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Lessons from the Outward Bound Solo: Intended Transfer of Learning

Brad Daniel, Andrew J. Bobilya, Ken R. Kalisch, Betsy Lindley


The purpose of this study was to understand what students from the

North Carolina Outward Bound School learned during their Solo that

they intended to transfer back home. The Solo is a time during which

participants are placed alone for the purpose of rest and reflection.

The sample consisted of 335 participants who completed a questionnaire

at the end of the Solo. The data revealed three major themes that

participants intended to transfer home. The first involved insights related

to self-perception (i.e., self-reliance, self-worth, perseverance,

taking responsibility, simplicity). The second focused on intended

lifestyle changes (i.e., having more personal time, attending to physical

needs, spending time outdoors, and seeking new challenges). The

third involved an enhanced appreciation for food, people, comforts of

home, outdoor experiences, and reflection time. These three general

themes were supported by a small adult sample (n=13) that completed

a survey two years after their courses.


Outward Bound; solo; transfer of learning; wilderness experience program

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