Overview

Go beyond your preceived limitations and join the leader in outdoor and experiential education to discover your strength of character, ability to lead and desire to serve. 

For nearly 50 years, North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) has been delivering challenging outdoor adventure programs for people of all ages and walks of life. Every Outward Bound course is built around a progression that delivers powerful life lessons by encouraging participants to safely and confidently step outside their comfort zones while traveling in spectacular wilderness areas.

The distinction - training through rather than for - is at the essence of the Outward Bound dynamic. The sea, mountains and desert provide training that no institute or university can offer. These landscapes, in tandem with Outward Bound principles, teach the hard, technical skills necessary for survival, but also teach the relevant skills necessary for life.

A large part of Outward Bound focuses on group dynamics and development, however it can be a very personal experience as well. By conquering their own challenges, participants discover their true potential and realize they are capable of more than they ever imagined.

North Carolina Outward Bound School is a non-profit organization and is proud to be part of an national network of Outward Bound schools in the US and all over the world. Outward Bound entities collectively serve around a quarter of a million people a year in over 30 countries and has reached over seven million people in its 70-year history.

NCOBS offers year-round courses that range anywhere from 4 to 72 days long (gap year). Historically our school was founded in North Carolina, however our course areas include: the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC, Outer Banks of NC, Patagonia in South America and the Ten Thousand Islands and Central Rivers of Florida. During our traditional courses, participants engage in a number of activities such as backpacking, rock climbing, sea kayaking, whitewater canoeing, or service learning. 

NCOBS also offers the opportunity for college credit and financial aid. 

Participant Reviews

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Testimonials

The experience that my daughter had in Outward Bound redirected and inspired her. She returned a more confident and inspired person. Without the scholarship she was offered, she would not be in the place she is today. We still are working towards a unknown future, but something happened to her inner being when she was thrust into the experience of perseverance and personal challenge. I am indebted to your organization. One day, I hope that she can be a part of it again. She truly wants to mold her new world around the principals she learned on that journey. And it continues. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

- Carrie, Mother of Scholarship Participant - Feb. 25, 2015

I just got off the phone with Casey... she is with her Mom and Sister in South Carolina after they picked her up at the airport... and the voice I heard brought tears to my eyes. The experience at Outward Bound was more than I could have hoped for her. She talked for nearly an hour about her past nine days with such clarity and conviction... she did not sound like the same woman I left with you last week. From my life experiences, there are not many things in this world that work as consistently, effectively and with unparalleled integrity over such a long period of time as Outward Bound. You ALL are truly unique in this respect. Her experience seems as profound to her as it was to me when I was at Table Rock nearly 40 years ago. You are changing young lives for a better earth. – OB Parent

- NC Outward Bound Parent - Jan. 4, 2015

I can't take it!! I HATE IT!! I hate the lights, I hate the streets, I hate the noise, the radio felt like hell in the car, the water in the shower I just took was too clear and not salty at all, I miss eating with everyone, I miss you guys! I miss the hugs and the smiles. I miss the frustration and the impatience in your faces, all that was okay because we knew that in the end we are together and nobody would ever be left behind. I miss you and it's been only a couple hours. I miss the smell of nature, I miss the stars!!! I miss the air and the hot sun on my skin, I miss paddling and I miss your voices!! I miss every single one of you! I miss writing with you and sharing everything! I miss the Everglades! I miss my wilderness family!

- Everglades Wilderness Writing Expedition, NCOBS Student - Dec. 18, 2014

Our instructors brought passion and a love for both teaching and the outdoors which made every day out in the field enjoyable.

- NCOBS Outdoor Instructor Course, Student, 50 days, Age 18 - Oct. 28, 2015

Greatest experience of my life. NCOBS four pillars still affect me everyday. I will never forget the people I met, the challenges I faced, skills I learned, and the leader I became. Thanks NCOBS!

- Arianna, NCOBs Student, 22-day course - Aug. 10, 2014

It rained for 19 out of the 22 days and I’ve done activities I never thought I would do, I’ve thrown myself off a 50ft swing. I’ve learned to communicate and I was capable of being myself with people accepting me. I ran the 7 mile run today and I had times where I just wanted to give up, but I realized that I have to continue on even through the hardest times, I found myself out there.

