Hurricane Island was established 50 years ago as Outward Bound‘s first sea-based school. Hurricane Island, a remote island approximately 75 miles northeast of Portland, Maine, served as the summer base camp for sailing, sea kayaking, and rock climbing programs. Today, the Hurricane Island Foundation provides a venue for many different groups using the island for science and leadership programs. In addition to funding a master plan for the redevelopment of the island, the Lewis Family Foundation funded $300,000 to support the development of off-grid renewable solar and wind electric generation technology, expanded overnight accommodations, and rebuilt wharves and docks.

At Outward Bound, students learn experientially: while practicing expedition skills; in sunshine, rain, starlight, darkness and fog; while planning the next day, or reviewing the successes and challenges of the last; when the loads are heavy and the miles are long; and while reflecting on unforgettable experiences in the days, months or years after returning from the wilderness.

The positive outcomes our students’ experience – whether they are high school age, college age or adults – are increased self-awareness, resiliency, capacity for leadership, and desire to support and serve others. Strangers become life-long friends. Struggles become learning, and successes become life-long habits. Through shared challenges, adversity, failure and success, students discover and develop new skills, confidence and passion.

The setting of the wilderness expedition is perfect for learning. Everyone’s participation is needed and, at times, only your best effort will get the job done. It is this element of inclusiveness and reliance on teamwork that sets an Outward Bound expedition apart from any other learning experience; expedition members are truly crew, not passengers.