School Camps

Outward Bound programs are a fully immersive, adventure-based, fun learning experience. Why should school camps be anything less?

Centre-based School Camps
Give your students the opportunity to explore the natural world and experience true adventure while enjoying a hot shower, warm bed and cooked meal each night. Outward Bound's Tharwa, ACT site has high ropes, Giant Ladder, climbing and abseiling wall, rope swing and more. It's the ideal location to combine your visit to Canberra with a centre-based school camp program.
Learn more
School Expeditions
Expeditions, where your students challenge themselves physically, emotionally and socially each day while camping in a different place each night is why Outward Bound was founded. Sure, our School Expeditions have evolved with time and are fully customisable, but they are still the ultimate school camp to build resilience and self-belief in your student cohort.
Learn more
Duke of Ed Programs
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a great segue into the outdoors if your school doesn't yet have a school camps program or you want to use your existing school camp as part of your Duke of Ed program. As an Open Award Centre in ACT, NSW and Victoria, Outward Bound can assist you every step of the way with planning, delivering and administering The Award.
Learn more
Essential Information
Program Overview

Excite your students with a learning experience away from the restraints of classrooms, books, laptops and  homework. Students get to dive into challenges, face obstacles, and realise how truly capable they are.

Let’s put “education” into a real life perspective!

Our School Camps currently cater for Years 4 through 12 with age-specific programs tailored to your school’s needs. The camps are the essence of outdoor education and build resilience, self-confidence and we hope, a lifelong love of the natural world.

Whether you have 1 day, 10 days or anything in between, a school camp with Outward Bound will deliver what you’re trying to achieve.
It can be centre-based, activity based or expedition based, or a blend of all three, and as “hard” or “easy” as you like. There is a perception that Outward Bound programs are long, arduous and break people. That’s incorrect. It will always be challenging, because that’s how people experience growth, but they’re designed to build people up, not break them down.

A 2-day centre-based school camp with Outward Bound will be more physically, socially and emotionally challenging than a similar shool camp with another provider. But that’s the point, Outward Bound helps people grow and develop their strength of character.
We will work with you to design the program you want us to deliver and customise the adventure level for your student cohort.

Want to build a memorable School Camp experience for your Students?

Outward Bound’s selection of exciting School Programs appeal to prospective leaders, aspiring athletes, environmental champions and everyone in between. Your students will be supported each step of the way. We will encourage each one to participate in unique outdoor opportunities, cooperate with their peers and, most importantly learn that fun does not need a device or a charger!

The range of activities across the adventures is customised to focus on experiential learning based on curriculum outcomes, as well as being challenging and rewarding.

Learning outcomes are also designed to support the development of  lifelong skills. Each student is supported to feel that they are capable, courageous and independent. Watch as your students shine!

To discuss the opportunities for your school, contact our team on 1800 267 999 to learn more or ask any questions about the program in your state or territory.

Key Objectives

Outward Bound Australia has been running expedition based outdoor education programs since 1956.  Key objectives of our school programs are to promote and develop:

  • curiosity
  • integrity
  • responsibility
  • resilience/grit/persistence
  • compassion
  • community service
  • environmental awareness
  • initiative
  • adaptability
  • social and cultural connectedness
  • tenacity in pursuit of a goal, and
  • leadership.

Your students will be supported to take on new challenges, consider risk and develop courage, compassion and resilience.

Why Outdoor Education?

Outdoor Education, often called adventure or experiential learning. enables people to learn new concepts in a way they remember. People relate to:

  1. People
  2. Objects
  3. Concepts, in that order. It’s hard for people to grasp new concepts.

Experiential learning demonstrates concepts and the behaviours associated with them. It enables people to understand ideas better and allows people to make the connections at a neural level. In other words, their whole body feels it and their whole body learns it.

To transfer these learnings from short to longer term memory, the human brain requires:

  1. Urgency – participants are fully immersed in a challenge that requires them to think and act to achieve a specific outcome. “The Point of Maximum Learning”, what Outward Bounders call the “Stretch Zone”, is a facilitated point between the Learning Zone and the Panic Zone where magic happens.
  2. Repetition – repeating scenarios so participants can practice new skills and see how the results change based on those skills.
  3. Association is employed in the debrief when the knowledge gained during the training is recalled and connected to real life situations.

Outdoor education programs with Outward Bound may include bushwalking, ropes course (high and low), abseiling, rock-climbing, rafting and/or raft-building, canoeing, navigating, bush-cooking, solo, and team building games and initiatives. But it’s never about the activity. Outward Bound uses these activities to challenge participants and facilitate personal development.

Outward Bound is a character development School, using authentic adventure in the natural environment to teach human skills.