- Luz T., Age 16, Student - July 14, 2014

This course has inspired me to stop wasting my potential,” said Peyton about her experience. “I have learned that if I push myself I am capable of much more than I realized. I haven’t taken a shower in 20 days, my hair is greasy and my face is broken out, but I see more beauty in myself right now that I ever have before.

- Sarah P., 21-day, Age 18 - Nov. 2, 2013

I learned that I am much more than what I think I am.

- Miguel D., Age 15 - July 16, 2013

Before this I had terrible self-image, confidence and next to no goals around what I wanted to accomplish in life. Now, I truly have learned to love people and be myself. I may not necessarily know what I want to do, but I know what kind of person I want to be which is more than I could ever ask for.

- Duranya F., Age 16 - April 6, 2014

Participant Reviews

Write a Review

This program hasn't been reviewed yet. Write the first review!

Testimonials

The experience that my daughter had in Outward Bound redirected and inspired her. She returned a more confident and inspired person. Without the scholarship she was offered, she would not be in the place she is today. We still are working towards a unknown future, but something happened to her inner being when she was thrust into the experience of perseverance and personal challenge. I am indebted to your organization. One day, I hope that she can be a part of it again. She truly wants to mold her new world around the principals she learned on that journey. And it continues. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

- Carrie, Mother of Scholarship Participant - Feb. 25, 2015

I just got off the phone with Casey... she is with her Mom and Sister in South Carolina after they picked her up at the airport... and the voice I heard brought tears to my eyes. The experience at Outward Bound was more than I could have hoped for her. She talked for nearly an hour about her past nine days with such clarity and conviction... she did not sound like the same woman I left with you last week. From my life experiences, there are not many things in this world that work as consistently, effectively and with unparalleled integrity over such a long period of time as Outward Bound. You ALL are truly unique in this respect. Her experience seems as profound to her as it was to me when I was at Table Rock nearly 40 years ago. You are changing young lives for a better earth. – OB Parent

- NC Outward Bound Parent - Jan. 4, 2015

I can't take it!! I HATE IT!! I hate the lights, I hate the streets, I hate the noise, the radio felt like hell in the car, the water in the shower I just took was too clear and not salty at all, I miss eating with everyone, I miss you guys! I miss the hugs and the smiles. I miss the frustration and the impatience in your faces, all that was okay because we knew that in the end we are together and nobody would ever be left behind. I miss you and it's been only a couple hours. I miss the smell of nature, I miss the stars!!! I miss the air and the hot sun on my skin, I miss paddling and I miss your voices!! I miss every single one of you! I miss writing with you and sharing everything! I miss the Everglades! I miss my wilderness family!

- Everglades Wilderness Writing Expedition, NCOBS Student - Dec. 18, 2014

Our instructors brought passion and a love for both teaching and the outdoors which made every day out in the field enjoyable.

- NCOBS Outdoor Instructor Course, Student, 50 days, Age 18 - Oct. 28, 2015

Greatest experience of my life. NCOBS four pillars still affect me everyday. I will never forget the people I met, the challenges I faced, skills I learned, and the leader I became. Thanks NCOBS!

- Arianna, NCOBs Student, 22-day course - Aug. 10, 2014

It rained for 19 out of the 22 days and I’ve done activities I never thought I would do, I’ve thrown myself off a 50ft swing. I’ve learned to communicate and I was capable of being myself with people accepting me. I ran the 7 mile run today and I had times where I just wanted to give up, but I realized that I have to continue on even through the hardest times, I found myself out there.

- Luz T., Age 16, Student - July 14, 2014

This course has inspired me to stop wasting my potential,” said Peyton about her experience. “I have learned that if I push myself I am capable of much more than I realized. I haven’t taken a shower in 20 days, my hair is greasy and my face is broken out, but I see more beauty in myself right now that I ever have before.

- Sarah P., 21-day, Age 18 - Nov. 2, 2013

I learned that I am much more than what I think I am.

- Miguel D., Age 15 - July 16, 2013

Before this I had terrible self-image, confidence and next to no goals around what I wanted to accomplish in life. Now, I truly have learned to love people and be myself. I may not necessarily know what I want to do, but I know what kind of person I want to be which is more than I could ever ask for.

- Duranya F., Age 16 - April 6, 2014

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