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The BOSS Mission

The Boulder Outdoor Survival School is dedicated to the instruction and preservation of traditional living skills and the development of people through experiences within the natural world.

Keeping Traditions Alive

For over four decades, BOSS has sought to teach and preserve traditional living skills – the skills that native peoples around the world have used for tens of thousands of years to survive and thrive in the world around them. We focus on these skills because we believe that some of the wisdom of ancient cultures can be found in them: there is beauty in a buckskin shirt, simplicity in a friction fire technique, artistry in an obsidian point. The skills to produce such things require an intimate understanding of the natural world, its materials, its rhythms and its cycles. By teaching students the traditional living skills of the Ancestral Puebloans, the Navajo, and the Fremont (to name but a few), we create a connection between cultures that crosses time and space. With this comes an opportunity for a new perspective on our modern world.

We do not seek to live in the past, nor to live in fear of catastrophe.  We do, however, hope to bring the wisdom of the past and the knowledge of traditional skills with us into the future.

Better People Through Adversity

The second half of the BOSS mission statement focuses on the development of people through experiences in the natural world. Our courses take place in the wilderness for a reason: Mother Nature is one of the greatest catalysts for insight, growth, renewal and discovery. Hike through the astounding beauty of Southern Utah and you will not be the same. But more than that, BOSS facilitates an experience within that wilderness that seeks to take you out of your comfort zone and put you in a place where you must stretch to grow – physically, mentally or emotionally. This is especially true on our Field courses, where we may intentionally push your buttons. Not in a malicious or sadistic way, of course, but in a way that is consistent with the rites of passage that have always given people the chance to transform into something better.