Water Gap Canoeing & Leadership for Girls

Adventure awaits on this eight-day canoeing course – your chance to explore the Delaware Water Gap from the hull of a two-person canoe.

You and your group will be moving to a new campsite every night and travel with all the food and equipment you need as you paddle along your expedition route. Sharpen your leadership skills and learn to inspire others as you take on new and exciting challenges with your crew.

This is a traditional Outward Bound course, specially designed for girls and gender-expansive students who are looking for this kind of community on their course. And when we say “for girls,” we mean we believe trans-girls are girls. You are welcome here – let’s adventure together!

At Outward Bound, we are crew, not passengers. We support each other and share in our challenges and our victories. Your crew becomes a critical piece of your experience while on course, and beyond! While all our courses are inclusive for all gender identities, we understand the value of affinity spaces, too. During this time of development, when young people need a safe and supportive space, this course builds self-esteem and community, and creates opportunities to make lifelong friends.

Students can expect a progression of activities to initiate personal growth and conversation about our unique and shared experiences. We will spend time having guided discussions on a variety of topics, as well as opportunities for individual reflection, while embracing the affirming and healing powers of nature.

Outward Bound’s affinity courses are designed to build community and cultivate self-efficacy. Expeditions are led by trained Instructors and aim to create a safe space for those who have experienced being marginalized due to their identity, and/or are exploring their gender identity. Outward Bound is a place for all people to learn, grow, make friends, and have fun! We encourage you to talk with one of our course advisors if you have questions about which course is the best fit for you.

Convenient course start location in Philadelphia.

Course #PPMC-2421
Dates: 8/11/2024 - 8/18/2024
Age: 12 - 14
Days: 8
Cost: $3,200

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