History of OBS
Outward Bound is an international educational movement that originated in the UK, founded by a German educator named Kurt Hahn. The first Outward Bound School was established in 1941 in Aberdovery, Wales. It was originally meant to train young merchant seamen to be tougher and more resilient in the course of their voyage during the second world war.
After the war, the Outward Bound concept, and soon its institutions began teaching young boys, apart from physical endurance, community, rescue and personal development skills.
In 1967, the idea of an Outward Bound School of Singapore (OBSS) was suggested by the Minister of the Interior and Defence and Deputy Chairman of the People's Association, Dr. Goh Keng Swee. Then, the nation was going through a period of uncertainty and to face challenges ahead, Singapore's leaders had called for the building of a "rugged society".
The original school was started by two New Zealanders - Hamish Thomas and Al Cameron in December 1967. It began with the objectives that still form the basis of the OBS today: "To provide education, leadership and character training; developing the physical, mental and spiritual faculties of boys, girls, young men and women of all races of Singapore".
The management of OBS was moved from the People's Association to the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) in 1971. Besides providing adventure training and leadership training to young men and women, it was an avenue to give ordinary Singaporeans a taste of military life.
OBS was returned to the People's Association in 1991 and the school was been renamed Outward Bound Singapore. The aim of the school was to offer Singapore's young people exciting activities to develop their physical and mental ruggedness, personal confidence and leadership qualities.