Outward Bound

Outward Bound

April 16, 2015 15:00 ET

"Dare to Leap" Marks the Arrival of Outward Bound's Urban Youth Program in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 16, 2015) - Today, 75 adventurous individuals are descending the heights of Shaw Tower to raise funds and mark the arrival of Outward Bound's highly successful urban youth programs in Vancouver.

Outward Bound's Vancouver Urban Adventures program brings the organization's time-tested process and curriculum into the city's urban settings, allowing Vancouver youth better access to an adventurous outdoor experience.

"We are thrilled this program has come to Metro Vancouver, and are overwhelmed by the show of support we are getting from across this community," said Sarah Wiley, Executive Director of Outward Bound Canada. "Since 2010, Outward Bound's urban programs have given disadvantaged youth the opportunity to experience Outward Bound's life-changing, resiliency-building programs in their own local environment."

Today, during "Dare to Leap", 75 people rappelled from Shaw Tower, each having raised at least $1,000 to support Outward Bound Canada's urban program in Metro Vancouver. In total, the event raised over $100,000 for the not-for-profit, charitable, educational organization.

In addition to exposing students to the outdoors, the Urban Adventure Program empowers students to transform their attitudes and behaviours, giving them a renewed sense of their own potential and allowing them to earn high school credits. The Urban Adventures program has been made possible in part through generous support from Shaw Communications Inc., which today announced a three-year donation of a total of $150,000.

"Outward Bound has changed the lives of hundreds-of-thousands of kids around the world, and we are proud to support their efforts to make these opportunities available for deserving kids in Vancouver," says Brad Shaw, Chief Executive Officer, Shaw Communications. "We applaud Outward Bound for their work to help youth build leadership skills by pushing their own boundaries."

As part of the Outward Bound Urban Adventure program, Vancouver youth can experience multi-day expeditions in local parks, mountains and waterways - connecting them with the wilderness in their own backyards. In addition, Outward Bound's Vancouver Urban Adventure Program also offers funded program options to support at-risk populations of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland including:

  • Urban Aboriginal youth
  • Low-income youth living in at-risk neighborhoods
  • High school students at risk of dropping out of school
  • New Canadian youth

Outward Bound introduced the urban programs to Vancouver in 2014 in a pilot project with local school boards. The initiative provided almost 500 students the opportunity to discover the wilderness, and build their own leadership skills in their own backyard. These youth range from 14-19 years old and are from Vancouver, East Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta and Surrey.

"Outward Bound was a powerful experience, one that helped me grow as a person and a young leader," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who did an Outward Bound course when he was 16. "It's great to see Outward Bound establish their Urban Adventures program in Metro Vancouver and enable young people to explore our local wilderness and gain essential life skills."The Vancouver program is already beginning to show results. Participants called their experiences life changing.

"I was initially nervous about participating in 'cooperation-building' activities, but soon found these unique activities to be both fun and educational by learning to cooperate with my fellow students and enjoying it. I am sincerely happy to have participated in Outward Bound, and hope to do it again soon. It was a fantastic experience that I would recommend to anyone!" said Braque, who participated in the Vancouver pilot program in 2014.

"All the activities we did built our trust, teamwork, and leadership and it was great getting to know everyone," said Chelsea, another participant.

There is no charge to students participating in the Vancouver Urban Adventure Program. Instead, Outward Bound relies on the support of sponsors, grants, fundraising events and alumni to fund its programs.

Contact Information

  • For general information and media inquiries, please contact:
    Lindsay Cornell
    B.C. Program Director, Outward Bound
    1-888-688-9273 ext 206