Get in touch with Outward Bound Canada directly

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  • Type:
    Day camp, Overnight camp
  • Focus:
    Adventure (multi)
  • Cost:
    $1 to $8,500/program
  • Ages:
    9 to 19
  • Gender:
    Coed, All Girls, All Boys
  • Main language:
    English
  • Capacity:
    Varies
  • Programs:
Request more info
  • Summary

    Outward Bound Canada answered our questions

    Who are you as an organization?

    Challenge yourself this summer on an inspiring Outward Bound Canada adventure! On an outdoor expedition, you'll experience nature, develop invaluable life skills, and tap into your unique potential. Kayak on the West Coast, backpack in the Rockies, canoe in the Ontario wilderness or build camp skills right in Toronto. We offer scholarships, bursaries, and high school credits!

    • Special needs: Yes, mild support.
      A few of our campers have special needs.
    • LGBTQ+ friendly community

    What do you do differently or uniquely well?

    "Adventuring through the wilderness on a 1-week to 3-week course is life-changing. By overcoming nature's inherent challenges, participants build teamwork, resilience and leadership skills while connecting with new friends. Our trips occur across the country and feature a variety of activities, from kayaking along British Columbia's West Coast, backpacking through the Rocky Mountains, canoeing through Ontario's calm lakes or investigating Toronto's green spaces; there's something for everyone! We are proud of our commitment to building the leaders of tomorrow. "

    Who are your staff and counsellors?

    "Our staff are experts in risk management. All instructors have completed the Wilderness First Responders course (80-hr certification) and attended the 10-day core staff training. Depending on the location and activity, they will also have a Bronze Cross, National Lifeguards, flatwater canoeing, whitewater canoeing, sea kayaking, Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and Swift Water Rescue Technician certification. Some staff have graduated from the Outward Bound Canada Training Academy, including courses in Mental Health First Aid and trauma-informed care. All instructors carry an in-reach satellite communication device to communicate directly with base support staff, and our courses have support from an on-call doctor and psychiatrist."

    What do families need to know about registration?

    "We open applications mid-fall. For those seeking financial support through our scholarships or bursaries, we encourage early applications as funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. In 2023, we saw an overwhelming demand. Once you secure your spot by completing the required forms along with a deposit (the amount varies based on the course) or contacting our admissions team to notify them you've applied for funding and need to be pushed past the paywall, a member of our admissions team will review your application. They may contact you via phone or email with additional questions or concerns. You will receive an email to confirm your registration."



    Outward Bound Canada - profile photo

    Video Gallery

  • Programs, Rates & Dates

    Programs and Sessions Calendar

    Choose the right programs and sessions for your child; Outward Bound Canada currently has 28 programs available; 4 TBD.

    Filter Activities


    Choose location:

