The Environmental Leadership expedition will expand the curiosities of the eco-minded and adventurous. A group of individuals will become a tightly woven team as they travel in harmony through one of the world's largest and rarest estuaries.
The Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the nation, is the meeting point where 400 rivers, creeks and streams spanning from NY to VA all travel to the Atlantic Ocean. It boasts 4,600 miles of tidal shoreline perfect for kayaking. Settled by the Powhatan Indians and first explored by Captain John Smith in the 1600’s, history and nature intersect in the Chesapeake Bay to create a place with endless potential for discovery. This expedition focuses on the Northeastern section where the Susquehanna River pours into the Chesapeake Bay.
By day, immerse yourself in the incomparable beauty, feel the natural rhythms, explore the vast shoreline, experience an afternoon rainstorm or bask under the bluebird sky while gliding through this remarkably diverse ecosystem. Watch shorebirds fly into the setting sun and enjoy the moonlit symphony of frogs and shorebirds as water laps against the shore while students converse and get to know one another at evening meeting around the fire. Partnerships with Maryland Department of Fish & Wildlife, The Chesapeake Conservancy, and Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation open up protected lands to campsites and enhance our curriculum to increase student’s knowledge based stewardship of the region.
Join the adventure to share in the discovery and preservation of this abundant resource.
Your course starts at the Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School where you’ll meet your teammates and prepare your expedition gear with your instructors. Your instructors will help you re-pack your gear into dry bags we provide. The first night will be filled with introductions, both to your team and to your equipment. Depending on the weather, you might paddle, swim or spend some time sitting around your first campfire as you enjoy your first trail-meal together. When the mosquitoes arrive it’s probably time for bed. Crawl into your tents and sleeping bags and start getting used to the sounds of the Chesapeake Bay as you drift off to sleep for the night.
In the morning you’ll pack up your camp, have breakfast and hit the water. You’ll learn to pack everything you need into your boats, make sure your kayak is fitted to your body and practice your wet-exit. Over the next week you’ll paddle your way from campsite to campsite learning the skills you need to survive and even live comfortably in tune with the rhythms of the Bay. Hands-on activities and lessons learning about the human and natural history of the Bay is a key part of this expedition thanks to a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, who have been working to protect the bay through education programs since 1967.
You’ll learn how to paddle your boats in a variety of conditions, set-up camp, cook camp meals, and navigate with a map and compass. As you and your team overcome numerous expedition challenges, you’ll also develop a greater belief in yourself and trust in one another. Successful completion of your course will require more than the mastery of technical skills; teamwork will prove to be as important as everything else combined.
Towards the end of your expedition you’ll have your Solo experience. Solo is an opportunity to practice the skills you’ve learned and reflect on your expedition. You’ll set-up your own shelter and spend some time reflecting on your experience. Your instructors will check-in on you, but don’t be surprised if you’re doing just fine without any help. The self-reliance you practice during your solo can be one of the most profound and rewarding aspects of your expedition.
Soon after Solo you’ll exit the wilderness and make your way back to the Baltimore base. You’ll clean up and return your equipment and then enjoy a piping hot shower, perhaps the most memorable and enjoyable shower of your life, before joining your group for a graduation ceremony and final meal to celebrate all that you’ve accomplished.
- Sea Kayaking
- Expedition Style Camping
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation Conservation Curriculum
- Human and Natural History of The Chesapeake Bay
- Outdoor Camp Cooking
- Basic Survival Skills
- Navigation with Map and Compass
- VHF Radio Use
- Rules & Regulations in the Marine Environment
To apply for this course click the apply button next to the course dates that work for you. The non-refundable application fee of $125 is due at the time of application. For full fee schedule and process, click here. Course tuitions listed do not include our application fee or transportation fee.