Many members of Open to Hope have attended Outward Bound’s (aptly named) outdoor sessions, including the Executive Director Gloria’s Horsley’s late son, Scott. Jason Stout has been a part of Outward Bound for years, and recently spoke with Dr. Horsley about why wilderness experiences are so helpful and critical for those in the grieving process. Stout isn’t just a leader at Outward Bound going on 15 years, but also an alumnus. “I attended a seven day Outward Bound course and then an 80 day course,” he shares. “It was life changing for me and had a huge impact on my grief experience.”

It’s common to lose confidence after a loss, but Outward Bound is a challenge that reminds people that they do have the strength. There are various lengths and degrees of challenges available to ensure a proper Outward Bound experience fit for everyone regardless of age or ability. “Outward Bound is leaving the safety of harbor,” Stout says, and when you can overcome challenges in the wilderness, those are skills you can take back to the real world with you.

Winning a Challenge—with Another Challenge

Grief and outdoor expeditions have a lot more in common than people think. Plus, Outward Bound lets attendees get out of their negative routines, familiar surroundings and comfort zones to focus on a new kind of task. It requires building trust and supporting fellow attendees, all with a guide that guarantees safety and guidance.

There’s also plenty of time to rest and reflect during a solitary period. Trauma demands being in nature, a support network, as well as reflection time—“Solo” is an aspect of Outward Bound that allows for this personal time to heal in nature. Connect with Outward Bound today and discover how adventure can help you during your healing journey.



Gloria Horsley

Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She started "Open to Hope" to help the millions in the world with grief. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, The Grief Blog which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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