    Name
    Age
    Type (Gender)
    specialty
    Shortlist
    Ages: 14 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $2,465
    Algonquin Park, ON
    Ontario 60
    Jun 29-Jul 05$2,465
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Canoeing|Swimming
    Ages: 16 - 18+
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $4,575
    Algonquin Park, ON
    Ontario 60
    Jul 01-14 $4,575
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Canoeing|Swimming
    Ages: 16 - 18
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $6,975 to $7,225
    Algonquin Park, ON
    Ontario 60
    Jul 01-Aug 01$6,975 - $7,225
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Credit Courses|CIT/LIT Program|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Canoeing|Swimming
    Ages: 9 - 12
    Day Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $415
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Hiking|Rock Climbing
    Ages: 16 - 18+
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $6,080 to $6,330
    Kananaskis, AB
    Canadian Rockies
    Jul 03-23 $6,080 - $6,330
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Credit Courses|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking
    Ages: 14 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $2,465
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking
    Ages: 16 - 18+
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $6,080 to $6,330
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Credit Courses|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Surfing|Swimming
    Ages: 14 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $0
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming
    Ages: 14 - 18
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $1,750
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Skills|Credit Courses|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Rock Climbing|Canoeing|Swimming
    Ages: 14 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $2,465
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Surfing|Swimming
    Ages: 11 - 14
    Day Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $465
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Skills|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Rock Climbing
    Ages: 14 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $2,465
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Swimming
    Ages: 16 - 18+
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $2,465
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking
    Ages: 12 - 14
    Day Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $465
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Skills|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|Mindfulness Training|Rock Climbing
    Ages: 14 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $2,465
    Algonquin Park, ON
    Ontario 60
    Jul 26-Aug 01$2,465
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Canoeing|Swimming
    Ages: 14 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $2,465
    Kananaskis, AB
    Canadian Rockies
    Jul 28-Aug 03$2,465
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Strength and Conditioning|Hiking
    Ages: 9 - 12
    Day Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $465
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Rock Climbing
    Ages: 14 - 18
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $1,750
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Credit Courses|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Rock Climbing|Canoeing|Swimming
    Ages: 14 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $2,465
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming
    Ages: 16 - 18+
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $6,080 to $6,330
    Kananaskis, AB
    Canadian Rockies
    Aug 01-21 $6,080 - $6,330
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Swimming
    Ages: 16 - 18+
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $6,080 to $6,330
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Credit Courses|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Surfing|Swimming
    Ages: 16 - 18+
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $4,575
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|Hiking|Canoeing|Swimming
    Ages: 16 - 18+
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $6,080 to $6,330
    Algonquin Park, ON
    Ontario 60
    Aug 05-26 $6,080 - $6,330
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Credit Courses|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking|Canoeing|Swimming
    Ages: 11 - 14
    Day Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $415
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|Canoeing|Swimming
    Ages: 16 - 18+
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $4,575
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming
    Ages: 14 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $2,465
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking
    Ages: 14 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $0
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming
    Ages: 14 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $2,465
    Algonquin Park, ON
    Ontario 60
    Aug 22-28 $2,465
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Canoeing|Swimming
    Ages: 15 - 18
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership Training
    $2,419
    Algonquin Park, ON
    Ontario 60
    Date TBDCost TBD
    Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Photography|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|Writing|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking
    Ages: 15 - 18
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership Training
    $2,419
    Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Photography|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|Writing|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Canoeing
    Ages: 14 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Travel
    $0
    Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Photography|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|Writing|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking
    Ages: 9 - 12
    Day Camp
    (Coed)
    Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi)
    $100
    Survival skills|Travel|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Social Justice|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training|Hiking



    Financial Aid & Payment Details

    Payment Options:

    Deposit required with acceptance Yes
    Credit card payment Yes

    Scholarships & awards:

    • Youth Access Fund

      Amount: 100% Deadline: Rolling
      Type: Need based
      Details: You are eligible to apply if you are between 12-25, currently reside in Canada, fit into the household income criteria scale, and are motivated to attend the course! There is no deadline to apply – applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as funds are available. First-time applicants receive priority. Visit https://www.outwardbound.ca/youth-access-fund/ for more information.
      Application Details: Outward Bound Canada’s Youth Access Fund was created to reduce financial barriers to Outward Bound Canada expedition programs for youth across the country. The Youth Access Fund is a grant that subsidizes the cost of the Outward Bound Canada course fee. The model is based on financial need and a ‘pay what you can’ approach. Most of our courses are eligible for a grant under the Youth Access Fund.
    • Scholarship Program for Youth of Veterans

      Amount: 100% Deadline: Rolling

      Details: • Applicant must be between 12–19 years of age and currently residing in Canada. • Applicant must demonstrate their desire to continue building their leadership capacity. • Applicant’s parent/guardian must demonstrate their membership with the Canadian Armed Forces. • Applicant must understand the expectations of the program and provide informed consent. • Applicant must be interested and motivated to participate in the Outward Bound program.
      Application Details: 1. Apply online during the registration process when you sign up for your course and complete all required forms. Alternatively, you can complete the package linked on our website by sending it back to us by email or fax. If you need further assistance to complete the application, please email or call us to discuss other options. 2. You may be requested to provide additional information or documentation, and both the applicant and parent/guardian will be asked to participate in a phone call to learn more about the program. 3. You will receive notification of being awarded the scholarship by email. You will be requested to sign a Funding Agreement to confirm your commitment. If your application is not approved, you will have the option to stay in the course and pay the full balance or switch courses.
  • Insider Reviews & Perspectives

