“We’re not meant to spend all day in front of screens,” says Andrew Young, Executive Director of Outward Bound Canada. “It’s important for everyone, particularly youth, to get outside and into nature, as this positively impacts our physical and emotional well-being.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian youth are facing significant disruptions to their personal lives, education, and careers. They’re also spending increasing amounts of time indoors and connected to technology, which makes it difficult for them to develop the critical, social, and emotional skills needed to thrive at school, at work, and in their communities.
“That’s why Outward Bound is even more relevant today,” says Young, “as we have a rich history of helping young people gain skills in problem-solving, teamwork, communication, leadership, and compassion so they can navigate life’s challenges and opportunities with confidence.”
A registered charity, Outward Bound Canada operates its transformational programs across the country, with a particular emphasis on providing greater access to those facing socioeconomic barriers, which is made possible through the generous support of its donors and corporate partners. Whether featuring exciting activities such as sea kayaking around Vancouver Island, hiking through the Rocky Mountains, or white-water paddling in Northern Ontario, every Outward Bound course is focused on building resilience, greater leadership skills and social connectedness, and a stronger connection with nature.
In addition to courses available for individual registration, Outward Bound partners with Indigenous Nations, schools, universities, community groups, government agencies, corporate groups, and learning institutes across Canada to provide a wide range of programs so that youth from diverse backgrounds can explore nature with the support of highly skilled instructors who ensure that these authentic adventures happen in a safe, challenging, and supportive manner.
“[Outward Bound] allowed me to expand my connection to people as well as nature,” says Helen, who recently participated in an Outward Bound course. “I continue to use the skills and confidence I took away from this course in my life. I continue to practice patience, acceptance, and compassion, as well as remaining resilient in harsh situations and having more tolerance for adversity.”
To donate, register, or learn more, please visit OutwardBound.ca
Photo © Courtesy of Outward Bound Many teenagers today are more stressed and overwhelmed than ever before. In response to this ongoing crisis, Outward Bound Canada partnered with The Maddie Project in 2019 to launch the Connecting with Courage program. The innovative program is designed for youth ages 14-16 and combines traditional outdoor activities such as hiking or paddling with exercises that focus on self-expression and mental health awareness, all led by instructors who serve as powerful and confidentrole models. The Maddie Project was created in memory of Maddie Grace German Coulter, a third-generation Outward Bound participant. When she died
Our mission is to cultivate resilience, leadership, connections and compassion through inspiring and challenging journeys of self-discovery in the natural world.