Ginger Naylor Appointed As Outward Bound USA’s CEO

Outward Bound USA proudly announced today, the appointment of Ginger Naylor as Outward Bound USA’s new Chief Executive Officer, and the first female in this role in its 60-year history in the United States.

Ginger Naylor commented, “It is not lost on me what this moment means to so many women in the outdoor industry. Many of you have told me directly, you’ve lifted me up and reminded me just how powerful a force we can be. I’m proud to be the first woman and mother to lead Outward Bound USA. I hope you’ll join me in making sure girls all over this country get their opportunity to lead.”

Ginger steps into this national leadership role after twelve years as Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School, one of 10 regional Outward Bound Schools in the U.S. Ginger’s focus on students and their educational experience, her passion for building greater community connection, equity, and access, and her strong strategic leadership skills, guided Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School in becoming the region’s leader in experiential education.

Ginger Nayolr reflects, “Together, we designed co-curricular resources for schools in our community that provided innovative experiences for local students to learn and practice skills that lead to lifelong success. We built long-term research partnerships with prestigious institutions like Johns Hopkins University to provide data that influenced our program design and measured the impact for our students. Our team created transformative, decade-spanning community programs like the Police Youth Challenge, launched a second campus in Washington D.C., and always kept the student first in our strategy.”

Ginger will begin her new role as CEO as Outward Bound USA celebrates 60 years as a pioneering leader in outdoor experiential education in the U.S., serving over 1 million students in its history. Today, the outdoor education leader has programs in over 50 locations spanning the most awe-inspiring and remote wilderness settings in the country. Tens of thousands of students participate in Outward Bound courses each year. They offer 4-day to 80-day wilderness expeditions and gap year programs from sailing the Maine Coast to backpacking in the Colorado Rockies and whitewater rafting in the Northwest. Regional Schools serve thousands of those students right in their own backyards. Through partnerships with schools, youth-serving organizations, and other local groups, Outward Bound Schools also offer one-day programs in city parks and ropes courses at base camp locations.

Outward Bound USA implements and upholds high program standards and guidelines to achieve consistency, quality, and integrity. These practices enable them to provide industry-leading safety and risk management, outcomes-based research and program innovation, and brand and marketing communications strategy and support. Through national fundraising, partner relationships, financial stewardship, and management, Outward Bound USA embodies its mission to change lives through challenge and discovery and its vision for a more resilient and compassionate world.

Outward Bound’s work inspires young people and students of all ages to believe in themselves, discovering there are no limits to what they can accomplish for themselves, their communities, and the world.

In 2021, Outward Bound:

  • Served over 23,000 students across the U.S.
  • Ran 1,000+ courses (from 1-day programming to semester-long courses)
  • Partnered with over 400 local schools and community-based organizations
  • Maintained industry leadership in safety and risk management

As our country moves into the post-pandemic era, Outward Bound USA has the opportunity to build on many changes and possibilities in the education space while making its nationally recognized programs more accessible and inclusive. Ginger’s demonstrated track record for building greater program access through community-led action makes her the ideal person for this work. Outward Bound USA acknowledges a historical lack of equity in the outdoor industry and within their own organization and values Ginger’s firm commitment to equity across all Outward Bound USA staff and student experiences.

“I’m going to push us all to align around goals that require courage and challenge the limits we currently hold for ourselves, our communities, and Outward Bound. I believe we can—and should—revolutionize the field of outdoor education, modernize the way we work, create a workplace that attracts the best outdoor professionals in the U.S., and impact the world,” said Ginger.

Outward Bound USA is excited to have Ginger step into this leadership position, to advance their mission and support Outward Bound Schools and thousands of their students across the U.S.

To support our work, please consider partnering with Outward Bound USA or a donation to our annual fund.

Outward Bound USA is the nonprofit leader in outdoor education programs that allows young people to explore their personal potential, since 1962. From expeditions in some of the most remote locations in the U.S. to programs in local schools and neighborhoods, young people nationwide are cultivating a passion for learning, and discovering greater success in school, work, and life. More information is available at