Outward Bound Canada’s Response to COVID-19

(Updated April 30, 2020)

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Outward Bound Canada has prioritized the health and wellbeing of our employees, participants and the wider community. In March, we cancelled all of our courses until the end of May, and also required our employees to work remotely from their homes. While we look forward to resuming Outward Bound’s programs as soon as it’s safe and logistically feasible to do so, we will continue to do our part organizationally to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

At the present time, it appears highly unlikely that we will be able to offer our outdoor expeditions until at least September 2020. This is due to the continued spread of COVID-19 across the country, and the ongoing restrictions of group activities, travel and access to schools, parks and wilderness sites. As such, Outward Bound Canada has made the responsible yet disappointing decision to officially cancel all of our outdoor programs for June, July and August.

Although we’ve officially cancelled our programs until at least September, we remain hopeful that the situation will improve this summer and we will have the opportunity to offer some expeditionary program options that can be accessed without the need for air travel. Given that so many of us have been disconnected from nature and others for so long, we believe that the need for an Outward Bound experience will be more relevant and impactful than ever before. In collaboration with our National Safety Committee and colleague organizations such as Outward Bound USA, we have developed a set of “re-opening criteria” to ensure that when we reopen, our decision-making process will prioritize public health and the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff. We will let you know as soon as possible if/when we can reintroduce any of our programming this summer.

In addition, we are rapidly developing a web-based “Digital to Nature” program to help students continue to engage with the curriculum of our expeditionary learning model during the pandemic. In addition to preparing youth for a future expedition, the “Digital to Nature” program will foster learning in the areas of resilience, social competence, and environmental awareness.

In the midst of such uncertainty, Outward Bound Canada is grateful for our students, alumni, staff and supporters, who continue to embody our mission of cultivating resilience, leadership, connections and compassion.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our response to COVID-19, our courses or travel considerations.

Sincerely,

Andrew Young
Executive Director
Outward Bound Canada