Our outdoor education programs represent the highest level of professional outdoor education available in Australia. Numerous schools have cemented an Outward Bound course into their curriculum as a rite of passage for their students.

Safety

Outward Bound is the world leader in outdoor education. This global presence has enabled us to develop the most comprehensive  Safety and Risk Management Policies and Procedures. 

We balance risk, reward and responsibility as core tenets of our mission. Our programs are facilitated and supported by a network of qualified, highly trained and experienced instructors, with a clear understanding of this risk/reward balance.

Safety first, always.

Packing Lists - What do we need to bring?

For all School Programs Outward Bound will provide all specialist equipment such as helmets, lifejackets, communication devices, etc.

Packing Lists are dependent on location, duration and the nature of the program – cabin-based, expedition-style, water activities etc.

We recommend bringing your own hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes, which you have broken in before arriving at Outward Bound. 

Getting some walking/hiking practice in your boots will mean you’re less likely to get blisters or a sprained ankle. You’ll also be much more comfortable in your own shoes! 

Mark all your gear and clothing with your name to avoid mix-ups with your group mates. 

Woollen or thermal layers are essential in all seasons. Cotton clothing is not appropriate for all activities. 

Bring your gear in a lightweight soft bag such as a duffle bag or sports bag.

Remember that it’s not a fashion parade. These items can be found in op shops or borrowed from friends and family.

Packing Lists are available for download:

Cabin-based Packing List

Short Exped Packing List incl. water

Short Exped Packing List excl. water

Cabin + Exped Packing List

Mid Exped Packing List incl. water

Mid Exped Packing List excl. water

Educational and Fun School Camp Activities
Kayaking & Canoeing
Responsibility, risk-taking and independence.
Raising awareness of the critical relationship between behaviour and consequences is one of the most important learning experiences. Set your student cohort on the right side of the risk taking equation.
High Ropes & Giant Ladder
Building social and physical confidence.
Courageous moments build momentum in life – your students will take these experiences home and build on them in their daily lives. Let your students realise a side of themselves they may not see in the classroom environment.
Hiking & Navigation
An enthusiasm for the natural world.
Developing passion and interest in the natural environment helps us see the world in a different light. Students will be inspired to get in touch with nature and explore their local environment - and no chargers are necessary for this type of fun!
Abseiling & Rock Climbing
Nurturing optimism and resilience.
Program activities support positive mindsets, helping everyone to participate willingly and proactively in unanticipated challenges. How are your students willing to challenge themselves?
Raft Building & Problem-Solving
Practicing patience and team building exercises.
Differing life experiences, skills and abilities come together, giving insight into working with others for the greater good. Build life-long skills essential for success throughout their education and beyond.
Overnight Expeditions
Seeking a spirit of initiative and adventure.
Provide a positive outlet for defining boundaries, seeking meaningful and challenging experiences rather than mere “thrill-seeking” and let your students experience a night under the stars.
School Camp Locations
Pan, zoom and click on the points of interest on the map to find your next adventure.
Customised Programs
Outward Bound school camps enable your students to develop their leadership, communication and collaboration skills with customised programs to reach your desired goals.
Build Confidence
By understanding their true value, potential and capabilities, young people can promote a sense of self that is confident and courageous in the face of challenge and adversity.
Authentic Adventures
Our programs deliver meaningful, challenging and dynamic experiences rather than just “thrill-seeking”. Watch your students rise to meet the challenge and realise their potential.
Our Crew
Toby Locke
Group Leader
Toby worked with Canadian summer camps for 3 years before joining Outward Bound. This nurtured his love for working in the outdoors with young people. Having grown up in WA, Toby loves ocean based activities like snorkelling and spear fishing.
Sam Hodder
Senior Program Coordinator
Sam was one of the Whiskey interns in 2015. He had been working in the outdoors prior and has got over 10 years of experience in the industry. Sam has both led groups and coordinated in all of Outward Bound’s operational areas. His technical skills in roping, paddling and navigation and his knowledge of the industry are an asset in his coordinating and leading the team in the field.
Marita Hills
Group Leader
Marita grew up in Queensland and is a trained high school teacher. Her love of the outdoors encompasses solo hiking and snow sports. Marita was a part of a long distance winter alpine expedition across the Australian Alps in 2020. She loves to capture beautiful scenery through her camera lens.
Jacob Lockley
Program Coordinator - Tharwa, National Base
Jacob is an avid skier and lover of all snow sports. He has spent time in Canada and Japan in pursue of the best snow! Jacob’s hobbies also include trout fishing and mountain biking. Jacob’s blue cheese dressing and hot wings are famous amongst staff!
Call Ian Wells on 0419 203374 with your preferred dates or email
Subscribe to 

our eNewsletter