    The Our Kids review of Outward Bound Canada

    our take

    Outward Bound was an early adopter/promoter of some of the things that are very much in the air today, namely providing young people with an opportunity to grow leadership skills, resilience, and grit. Getting people out of their comfort zones has been the operating principle since it was founded in 1969, though the basis in the values of ecological stewardship has also been a key component. The programs offered, included these summer sessions for young people, are well within the category of lifetime experiences: each is unforgettable, both for the sense that participants gain of the geography of Canada, and the sense that they gain of the geography of their skills, abilities, and capabilities. It’s not an understatement to say that these programs can be life changing, as they often are in a whole range of positive ways. For kids bumping up against the boundaries of their school and social environments, and Outward Bound trip can provide a welcome opportunity to spread their wings in significant, meaningful ways, all within a safe and supportive setting, guided by experienced, expert instructors. 

    Three Things: Outward Bound Canada
    Hear the three things that Our Kids’ editors see when they look at Outward Bound Canada


    Interview with the Director of Outward Bound Canada

    Jill Zeppa, Director of Admissions

    • 00:18 - What is unique about your camp?
    • 00:46 - What type of child is successful at your camp?
    • 01:24 - What does the camp’s daily schedule look like?
    • 02:27 - How do your staff deal with behavioural issues?
    • 03:28 - What do campers value most about their experience at the camp?
    • 04:02 - What message do you have for new campers?

    Video interviews with parents, campers, and alum

    Jackie Hayes, Parent

    • 00:47 - What's unique about the program at Outward Bound Canada that made you want to enroll your children there?
    • 01:37 - What was your daughter's first experience with the camp?
    • 01:54 - When did you know Outward Bound Canada was the right fit for your child?
    • 03:32 - Was there any noticeable personal growth that you saw in your child after spending time at Outward Bound Canada?
    • 07:40 - How did camp help your child grow, change, and develop?
    • 09:19 - If you hadn't sent your child to this camp, what do you think would be the most personal growth that she would have missed out on?
    • 09:56 - How can you as a parent support your child when going into the camp?
    • 11:22 - How would you describe this camp to another parent?
    • 12:16 - What does your daughter say about the camp?

    More reviews of Outward Bound Canada

    Northern Ontario Expedition, Parent

    Daughter's Transformation

    Read review

    Rocky Mountain Journey 2019, Parent

    Beyond Expectations

    Read review

    Anonymous Participant 2019, Camper

    A New Perspective on Life

    Read review

    Anonymous Participant 2019, Camper

    Stepping Outside my Comfort Zone

    Read review

    Anonymous Participant 2019, Camper

    Fearless

    Read review

    Hiba, Alum

    Once You’re in Outward Bound, You’re in There Forever

    Read review

    More reviews of Outward Bound Canada


    Northern Ontario Expedition, Parent

    Daughter's Transformation

    Thank you so much for bringing back my daughter not only safe and sound but stronger, happier and more confident than I’ve ever seen her! I noticed it right away! Her walk and stance seemed different as she walked towards me at the pick up point, more proud and confident, her voice and speech seemed clearer, louder and more pronounced. In our way home I think we had the longest conversations we’ve ever had! My daughter was so happy and talkative when we picked her up. She hugged me so hard and told me how much she missed me and she said she thought of me every day! I couldn’t believe my ears! Those were the most beautiful words I ever heard! Naturally, the first thing I asked her was how her trip was when I saw her. Her first word was ‘brutal’ but in a positive way! Lol! She really enjoyed it but she did say it was extremely challenging and tough! By the end she was portaging with an 80lb canoe on her shoulders by herself for 400 meters! She told me in the beginning she could barely lift it! She was so proud of herself! She said she actually felt her body get physically stronger and more enduring every day. She was also excited she made it in the wilderness on the solo by herself! She overcame fears she didn’t think she could... like the pitch darkness! She was even excited and proud about all the chores she did... admitting she never really does at home! From cleaning and disinfecting the dishes to help setting up the fire and her job as hydro, keeping the water clean and refilling the water bottles. She was also impressed with herself for trying and actually enjoying new foods, foods she was convinced she didn’t like or would not taste, something she usually doesn’t venture to do. I’m sure we will continue our conversation today and I look forward to hear more and more of her experience and adventure as the days go on. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the trip and experience that I hope she takes with her in successfully completing high school to choosing a career path and in helping her through university and all the choices of adulthood after that. I truly believe that after seeing her yesterday, this was the first stepping stop to making all that even more possible than ever ... Show More


