about Outdoor Education Experiences

James Neill
Last updated:
04 May 2004

Outdoor education testimonials

Testimonials are first-hand accounts.  They provide raw, direct insight into what actually happens on outdoor education programs.

Sources of testimonials can include participants' diaries, journals, letters, poetry, stories, and comments on evaluation forms.  Testimonials can be found in books, newsletters, marketing blurb, etc. but most of them are unpublished. 

A few find their way onto the net - see links below...but first, a word of caution.

The downside of testimonials is that the positive ones get the most airplay.  Some participants have negative, confusing, dissatisfying, even harmful experiences, which we can also learn much from.  So be wary of generalizing from testimonials - they represent the experiences of an enthusiastic few. 

Testimonials illustrate some of the rich potential of outdoor education, but they are not good guides to the generalized effects of outdoor education.  If you want this kind of information, go to the outdoor education research & evaluation page.

Index of testimonials

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I've found a place for myself though Outdoor education

I've found a place for myself here through Outdoor Education, as well as finding some clues about the direction of my life. Through my experiences, I've found the wilderness makes sense to me... The outdoors makes me happy; it makes me tick to walk among the dirt and the trees... Outdoor Ed. is a great relief from the city.
- Full testimonial on the TAO Education page - scroll to the bottom

Inspired by an Outward Bound educators course, a teacher starts an elementary Discovery program

Andy Mink, about an Outward Bound Colorado Teacher's program; he was so inspired, he went on to create an elementary school "Discovery Program" at his school, based on outdoor and experiential education principles.

Outward Bound had a material & positive impact on our management team

With the benefit of time, I am now one hundred percent sure that Outward Bound had a material and positive impact on our management team. Not all of them liked the experience, however, they all have a much better appreciation of their colleagues, and work place harmony and efficiency has been noticeably enhanced.
General Manager of a large, well-known company, Outward Bound Thailand's testimonial accounts

The thrill & power of overcoming fears

The Southbound Adventures (an outdoor education program in Australia) website reports a longish "Inspirational" account of a youth discovering the thrill and power of overcoming fears; plus short quotes from many participants.

Productivity and teamwork improved significantly after an Outward Bound course

"his productivity has increased significantly to the point that he is now the most productive in his team. His motivation increased significantly. He came back fired up - and this has remained. Since the course he has worked outside his comfort zone on a number of occasions and as a result of this his development has really picked up momentum. He portrays himself confidently and this has been commented on by senior managers. As a result of his accelerated development he has increased his promotion prospects significantly".
- Work Manager of a participant in an Outward Bound New Zealand course; more OBNZ testimonials.

More testimonial accounts...