An Outward Bound Challenge Designed Specifically for Veterans

Since 1983, Outward Bound has run wilderness expeditions specifically designed for war veterans and service members at no cost to participants. The program began for Vietnam veterans established through collaboration between staff at VA PTSD units and Colonel Bob Rhealt (ret.), who served as commander of the US 5th Special Forces in Vietnam. As of 2008, we have expanded our veterans benefits program to serve veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)to help them readjust to life back at home, out of a conflict zone.

Outward Bound for Veterans helps returning service members and recent veterans readjust to life at home through powerful wilderness courses that draw on the healing benefit of teamwork and challenge through use of the natural world.

Travelling by sea kayak is a close encounter with the power of water and wind. As the wind moves across Lake Superior unobstructed, it often creates emerald green waves of water that provide an exhilarating paddling experience.

During your journey, you will complete an extended canoe expedition. Learn the art of paddling a canoe in a variety of water conditions as well as portaging, map and compass reading, navigation, expedition planning, and Leave No Trace® wilderness living.

Veterans courses are designed to provide veterans and service members with hands-on opportunities to challenge themselves both physically and mentally while building on strengths and reinforcing the positive aspects of military training. They work to regain personal independence, build camaraderie and improve self-confidence to help create a smoother reintegration into life at home.

Outcomes previous participants have reported:

  • A strong sense of team–increased cohesion and camaraderie among participants.
  • Retained knowledge and values–the high impact learning environment promotes specific and lasting skills
  • Transferable learning–that can be powerfully applied at home, school, and the workplace
  • Results–that are sustainable and measurable