"I have travelled thousands of miles in my life, in my career and in my deployments, but the last 6 days and 30 miles is the most life changing when my life needed a change. " —Mikaela R.
"Over the past five days this experience has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and really take some time to evaluate my life for the first time after separating from the military. This course really is a life changing experience that veterans benefit from. It is extremely challenging and rewarding." —Shane D.
HISTORY OF PROGRAM
Outward Bound's first courses for veterans were established through collaboration with Veterans Administration Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) units to serve Vietnam War veterans. Outward Bound renewed the program in 2006 to serve Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, running one such course each year. The 2006 and 2007 courses both received overwhelmingly positive evaluations. Based on this success, Outward Bound received a three-year, $4.3 million grant from Military Family Outdoor Initiative Project (MFO) in 2008 . More recently, Outward Bound for Veterans has received the generous support of Holiday Retirement Communities, Fortress Investments and a network of private donors and charitable foundations that allow us to serve over 600 veterans a year.
Outward Bound for Veterans provides returning service men and women with wilderness expeditions specially designed for our nation's armed forces. Veteran programs are exhilarating, challenging and rewarding. We make the most of the organizational and teamwork skills which veterans have learned in the military to move groups of participants straight into the field.
Once on expedition, Outward Bound training will bring veterans up to speed on our wilderness travel expectations. Leadership skills will be tested as participants take responsibility for the crew and make community plans and decisions. Our staff have extensive experience in backpacking, mountaineering, climbing, canoeing, sailing, kayaking, whitewater rafting and dog sledding. Participants rely on them for information and safety, but ultimately the success of the experience rests with the participants. All programs, including travel to and from the course areas from anywhere in the continental U.S., are fully funded through the generous support of a network of partners, sponsors and donors. Participating veterans only need to provide day-to-day clothing and footwear.
Outward Bound for Veterans programs:
Build a supportive community with other war veterans
Facilitate genuine discussions on readjustment and transition challenges
Re-energize and reinvigorate spirits through adventures and challenges in a beautiful natural environment
Reduce the feeling of isolation
Provide the opportunity to bond with comrades outside of the typical military structure
Transfer veterans' military values and experiences to civilian life so that veterans are prepared to serve their stateside communities