Outdoor Explore

Outdoor Explore (OE) is an evidence-informed, youth development program based in the Blue Mountains. The program uses nature and the experience of adventure in a group setting to achieve a range of bio-psycho-social outcomes.

OE offers a variety of adventurous activities for young people to try. OE facilitators consider individual experience, abilities and goals, as well as team objectives when selecting the venue and challenge difficulty, ensuring all adventures are safe and inclusive creating a positive experiences!

The program encourages young people to push their limits, grow in resilience, and better understand their own social and emotional growth. While Outdoor Exploreing, rock-climbing, abseiling, bike-riding and bushwalking, participants learn new skills, confront challenges and fears in a supportive environment. As well as these activities, the program also includes discussion topics on personal development and wellbeing. Outdoor Explore participants graduate with new skills, as well as enhanced confidence, self-efficacy and peer relationships. Plus, they have heaps of fun!


Endless activities

  • Bushwalking
  • Team-building activities; for example, initiatives, low or high ropes, raft-building.
  • Bush-craft/Survival skills
  • Canoeing
  • Swimming
  • Mountain Biking
  • Abseiling
  • Rock-Climbing

Putting participants in control

  • Research shows that effective programs are voluntary, empowering, and co-designed.
  • Assessment of readiness: OE facilitators explore the idea of being ready for an outdoor adventure program through pre-engagement with families, schools and the young people themselves.
  • Co-design: Young people are given a voice so that the program reflects their needs; they inform the activities and discussion topics.
  • Feedback Informed Treatment: OE facilitators create a safe space where young people feel comfortable to provide feedback. OE facilitators treat young people with respect and are responsive to the needs highlighted within feedback.
  • Challenge by choice: Young people are empowered through challenges to recognise their own boundaries and supported when they communicate that they are not ready. It is a feat to have the ability and the confidence to speak up when things aren’t feeling right.

Putting safety first

Physical safety: Outdoor Explore staff are experienced and qualified outdoor instructors who are continuously identifying hazards and controlling risk, keeping your young person safe.

Psychological (emotional) safety: Staff operate from a trauma-responsive framework and work intentionally to create safe spaces for participants to explore themselves and try out new ways of being. Staff aid participants to make sense of their experience and help transfer learnings into their everyday lives.

Social safety: Facilitators lead programs through role-modelling respect and inclusivity for all people. Facilitators create opportunities for young people to have successful social interactions and develop greater interpersonal skills.

Building a community

  • OE facilitates opportunities for parents and significant others to be involved in the process of change.
  • OE provides an ongoing space for Outdoor Explore graduates to connect and form a community.
  • OE supports young people to connect with MYST and it’s additional services such as the Youth Centre and counselling.

Would you like to know more?

Explore more about Bush Adventure Therapy:


  • Explore more about Feedback Informed Treatment and the Adventure Therapy Outcome Monitoring (ATOM) study:
    ATOM – Will Dobud
  • Worried about safety? Explore incidents in the Outdoor industry through the National Incidents Database:
    The UPLOADS Project

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