Lessons from the Outward Bound Solo: Intended Transfer of Learning


  • Brad Daniel Montreat College
  • Andrew J. Bobilya Montreat College
  • Ken R. Kalisch Montreat College
  • Betsy Lindley Utah Valley University


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


The purpose of this study was to understand what students from theNorth Carolina Outward Bound School learned during their Solo thatthey intended to transfer back home. The Solo is a time during whichparticipants are placed alone for the purpose of rest and reflection.The sample consisted of 335 participants who completed a questionnaireat the end of the Solo. The data revealed three major themes thatparticipants intended to transfer home. The first involved insights relatedto self-perception (i.e., self-reliance, self-worth, perseverance,taking responsibility, simplicity). The second focused on intendedlifestyle changes (i.e., having more personal time, attending to physicalneeds, spending time outdoors, and seeking new challenges). Thethird involved an enhanced appreciation for food, people, comforts ofhome, outdoor experiences, and reflection time. These three generalthemes were supported by a small adult sample (n=13) that completeda survey two years after their courses.



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