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Who We Are

Changing Lives Through Challenge and Discovery


Thompson Island Outward Bound is a proud member of the network of 11 Outward Bound sites in the U.S. who share the mission of changing lives through challenge and discovery.

At Thompson Island Outward Bound, we believe every student can discover the freedom of possibility, as students move from “I can't” and “I'm not” to “I can.”

Through our partnership with the Boston Public Schools, each year thousands of students board the Thompson Island Outward Bound ferry to discover who they are and all they can become on an island classroom that spans 204 acres of salt marshes, woods, campsites, labs, dormitories and dozens of challenge structures.

Playing a crucial role in closing the opportunity and achievement gaps facing Boston middle schoolers, our multi-year curriculum features hands-on field science infused with Outward Bound’s unique approach to character development, compassion, and service.

Our core education programs are provided at no cost to students, funded by a combination of philanthropy and the island’s events business.

A local and national treasure, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center is located in the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park, just one mile from downtown Boston.  Since 1833, the island has functioned as a non-profit expanding education and life opportunities for Boston youth.

Learn Through Challenge and Adventure

Our programs blend academic with adventure to create social-emotional learning experiences that allow our students to discover who they are and all they can become. With our flagship program, Connections, designed specifically for Boston Public School students, our Green Ambassadors program that opens doors onto the green jobs sector, Discovery expeditions for schools and youth groups, and Outward Bound Professional teambuilding programs for corporations and universities, there are opportunities for everyone to learn through challenge on Thompson Island.

Explore Our Programs

Give Back to Your Community

We are able to offer our educational adventure programs to students in the Boston Public Schools completely free all year round because of generous sponsors like you. Through corporate volunteers, our annual 4k trail run, our Boston Marathon team, and many more opportunities, our community of donors are coming together to support Boston's students.

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Events with a Purpose

Have the wedding of your dreams. Host a corporate party they'll never forget. Hold this year's conference with views of the Boston city skyline. Our events venue offers panoramic views in a one-of-a-kind setting that can make any event unforgettable. Host your wedding or event on Thompson Island and you're supporting our educational programs while you party with a purpose!

Discover Our Venue

Keep Exploring Our Island


Get to know our history, our values, and discover the many reasons to get involved with Thompson Island Outward Bound.

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