Whether it’s college, university an apprenticeship or something else entirely, the Skills for Life Award will give you the clarity to realise your ambitions and achieve your life goals.

Real adventures, real experiences, real skills

Attracting participants from across the country and around the world, the Skills for Life Award goes above and beyond any other Outward Bound experience.

Offering you a fresh perspective on life and introducing you to new friends and new habits. You'll go on a breath-taking journey across land and water, amid some of the UKs most spectacular wilderness environments. 

The badge

Skills For Life Award Badge (1)

The Skills for Life Award is a youth lead programme, that empowers participants to build their own adventure. Below is an example itinerary:

1. Mon 

Arrive 17:00

Phase 1: Finding your feet. An introduction to the Award, your centre and the people in your group.

2. Tues 

Take on the jog and dip for the first time and engage in a high impact activity that will immerse you in spectacular scenery. Have your first 1:1 catchup with your instructor and establish your goals. 

3. Wed 

Get to grips with the vital camp craft and navigation skills that will see you through your first expedition.

4. Thu

Fine-tune your teamwork and communication skills during a problem-solving exercise such as a simulated mountain rescue.

5. Fri 

Phase 2: Developing your personal toolkit. Embark on your first overnight training expedition out on the hills.

6. Sat 

Overnight training expedition.

7. Sun 

Overnight training expedition.

8. Mon 

Return from your training expedition and degunge.

9. Tue 

Chill out, relax and recover. Take the time to review what you've learned, catch up with your instructor and enjoy the creature comforts of centre life.

10. Wed 

Get back on it and throw yourself into some enhanced adventure such as multi-pitch rock climbing, sea kayaking or a ridge scramble.

11. Thu 

Take some time out from your group to build a shelter and reflect on your achievements, on your own, in the wild.

12. Fri 

Expedition planning and team building activities.

13. Sat 

Phase 3: Setting yourself up for success. Hone your presentation skills, catch-up with your instructor with another 1:1 and complete your final expedition prep.

14. Sun 

Embark on your final self-led expedition across both land and water.

15. Mon 

Overnight expedition.

16. Tue 

Overnight expedition.

17. Wed 

Return from your expedition and degunge.

18. Thu 

Final 1:1 catchup and feedback from your instructor. Complete your action plan and take on the jog & dip one last time before your celebration evening and presentation. 

19. Fri 

Depart 09:00


Download the full Outward Bound Skills for Life Award itinerary (415 KB, pdf)

Download the Kit list for this adventure.

What time does the Award start and finish?
The Award will start at 5.30pm on the first Monday and departure is from 9.00am on the third Friday. As part of our all-inclusive package, we offer a free coach transfer to and from central transport hubs. Please call your centre to inform them of your arrival and departure times. We can arrange drop offs at a local train or bus station, or you are welcome to be picked up by parents/guardians at the centre. You are recommended to book your transport as close to start and finish times as possible.

Is the Outward Bound Skills for Life Award for me?
The Award is a truly amazing experience, designed to help you take the next step in life. It's all about building your confidence, independence and skills to support you to get ahead, regardless of your starting position.

The Skills for Life Award includes challenging multi-day expeditions, which often take place on steep terrain, plus you’ll be expected to carry your own kit throughout. It’s therefore advisable that you have a resonable level of fitness to take part. For more tips on getting fit for your adventure, see our main FAQs.

Your days will be packed, and by no means just a holiday. You should be prepared to take on new responsibilities, work with people from all around the world and be open minded to new experiences. Most important of all, you should arrive with a positive outlook and plenty of enthusiasm!

What is included in the price?
The Award is all inclusive. We provide all specialist equipment including waterproofs and boots, as well as food, accommodation, insurance and a coach transfer service. You only need to bring a small amount of personal spending money, around £10-15 per week plus a £10 refundable deposit for equipment. Each centre has a small shop selling snacks, toiletries and souvenirs. The shops do not sell cigarettes or alcohol.

Self confidence and self belief

A new-found sense of confidence, independence and breadth of experience that will set you apart from your peers


Greater understanding of the value of speaking and listening skills and how to articulate yourself

Team working

Experience in persuasion, negotiation and influencing skills as well as working together and cooperating

Self management

Gain a greater sense of personal responsibility, flexibility, and time management

Making the most of opportunities

Understanding the importance of a positive mindset, openness to new ideas and the desire to achieve

Problem solving

Ability to find creative solutions and be able to analyse the facts


Bouncebackability and the capacity to recover quickly from setbacks

UK *




* With charitable funding for UK residents or UK passport holders


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Skills for Life Award 2015