Outward Bound

Did you know that NZSAS Trust provides personal development opportunities for young adults through scholarships to Outward Bound? If you’re an adventurer, or a school leaver looking for purpose and direction, then this 21-day course is for you.


Serving or retired personnel of 1 NZSAS Regiment and their immediate dependants, aged 18 to 26 years old.


Outward Bound New Zealand is part of an international network of over 30 Outward Bound schools originating in Britain. Early in the Second World War, British merchant ships were torpedoed by submarines; survivors who escaped on lifeboats often had to endure weeks in the open sea before rescue. Lawrence Holt, owner of the British merchant ships, noticed that younger, fitter seamen in the lifeboats were dying at a greater rate than older, more experienced sailors. He discussed the matter with Dr Kurt Hahn, philosopher, educator, and principal of Gordonstoun School. They decided that a short, intensive course offering difficulties and challenges would provide young seamen with the equivalent of a lifetime of experience to help them survive such challenges.

The first Outward Bound School opened at Aberdovey in North Wales in 1941. Realising that the Aberdovey experience would benefit all young adults, Outward Bound’s mission quickly grew to include people from all backgrounds. Outward Bound has grown to an international network of schools delivering:

  • Physical challenge
  • Expeditions that provide adventure and physical, mental and social challenges
  • Opportunities for developing self-reliance, self-discipline and self-knowledge
  • Experience of compassion through service.

Courses are designed to give participants greater insights into their own abilities and tenacity, summed up in Kurt Hahn’s favourite expression “Plus est en vous – There is more in you”. The name ‘Outward Bound’ is a nautical term to denote a ship about to head out of port to open sea.

Today Outward Bound New Zealand’s vision is “Better People, Better Communities, Better World.” They believe that by helping people understand their full potential they can help make our communities and the world a better place.


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Outward Bound offer several types of courses, and the NZSAS Trust specifically supports the Classic course. The Classic course is exactly that – the classic Outward Bound experience for 18 to 26 year olds. Over the 21 day adventure you will experience all outdoor elements and activities Outward Bound has to offer, however, sailing, kayaking, bushcraft and navigation comes second place to the challenge of believing there is more in you, and you can achieve your dreams if you persevere.

Some benefits of a Classic course are that you will:

  1. Challenge yourself and push your limits.
  2. Reflect, discover what is important to you and determine your future direction.
  3. Learn about yourself from both success and failure to take your confidence to the next level.
  4. Discover what it takes to create effective relationships and be part of a successful team.
  5. Develop a stronger sense of personal responsibility in your responses to real and challenging situations.

For further information on the Classic Course refer to the Outward Bound website:  https://www.outwardbound.co.nz


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A young man the Trust recently sponsored on the Classic course shares his experience:

“As I prepared for Outward Bound little did I know how much my life would be changed and how I would make thirteen lifelong friends and thousands of memories, which now hold a very special place in my heart. Outward bound enabled me to think about things that I had never thought about before, and also enabled me to form a new relationship with myself and those around me. I was able to think about the things that I really value, the way that I would like to live my life and ask myself questions that I had never really thought about, such as Who am I? And what actually makes me, me? 

Outward Bound also allowed me to really find myself and value the attributes of every individual within our watch. I soon noticed that every person possesses a different set of attributes and talents that can benefit people in different ways. Some people were good with their outdoors/bush craft, others were very musically talented. I loved the fact that we were all able to learn different skills from one another, thus enabling us to improve ourselves in the long run and learn skills that we could take into our own individual lives.

Outward Bound is simply the most worthwhile thing that I have ever done in my life. I really could not recommend it anymore highly to anyone thinking about the course. For this I really am so thankful from the very bottom of my heart for the sponsorship that I received from the Trust. This course completely changed my life and has given me a new perspective towards every challenge I face. I now think to myself whenever I face any challenge that “There is more in you” (Kurt Hahn).”

– J

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  1. Visit the Outward Bound website and read up on the course requirements, frequently asked questions and identify your preferred course dates. Note: Full course fees are due eight weeks before the course start date. If you enrol closer than eight weeks before the course start date, the full fee is payable immediately. Please take this into consideration when you choose your course dates.
  2. Download a Beneficiary Grant application from the NZSAS Trust website.
  3. Send your application to the NZSAS Trust Secretary at the address on the application form. There is no closing date for this – applications may be submitted year-round.
  4. While each application is considered on a case-by-case basis, successful candidates can expect the Trust to make a generous contribution to the overall cost. Individuals would then be required to pay the outstanding balance.
  5. Should you be successful in receiving an Outward Bound Scholarship, you will then need to submit an online application through the Outward Bound website. (You will be required to pay a deposit to confirm the booking). Once your placement has been confirmed, the NZSAS Trust Finance Manager will liaise with you to arrange completion of payment.

Please note that the all successful applicants will be asked to book their Course and organise their own transport to and from their course.  Applicants must also contact Outward Bound regarding their medical.