Venture deep into some of the oldest mountains in the world on this 22-28 day, multi-activity leadership expedition. Travel with a crew through lush forests, cook your own meals, set up camp in the backcountry, navigate rivers by canoe and learn Leave No Trace techniques to minimize your impact on the land. After long days of challenge and adventure, you’ll be rewarded with skills that last a lifetime. Enjoy views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the company of your crew as you backpack over varied terrain, climb rock faces and paddle down cool mountain whitewater. Longer courses allow time to conduct service projects such as maintaining trails, partnering with nonprofits or helping at local farms and gardens. These projects illuminate the true meaning of giving back, the value of compassion and your own ability to lead. No prior experience is necessary. You just have to be willing to dig deep, embrace the moment and take on the challenge.
No two Outward Bound expeditions are ever quite the same. Every crew is unique; every route is distinct; and every adventure is dynamic. But one thing remains the same. On each course, students rise to meet exhilarating natural challenges in some of the country’s wildest places – and find strength and determination along the way.
- Build core skills: Learn and practice wilderness, teamwork and leadership skills. Form a crew that supports and encourages one another, and in the thick of challenges, discover there is more in you than you know.
- Practice Outward Bound values: Learn to incorporate Outward Bound values into everyday life by pushing your own limits and seeking challenge as an opportunity for personal growth.
- Demonstrate mastery: As the course nears the end, take on more leadership and decision-making responsibilities. Work together to apply new skills and achieve team goals during this final phase of the expedition.
- What you’ll learn: Return home a stronger, more resilient individual. Discover increased self-confidence, improved leadership, and a desire to make a difference.
During this course, students backpack through the Pisgah National Forest of Western North Carolina. Students and their crewmates learn safety precautions for backcountry foot travel, how to find campsites, how to navigate varied terrain, how to use a map and compass, as well as how to do these activities responsibly. Equally important is time spent learning conflict resolution, communication styles, leadership and team building. After practicing all these skills, the instructors step back and let the crew work together to collectively navigate through the wilderness.
After backpacking for a few days, students spend a few days either climbing up a mountain or rappelling down one. Depending on weather and group dynamics, the crew may even have the opportunity to experience a high ropes obstacle course. These activities push students to step outside of their comfort zones to communicate and trust one another. With a focus on safety, this course activity starts with the basics, such as working with ropes and learning to tie knots.
Weather permitting, participants spend up to three days maneuvering Class I-III whitewater through sculpted rock channels in tandem (two person) canoes, perfect for fostering collaboration and communication skills between crewmates. Students execute synchronized strokes, dynamic eddy turns, peel-outs and ferries on the French Broad or Tuckaseegee Rivers and occasionally on the Chattooga, New and Nantahala Rivers. During this portion of the course, topics may include: basic water safety and rescue techniques, identification and use of equipment, how to work with paddling partners to successfully negotiate class l-III rapids and flat water strokes.
Blue Ridge Mountains, NC
The Southern Appalachians, including the Blue Ridge Mountains, are some of the oldest mountains in the world. While the mountains themselves formed over 250 million years ago, some of the rocks that underlie the region are over a billion years old.
The long geologic and evolutionary history of the Southern Appalachians has created one of the most biologically diverse regions in the temperate world. It is home to beautiful rushing rivers, hundreds of waterfalls and some of the highest peaks in the Eastern United States—including Mt. Mitchell (elevation 6,684 feet), the highest point east of the Mississippi River. Outward Bound students can expect to share the wilderness with over 700 different kinds of trees, more than 50 types of mammals, 150 different types of birds and over 50 species of amphibians.
This course area is situated within a million acres of national forests, federally-protected wilderness areas, and other public lands. Its diverse landscapes have been featured in many motion pictures, including The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans.
Temperatures in this area range from 50 - 85 degrees in the summer, 30 - 65 degrees in the spring and fall, and 10 - 50 degrees in the winter.
If you are ready to enroll on a course click the enroll button next to the course you wish to select or you can enroll over the phone by speaking with one of our Admissions Advisors (toll-free) at 866-467-7651.
To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee. Click here to learn more about the complete enrollment process.