Outward Bound History

Outward Bound was developed in 1941 by a German educator Kurt Hahn. The first Outward Bound School was established in the town of Aberdovey located in Wales. The first Outward Bound course was designed to toughen up and train young sea merchants from the Blue Funnel Line. (Grade 9)

The name "Outward Bound" is a nautical term represented by the Blue Peter flag. It signifies a ship leaving the safe harbour for the unknown. Today, Outward Bound is an internationally recognised learning institution providing outdoor experiential learning. Every Outward Bound programme is designed to develop resilience and inculcate youths with values connecting to The Four Pillars of Outward Bound.

The Four Pillars of Outward Bound

The birth of Outward Bound did not solely revolved around The Four Pillars.
Kurt Hahn also observed that young people of his time suffered the Six Declines and struggled with challenges. Hence, he started the first Outward Bound programme in 1941, designed to counter the Six Declines and develop resilience and character in young people.

The Six Declines
Outward Bound Singapore History
Dr Goh Keng Swee, the then Minister for the Interior & Defence, founded Outward Bound School of Singapore (OBSS) in 1967. Our leaders of the pioneer generation astutely recognised the role OBSS played in nation-building, particularly in the nurturing of a rugged and resilient society. OBSS was tasked to help develop future generations of men and women capable of leadership, possessing discipline, self-reliance, endurance, initiative and integrity. 

OBSS was initially managed by the People's Association, before the Ministry of the Interior and Defence took over and repositioned it as a facility to prepare young men for compulsory National Service. 

In April 1991, OBSS was transferred to the care of People's Association and renamed Outward Bound Singapore (OBS). As of 1 January 2015, OBS became part of the National Youth Council (NYC), an autonomous agency under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY).

I regard it as the foremost task of education to ensure the survival of these five qualities:
an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-
denial, and above all compassion.

- Kurt Hahn

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