Bridging the Divide Between Young People and Nature


004GHN Outward Bound

Photo © Courtesy of Outward Bound Canada

Young people today face an unpredictable world. Confronted with record levels of stress and anxiety over everything from climate grief to a tough job market, young people were already in need of ways to thrive when COVID-19 hit.

With many Canadian youths already struggling to thrive, coupled with rising mental health issues and the pressures of coming of age in an unpredictable and changing world, positive connections are more important than ever.

Today’s young people lack the opportunity to develop the resilience, communication, and problem-solving skills they require to thrive. A vast body of knowledge indicates that outdoor education (OE) provides the opportunity for youth to develop these skills.

OE programs, which focus on the positive development of leadership, compassion, and adaptability, aren’t prioritized in schools, so youth who can’t afford these opportunities miss out.
Meanwhile, there is a greater acknowledgement of these skills as the building blocks for success in life, career, and community.

Photo © Courtesy of Outward Bound Canada

Outward Bound Canada (OBC) is an industry-leading provider of high-quality outdoor education for youth. As a recognized leader in Canada’s outdoor education sector and with over 50 years of experience, OBC is uniquely positioned to be part of the upstream solution in the realm of youth mental health promotion.

With qualified instructors trained in OBC’s signature pedagogy who can work with youth who have had minimal experience in the outdoors, OBC programs focus on building resilience, social-emotional intelligence, and environmental leadership skills for youth ages 12 and up.

From canoeing in Northern Ontario and backpacking in the Rocky Mountains to sea kayaking in British Columbia, OBC provides course options for every season and every kind of adventure. Courses can range from five to 32 days in length, taking adventurers through stimulating tours of everything from mountains to oceans and rivers to forests.

“People said to me, this OBC trip is going to change him. And I thought I don’t want him to change. But he came back more mature, independent and respectful. He came back chipping in more as a team member (at home). He emerged a happy, healthy, optimistic teenager who could finally see the possibility of a fulfilling life laid out for him,” said Tara, parent of Andre, a 2021 participant in an OBC youth program.

As a charity, Outward Bound Canada is committed to ensuring all youth, regardless of socio-economic background, have access to these life-changing programs. Funding is available for our expeditions for youth who apply and qualify!

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About Outward Bound Canada

Outward Bound Canada is committed to helping Canadian youth change the trajectory of their lives. With young people desiring to thrive in an unpredictable and changing world, OBC, a registered charity, offers social-emotional education through experiential adventures in the outdoors.


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