“There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.” – Kurt Hahn, founder of Outward Bound
Founded on the belief that all people can discover their true potential through challenge in the outdoors, the Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS) has transformed thousands of students through 3- to 81-day backcountry expeditions focused on developing character, teaching leadership skills and encouraging a service ethic. Course activities include backpacking, rafting and mountaineering in remote areas of the Rocky Mountain West. While learning technical skills like navigation and camp craft, students push themselves physically and mentally, learn to work in a group and problem solve to achieve tangible goals, and experience success and failure with support and feedback. After course, students are equipped with a toolbelt of skills for success: tenacity, grit, and determination to push through life’s challenges and pursue an education; compassion, service ethic and communication skills to lead and serve their communities; and the confidence, curiosity and empowerment to be unwilling to settle for less.
COBS is dedicated to removing financial and societal barriers for students, and to building the next generation of leaders with diverse insights, experiences and backgrounds. Our scholarship program empowers local underserved youth with full financial support to participate on course. Through partnerships with local schools and youth-serving nonprofits in Denver, Colorado Springs, Lake County, the Roaring Fork Valley, and Fort Collins, COBS identifies and supports students with significant financial need who need space to excel outside the classroom, or who could benefit most from a transformative experience. Our scholarship program reaches: 85% students of color; 95% receiving free or reduced lunch; and 31% English Language Learners. These students see through the challenge of the wilderness that they are capable of anything. They are empowered to reach their potential.