    Rocky Mountain Journey 2019, Parent

    Beyond Expectations

    My son participated in the Rocky Mountain Journey in July 2019. We did not know what to expect from the trip and he went with an open mind and positive attitude. What he actually experienced amazed all of us! Outward Bound provided him with a very unique experience where he was able to work towards being his very best self and he did! The trip pushed him both physically and mentally to reach new heights (no pun intended!). He returned more self-confident, demonstrated improved leadership skills and an increased level of engagement and co-operation. He has become much more helpful around the house and a true team player. Now, our entire family is reaping the benefits too. Thank you Outward Bound Canada ... Show More


    Anonymous Participant 2019, Camper

    A New Perspective on Life

    When I first signed up for OBC I expected an expedition course. What I ended up experiencing was much, much more. I met some amazing people from all over the world, from different cultures, countries, and practices. I learned that our experiences define us. Each moment I spent with this group I learned more about the diversity of this world. Some group members completely blew my expectations out of the water. Overall, this group gave me a new perspective on life ... Show More


    Anonymous Participant 2019, Camper

    Stepping Outside my Comfort Zone

    During this trip I had faced both physical and mental challenges. I have never been camping or canoeing before so just coming here was a massive step out of my comfort zone since I usually spend most of my time at home. Thanks to this trip and the people I've met, I've learned lessons about building genuine and deep relationships and also about valuing one's self more. One of the last things we did together as a group was talk about what we would leave behind in order to advance and become a better person. I would definitely say that the thing I'm leaving behind is my insecurities that usually prevent me from taking up life-changing experiences like those given by Outward Bound ... Show More


    Anonymous Participant 2019, Camper

    Fearless

    It’s never too late to be fearless! I am stronger than I think, both physically and emotionally. I am fierce and compassionate and care deeply for the natural world. My biggest success was climbing to the Mount Edward Albert Saddle and reaching the alpine. It was an other-worldly experience. The quiet, even with the wind blowing, was soothing and peaceful. The views to the surrounding valleys were incredibly gorgeous and awe-inspiring. I was proud of myself for reaching the peak ... Show More


    Hiba, Alum

    Once You’re in Outward Bound, You’re in There Forever

    My experience with Outward Bound is something that cannot be put in an essay (or in words for that matter) or even in person. It is an experience that has to be experienced by oneself. No matter how hard you try to describe its uniqueness or its extravagance, it can never do it justice. I not only witnessed things that I never thought I would, I became a part of it all – whether it was recreating an abandoned trail, or singing and dancing under the rain, or tipping off a kayak on the first day of being on it, or even falling into a beaver’s dam – I’m proud to say that I was there for it all. There hasn’t been a single day where I have done something that didn’t remind me of the incredible summer I spent there. I guess what I’m trying to say is that once you’re in Outward Bound, you’re in there forever. ... Show More


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  • Location & Site Details

    Address

    Vancouver, BC
    #202- 1610 Clark Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5L 4Y2
    Vancouver Island, BC
    5200 Duncan Bay Main Line Rd, Courtenay, British Columbia, V0R
    East York, Toronto
    550 Bayview Ave, Suite 402, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3X8
    Kananaskis, AB
    Canadian Rockies, Kananaskis, T0L
    Algonquin Park, ON
    Ontario 60, Algonquin Park, Ontario, K0J 2M0


