“I believe passionately in the work Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center does for children and adults by widening our horizons and expanding our vision of the world, the environment, and of each other.”

— Nathaniel Coolidge, longtime friend, supporter, chairman of the board (1991-1995) and current trustee emeritus

Make a world of difference today.

At Thompson Island Outward Bound, we believe that every kid can discover the freedom of possibility. Through our partnership with Boston’s 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.

In order to reduce the achievement and opportunity gaps facing Boston middle schoolers, our research-based curriculum features hands-on field science infused with Outward Bound’s unique approach to character development.

Our education programs are provided at no cost to schools or students, funded by a combination of philanthropy and the island’s events business. Please join us in supporting Boston’s youth.


What Your Gift Provides

Each year close to 5,000 young people participate in Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center’s programs. We set the stage for young people to explore their possibilities as leaders, problem solvers, and responsible citizens of the global community. Whether it is a scientific research project that brings learning alive, a summer job that teaches workforce readiness skills, or a challenging sailing adventure that changes the trajectory of a young life forever, young people are profoundly impacted by their experiences on Thompson Island.

Your gift goes directly to supporting programming for youth in Boston’s most underserved neighborhoods. In partnership with Boston Public Schools, our Connections program aims to close the opportunity and achievement gap that exists among students of diverse backgrounds. Integrating Massachusetts curriculum frameworks into hands-on field experiences, the program combines collaboration and communication skills with learning in the natural world to create opportunities for success in school, in future careers, and in the community.

The Scholarship Fund offers individual Boston Public School students and their classes the ability to participate in extraordinary Outward Bound Summer Expeditions and Discovery courses. Physical and emotional challenges combined with hands-on learning initiatives help these young people realize their potential by working together, problem solving, and communicating effectively. Youth leave transformed with new leadership skills, increased confidence, strong friendships, and a powerful sense of accomplishment.
Learn more about our Programs
View the Scholarship Report

Evidence of Success

What young people learn on Thompson Island matters. Experiences in the natural world enhance children’s ability to concentrate, observe, think creatively, and use their imagination. Independent evaluations of our students have concluded Thompson Island is strenthening children’s academic performance in ELA, Math, and Science as well as Life Skills. This edition of the Evidence of Success highlights our science work and its impact on Boston students.
Read Full Report

A Look at the Numbers

Ways of Giving


We are proud to honor our most generous and loyal individual and family contributors who make ongoing annual gifts.

ISLE Society

The ISLE Society, is the young professionals group of Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center.

Matching Gifts

By taking advantage of your company’s matching gifts program, you could potentially double your support.

Tribute Gift

Tribute gifts are made in honor or in memory of someone special to you. For Tribute gifts of $25 or more, we send your special person two ferry passes valid for a visit to Thompson Island next summer.


Consider a gift of your stocks or bonds and your appreciated securities, and offset your capital gains tax.


When you make an endowed gift, an annual distribution is made for the purpose you designate, and the fund will generate support in perpetuity.


Name us as a beneficiary in your will and living trust, and estate tax savings may be significant. A bequest may be for a dollar amount or a percentage of your estate.

Amazon Smiles

When you do your shopping through smile.amazon.com and select Thompson Island, Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase to our cause!