Outward Bound Canada

Since 1969, Outward Bound Canada has made it our mission to cultivate resilience, leadership, connections and compassion, through inspiring and challenging journeys of self-discovery in the natural world. A not-for-profit, charitable, educational organization, Outward Bound Canada has challenged over 150,000 Canadians to step out of their comfort zone with our unique outdoor adventures. We pride ourselves on offering transformational journeys that encourage participants to push beyond their limits and discover their true potential.

The OBC Veteran’s Program

Drawing directly on the original Outward Bound educational framework — developed in 1941 to prepare sailors for the harsh realities of combat survival during the Second World War — OBC, since 2010, has run adventure-based resiliency training courses in wilderness settings for both serving and retired personnel of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Priority is given to participants who are experiencing Operational Stress Injuries (OSI) or self-reported transition challenges related to their overseas deployment experiences and their time in the CAF. Around 30% of participants are being treated for an OSI and may either self-select for the program or be referred directly to the program by an OSI clinic or Joint Personnel Support Unit.

For many participants the OBC veterans’ program has been a gateway experience to seeking out additional wellness and therapeutic programs in order to reach their full potential.

Outward Bound Canada veterans’ courses use a standardized format composed of a 7-day wilderness expedition with up to nine participants and three instructors. The courses utilize an intensive group setting, which enables peer mentoring and the sharing of deployment and post-deployment issues in a structured and physically and emotionally safe environment. While the courses are intentionally designed for and delivered to veterans, they remain guided by the same core educational framework as all OBC courses. The courses are physically and emotionally committing, and participants are involved in all details of the program such as route planning, finding, and navigation; record keeping; cooking; group leadership; and, equipment management. There is no rank on course. Course activities include hiking and backpacking, rock and ice climbing, ski-mountaineering, alpine climbing, and Sea Kayaking, along with a broad range of experiential activities commonly used by OBC to support positive personal and group development outcomes.

Thank you Wounded  Warriors Canada!

Thanks to the generous support of Wounded Warriors Canada, the Bay of Fundy Sea Kayaking course is fully funded. From June 24th to 30th, 10 Canadian military veterans will have an opportunity to work as part of a team, connect and share with like-minded individuals, and enjoy their own incredible journey of adventure, challenge – and healing – in the inspiring setting of the Bay of Fundy.

To apply for a Veteran’s Course:

If you’re a Canadian military veteran and 20 years old or older, simply contact our Veterans’ Program Director at veterans@outwardbound.ca (also a veteran himself) to arrange for a phone interview, designed to ensure this course is the right fit for you and to determine how it fits in your personal journey at this time.

For more information, visit: www.outwardbound.ca

After a long service career, I felt used, used-up, thrown-away because I was no longer useful or productive, past my prime with no more challenges left for me. A PTSD survivor, prior to this course, I considered myself to be barely surviving. This program taught me different. It enabled me to gain a whole new perspective and positive outlook on what I was still capable of, and worth. This program has filled a void in me that I forgot needed filling… exactly what I needed, right when I needed it. It has reignited a spark in me that I assumed was long dead. This course firmly reminds you of who you are, and that you can still do amazing things you never thought possible.


Veterans’ Program Alumnus

For more information or to apply for this program

Honour the Fallen, Help the Living