    Accommodations

    Are meals provided? Yes

    Is Outward Bound Canada technology free? Yes

    Rentals & Services

    Offers outdoor education program for schools or corporate groups: Yes
    Outward Bound Canada offers outdoor education for groups in each of our five program regions throughout the country. Ranging from one-day programs to immersive wilderness expeditions and multi-year programs, our groups programming is robust, outcomes-driven and innovative. To learn more about opportunities for groups, please visit https://www.outwardbound.ca/school-and-group-programs/


    Associations

    Ontario Camps Association Associations


  • What's New

    Director's Message

    Andrew Young, Executive Director

    It was 50 years ago that Outward Bound Canada ran its first course in Keremeos, BC, in 1969. We’ve come a long way since that first expedition in the Cathedral Mountain Range of BC. We are extremely proud of the fact that, in the years that have followed, we’ve been able to work with over 150,000 Canadians through adventurous and challenging programs taking place from coast to coast. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2019, we are tuned in more than ever to the impact we are able to have on these individuals. In a time when so many aspects of our personal and professional lives are pulling us towards the digital world, it is becoming increasingly important to take a pause – to unplug from the digital world and plug in to the natural one – in order to help us refocus, re-energize, and reboot. 

    At Outward Bound Canada, it is our mission to cultivate resilience, leadership, connections and compassion through inspiring and challenging journeys of self-discovery in the natural world. As a not-for-profit charitable organization with a passion for facilitating impactful and authentic educational journeys, we strongly believe in the lasting power of learning through adventure. We’re proud of the outcomes of our programs and their lasting influence on our alumni, and we know our success in this area is due in no small part to the exceptional work of our staff. Outward Bound Canada’s highly qualified, passionate instructors are at the core of our outdoor experiences. Not only are they armed with the qualifications, knowledge and experience necessary to ensure exceptional safety and guidance; they also bring with them a kind and compassionate spirit that truly resonates with our participants. 

    As we get out, look in and look ahead to the future, striving to reach even more Canadians with our distinct brand of transformative adventures of discovery, we will never forget where we came from, what’s intrinsically important to us, and what makes us authentically Outward Bound. 



    In the News

    March 31, 2023
    APPLY NOW FOR A LIFE-CHANGINGSCHOLARSHIP!

    Applications for Outward Bound Canada scholarships are open and we’ve added a new scholarship to our offerings.... Read More

    March 1, 2023
    It's Winter Training Time at Outward Bound Canada

    Our instructors live and breathe outdoor adventures! They’ve done it all, from epic hikes to snowshoeing treks and winter camping!... Read More

    January 2, 2023
    23 THINGS WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2023

    The new year is bringing some exciting changes at Outward Bound Canada! Here's a list of 23 things we're looking forward to in 2023!... Read More



    Stories

    • AFTER THE TRIP, HE WAS HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND SMILING FROM EAR TO EAR!”: A MOTHER’S PERSPECTIVE ON HER SON’S OUTWARD BOUND CANADA ADVENTURE

      Scrolling through LinkedIn one day, we came across Janet’s post from July 2022 featuring a photo of herself and her son, Eldon, at the airport. In the post, she expressed her anxiety as she dropped Eldon off for his first solo plane ride to join Outward Bound Canada (OBC) on a two-week backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountains.

      Janet, an educational consultant who helps young people and their families find and apply for scholarships across Canada, had recommended OBC to Eldon herself. But as a mother, it was difficult for her to see him go off on this adventure alone.

      Intrigued by Janet’s post, we reached out to her to learn more about Eldon’s experience with OBC and the changes she noticed in him after he returned home. We’re grateful that she agreed to share her insights with us in the following interview, hoping to inspire and encourage other parents and guardians who are still on the fence about sending their child on an adventure with OBC this summer. 

      CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ELDON’S EXPERIENCE WITH OBC?

      Eldon participated in the 14-day Rocky Mountains backpacking trip in July 2022, when he was 16 years old. He didn’t know much about OBC, but after a couple of years of social restrictions due to the pandemic, he was keen to have an independent experience and a different kind of adventure.  I knew about OBC’s history and reputation, and as soon as I told Eldon about the opportunity, he was keen to go. 

