School Outdoor Education Camps

Outward Bound programs are a fully immersive, adventure-based learning experience for Years 4 through 12. Stay in cabins or camp in the bush.

Centre-based School Camps (ACT)
Explore the natural world at Outward Bound's campus in Tharwa, where we offer a range of adventure and nature experiences. Combine your visit to Canberra with a school camp program.
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School Expeditions
Journey-based programs allow students to explore different landscapes and experience a variety of activities. We cater to large and small schools in ACT, NSW, Victoria, and WA.
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Duke of Ed Programs
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 and supervising Adventurous Journeys.
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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.


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.

You will be notified which packing list is relevant for your program. Packing lists are available at

Core Outcomes of Outward Bound Programs

The recently released Outward Bound International Global Impact Report 2023 revealed the centralizing theme of CONNECTIONS across all regions and 5 CORE OUTCOMES of Outward Bound programs consistent across the worldwide network of Schools. Connections to:

  1. Self
    • Resilience
    • Confidence
  2. Others
    • Compassion
    • Social Competence
  3. The Natural World
    • Environmental Responsibility
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.
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.
If you're in ACT or NSW, please call Ian Wells on 0419 203374. If you're in VIC or WA, please call Ben Lovell on 0428 577058 with your preferred dates or email
Our Crew
Senior 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. With her sister, Marita took part in a long-distance winter snowshoe expedition across the Australian Alps. Together they have completed the Larapinta Trail and Overland Track both in winter and are currently planning to do the Australian Alps Walking Track on skis. Marita also loves to capture beautiful scenery through her camera lens.
Senior Group Leader
Gus grew up around the bush and finds it to be a fantastic teacher for nearly any life skill. He loves both the thrill and peace of being out in the wild. He has worked as a guide in many places across Australia, but always comes back to Tharwa. When he's not out with a group, he enjoys easy-going mountain scrambles and rock climbs.
Group Leader
Coming from Vietnam - a beautiful country in South East Asia, Thao started her outdoor journey with Outward Bound 8 year ago as a trainee. Since then, she has built up her skills and knowledge as an outdoor educator. She feels passionate about helping others and wants to create the best experience possible for her participants. She loves sport climbing and abseiling in her spare time
Group Leader
Wren grew up at the base of the Watagan Mountains. Spending their childhood in the valley, they built a deep passion for all things Flaura and fauna. Wren's current passion is birds and they're always keen to point them out along your journey. Before coming to OBA, Wren found a love for alternative farming and yoga teaching, and being non-binary, they are passionate about creating a space for queer and trans people in the outdoors. Their next goal is to ride a push bike around the world!
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