This is no ordinary camping trip—it’s a journey with a purpose. Emerging research has shown that our social & emotional learning outcomes are strong predictors of success in school and home. We believe these skills can only be learned through practice, and we create safe environments to learn through success and failure.

During the experience of being on course, participants discover that perseverance leads to success, through exemplifying GRIT, DETERMINATION, CREATIVITY and COLLABORATION. In 2011, Outward Bound released the results of a one year longitudinal research study.


Taylar's Story

Taylar was 16 when she participated in a custom Peer Leadership Expedition as a student from Phoenix Academy. Taylar and 10 other students embarked on a life-changing 10-day expedition on the Saint Croix River. She shared, "Being there I was actually able to find myself and find what I want in life. Like I want to go to college to be a veterinarian and I was able to think about that.  There was a point where I actually took the leadership role. I was able to put my ideas out there.  When I faced my challenge and it felt good.  Everybody supported me. For me, Outward Bound was perfect."

Peer Reviewed Case Study

In 2014, The University of Minnesota produced a peer-reviewed case study on the curriculum and benefits of Outward Bound. "Voyageur Outward Bound programs and expeditions are designed with a deliberate progression for students as they move toward new awareness of their capabilities," writes Kate Walker, assistant Extension professor at the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development. Click here to view and download that case study.

Outcome Study of Partnership with River's Edge Academy

This experiential program is designed to augment the school mission and values, resulting in improved academic performance. The Outward Bound experiences are designed to physically and mentally challenge students so as they face similar challenges at school and home they are able to transfer their skills and knowledge to their own lives. Overview of program outcomes:

  • 75% of parents acknowledged their children’s ability to take on leadership roles and to believe in their ability to succeed increased after he or she participated in Outward Bound programming.
  • 99% of teachers acknowledged they noticed their students ability to 
  • take on leadership roles increased after Outward Bound programming.
  • 83% of teachers further acknowledged the students ability to collaborate 
  • on a team and listen to others increased after Outward Bound programming.
  • Students acknowledged growth in all aspects of Outward Bound’s Outcome Instrument (OBOI) including: self-confidence, goal setting, resilience, empowerment, problem-solving, effective communication, group 
  • collaboration, compassion and environmental awareness.
  • 74% of students who participated in 2 full years of Outward Bound programming increased their grade point average from 2010-2011 to 2011-2012.
  • 58% increased their attendance from 2010-2011 to 2011-2012.

At first I didn’t want to go to the trip because I was nervous, but I was very frank with myself because I know that next year when I graduate high school and go to basic training I would need to get out of my comfort zone. This course has also taught me a lot about myself, many things in which I didn’t know I possessed. Not only was I able to push myself to the next level, I was able to regain my confidence. I was able to open up more and really express my feelings. Over all, Outward Bound has helped me build my character, my confidence, and about all it has helped me open my mind to all the beautiful things the world has to offer.
— Enrique Amezcua, 11th grade

Outward Bound: The Impact