Outward Bound USA (OBUSA) is a non-profit organization providing experiential education in the United States through a network of regional schools, especially in wilderness settings. Outward Bound counts among its desired outcomes the development of self-awareness, self-confidence, leadership skills, environmental and social responsibility.
Like other Outward Bound International member organizations, Outward Bound USA's course offerings are derived from the work of German educator Kurt Hahn. Students are required to work together to complete outdoor education activities including rock climbing, backpacking, navigation, canoeing, and sailing.
OBUSA offers a range of courses targeted at different ages and interests.
A non-profit comprehensive school reform organization which is no longer a part of Outward Bound USA, EL Education works with over 129 urban and rural schools across the United States including Puerto Rico.
In the United States, Outward Bound schools have employed "diversity trainings" for their staff in order to prepare instructors to address the various issues that may arise on course due to a diverse group of participants. Diversity trainings are intended to provide the arena where staff can be challenged in the same ways participants are challenged to step out of their comfort zone.
The methods employed to increase diversity awareness among Outward Bound staff have, as recently as 2008, come under some scrutiny from a small number of individuals. However, there have been no formal investigations or findings of wrongdoing at any point in time. Outward Bound USA continues to deny any violation of employees' basic civil rights.
Outward Bound programs continue to focus on enriching the lives of students from all walks of life, and strive to empower their staff in awareness of issues that arise in groups.
A television series aired on Discovery Kids from 1999-2003. In each location, the show followed a group of eight young adults as they learned to work together and help each other survive in the wilderness. Under the guidance of instructors from the Outward Bound school, the group members struggled to cope with nature and each other, with success and failure, with physical and mental challenges, and finally bonded together in an unforgettable life experience.