Today’s youth are facing significant challenges as they navigate their future. With a heavy reliance on technology for both school and leisure, many lack the necessary social and emotional skills required to thrive when they enter post-secondary education and the workforce. They are also disconnected from the natural world and the holistic benefits that come from participating in outdoor activities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, youth are even more isolated than before, due to restrictions on physical interaction and a focus on remote learning. As the impact of COVID-19 continues, we know that youth from low-income households, as well as many who are Black, Indigenous, people of colour, and LGBTQ2+, will be impacted disproportionately. This will leave them at a disadvantage without additional access to critical resources and supports.
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. Since 1969, OBC has inspired over 150,000 participants, with a particular emphasis on providing greater access to those facing socioeconomic barriers, to discover their potential. These experiences develop resilience, social competence, and environmental awareness to contribute to a better, more compassionate, and resilient society.
In addition to courses available for individual registration, OBC 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.