      This was his first time flying alone, and he flew from Halifax to Calgary to meet his group. From what he says, his group “gelled” right away.  He was very impressed with one of his guides who was the first Canadian to summit Mount Everest!

      There were lots of interesting stories told during the trip. He had a fantastic time. He met different kinds of people from different areas of the country, saw a new and spectacularly beautiful part of Canada, and has lots of fond memories. 

      DID YOU OR ELDON HAVE ANY CONCERNS OR RESERVATIONS BEFORE ATTENDING THE COURSE?

      Eldon never expressed any reservations to me. He was ready for an adventure and, at 16, he wasn’t really thinking about much other than that! 

      I admit I was a bit nervous about certain aspects of the trip, namely Eldon flying solo from Halifax to Calgary the day before he was to meet his group at the airport.  At first, we weren’t sure where he would stay for the night, and we didn’t want him to stay in the Calgary airport hotel by himself unless it was necessary.  Luckily, he was able to stay overnight at his uncle’s house in Calgary, and he got him back to the airport in time to meet his group the next day.

      I was also a bit nervous that the group might not “gel” and he’d be stuck for two weeks with people who didn’t enjoy each others’ company.  Also, we were told there wouldn’t be any communication for most of the trip and I had to mentally prepare myself for that. And, of course, I also thought about bears…

      As it turns out, none of that worry was necessary! My contact at OBC answered all my questions and addressed my concerns. She told me a bit about the “lay of the land” in Calgary, and provided general information on the group make-up (age, gender, etc.). I also know that OBC is a long-running professional organization with an excellent reputation for safety, so I felt confident that Eldon was in good hands. After the trip, when we picked him up at the airport, he was happy, healthy, and smiling from ear to ear!

      WHAT WAS ELDON’S FAVOURITE PART OF HIS OBC COURSE? DID HE MENTION ANY MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES?

      Eldon loved the challenges of the hikes and seeing the beautiful landscape (it was his first time seeing the mountains).  But I think generally the fireside chats are his fondest memories, especially after doing the 36-hour solo experience. Because the whole experience was quite challenging – in different ways – it really brought the group together. He loved learning about everyone’s differences. People shared some really vulnerable moments during those fireside chats. They had a close knit and trusted bond, which allowed that to happen. Eldon said it not only helped him learn more about others, but it also made him reflect on himself, and his hopes and dreams for the future.     

      IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU THINK HIS OBC EXPERIENCE HELPED HIM GROW AND DEVELOP AS AN INDIVIDUAL?

      Overall, the experienced improved Eldon’s confidence. Although he was in a group, and had experienced guides, there were definitely parts of the trip where he had to make decisions and trust his feelings and abilities. He also had to integrate into a group, learn his role, carry out responsibilities, and rise to physical challenges. He had to be comfortable with being by himself in the wilderness for the first time.  OBC provides excellent ways to create “controlled”, or safe, challenges that helped Eldon gain confidence and improved his strength of character.     

      HOW DID ELDON’S EXPERIENCE WITH OBC COMPARE TO OTHER EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES HE HAS PARTICIPATED IN?

      The OBC experience was more intense, in that it was a total immersion for 14 days. There was no easy “escape”. You had to participate even if you didn’t feel like it that day.  For Eldon, that was part of the excitement. He wanted to challenge himself in this way.

      Eldon has participated in other kinds of extra-curriculars like Model UN, music competitions, and volunteering.  The OBC experience was completely different.  OBC tests you mentally and physically in a safe and supportive environment.  It’s not easy, but that’s what makes it so effective (and fun!).  

      YOU MENTIONED THAT ELDON USED THE SKILLS AND EXPERIENCES GAINED THROUGH OBC IN HIS COLLEGE APPLICATIONS.

      CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THAT, PLEASE?

      Some universities require students to complete a personal statement for admission.  Some of the ways the OBC experience came out in his applications was through discussing taking on a challenge and engaging in teamwork. 

