About Outward Bound California

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Outward Bound is the premier provider of experience-based outdoor leadership programs for youth and adults. Through experiential education programs in both wilderness settings and urban settings, Outward Bound has helped people discover strength of character, an ability to lead, and a desire to serve for over 50 years. Outward Bound California is a chartered Outward Bound school that was founded in 2008 right here in San Francisco's Presidio.

A Lifelong Difference
Outward Bound courses build confidence and develop our students' abilities to interact and work effectively with others and can improve achievement and progress in school. These are the outcomes common to all of our programs:

  • Character: Demonstrating increased self-awareness and self-confidence while demonstrating understanding and compassion toward others. 
  • Leadership: Demonstrating the ability to set goals and inspire and guide others to achieve them; the ability to collaborate, communicate, solve problems, and resolve conflicts effectively.
  • Service: Demonstrating social and environmental responsibility and a desire to actively engage in service to others.

At the end of each course, we ask our students to fill out a survey we call our Outward Bound Outcomes Instrument (OBOI). We ask questions about things like what their expectations were before course, what they thought of their instructors, and what they'll take away from their experience. These surveys are our way of tracking the impact of our courses and how we can serve our students better. From 2022 courses:
  • 77% say they feel more confident leading others
  • 81% say they are more motivated to help others
  • 88% say they gained confidence to try new things
  • 90% say they learned to work with others to solve problems
  • 79% say they are more connected to people in their group
  • 88% say they gained courage to face challenges
  • 72% say they are committed to making a difference in their world

In our charitable outreach, we target low-income, traditionally excluded populations, providing two-thirds of our students with a full or partial scholarship to participate. Since 2008, we have engaged more than 7,500 students in partnership with schools and nonprofits such as Mission and Lincoln High Schools, Visitacion Valley Middle School, Summer Search, and Larkin Street Youth Services.

Student Testimonials
"I learned how much of the challenges we face truly are mental... there is always the choice to be positive and push on. I realized how often I tend to ignore that choice and now I'm so much more aware of it." - Brooke Helms

"I overcame many of my self-imposed limits and thus grew into a more complete person through this experience." - Larry Han

"We all have the ability to make a change if we are assertive, compassionate, and responsible." - Maggie Neas

"Our course was full of challenges that met our veterans on every level: physically, mentally, and emotionally. The care that our guides showed during the course was exceptional. Our crew experienced the full gamut of emotions, hardships, and victories in a relatively short, five-day course. These hardships and victories translated well into the lives of our group and everyone expressed a sense of empowerment to achieve their goals and succeed at life." - Joe Drullard on Veterans Course

To learn more about Outward Bound California, visit www.obca.org.