      Universities like to see students who are willing to put themselves out of their comfort zone and engage in activities that encourage their personal growth and development.  They value initiative and positive risk.  Some universities also ask students to discuss their experience working in a team.  On his applications, Eldon was able to discuss his experience challenging himself, and his experience with team dynamics, from his OBC trip.

      BASED ON YOUR EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO PREPARE FOR SCHOLARSHIPS, HOW CAN OBC COURSES ENHANCE A STUDENT’S APPLICATION AND SET THEM APART FROM OTHER APPLICANTS?

      Many students engage in similar kinds of extra-curricular activities.  If you’ve read a lot of admission and scholarship applications, some of the activities are quite common and it’s difficult to stand out. 

      The OBC experience is not only less common than other activities, but it also gives students great content to discuss in their essays.  They can demonstrate their ability to face a challenge, discuss how they work in a team, and how the experience helped develop their confidence, character, and independence. 

      WHAT TYPES OF COLLEGE PROGRAMS OR MAJORS COULD BENEFIT FROM THE SKILLS AND EXPERIENCES GAINED THROUGH OBC?

      The skills and experiences gained from OBC could be beneficial to discuss in any personal statement for admission or scholarship application that asks the student to reflect on a meaningful activity, why they got involved in it (their motivation), and what they learned from the experience. 

      Some examples of these kinds of questions are on the UBC personal statement for admission, the Queen’s Commerce supplemental application, and the Loran Foundation Scholarship. 

      HOW DO YOU THINK HIS OBC EXPERIENCE WILL HELP ELDON NAVIGATE CHALLENGES AND TAKE ON NEW EXPERIENCES IN COLLEGE AND BEYOND?

      Eldon seemed a bit different after the trip.  He seemed to have more of a quiet confidence.  Although he never said it, I think he was proud of himself, and I think that’s great.  He starts university this Fall and there will be many different kinds of challenges ahead. His OBC experience is one that he can look back on and say, “If I can do that, I can do this.” 

      WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO PARENTS WHO ARE CONSIDERING OUTWARD BOUND CANADA FOR THEIR CHILDREN?

      I would definitely recommend the experience for young people who wish to have an adventure. 

      For parents who may have concerns, I would say that OBC provides a safe way to challenge your child and encourage their personal growth.  While there might be other ways for that to happen, they are not as intense, as effective, and not nearly as much fun!

      FINALLY, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT YOUR SON’S EXPERIENCE WITH OUTWARD BOUND CANADA?

      Perhaps this picture says it all – this is the day we picked him up — smiling from ear to ear!

      ABOUT THE INTERVIEWEE:

      Janet MacDonald is a Scholarship Coach for Canadian high school students.  With her company, mycampusGPS, she has helped students win hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships.  Janet was an Assistant Registrar of Admissions at Dalhousie University, and an Admissions Officer at UBC in Vancouver.  Her greatest achievement is playing a small part in her student clients’ success. 

    • The Power of Outward Bound

      Throughout my experience on this course I have not only been able to improve my physical activity level but I have been able to realize things like no challenge is too big, or I can do anything I put my mind to, or finding the person who I actually am. All in all, this course has not only given me mental and physical tools that will last me a lifetime, but it has given me the tools to change my life to how I wish.



    Frequently Asked Questions

    Does Outward Bound Canada have good reviews?
    We interviewed families about their experience with Outward Bound Canada. Watch the video here. You can also read 6 reviews of Outward Bound Canada from past attendees.

    What types of programs does Outward Bound Canada offer?
    Outward Bound Canada runs: overnight camps, day camps. Programming specializes in: Adventure (multi), Leadership (multi), Leadership Training, Travel. Browse the program calendar for rates and dates.

    What age does Outward Bound Canada start?
    Outward Bound Canada has programs for children aged 9 to 19.

    How much does is cost to attend Outward Bound Canada?
    Fees to attend Outward Bound Canada range from $1 to $8,500/program.

    Does Outward Bound Canada offer support for children with special needs?
    Outward Bound Canada offers some mild support for children with special needs. Please contact the director to discuss your needs.

    Does Outward Bound Canada offer busing?
    No, Outward Bound Canada does not offer transportation.



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