Geared specifically toward young men struggling with unhealthy risk-taking, low-motivation, defiance, anger and/or poor school performance, this course helps examine the decisions they’ve been making in their lives, and practice new ways of setting goals and connecting decisions with consequences. The goal is to help students find the leader within them. Students experience the joys and challenges of canoe travel, camp craft and group dynamics while traveling in the unique ecosystems of Florida’s waterways. New activities, crewmates and environments help to break bad habits and coach students on discovering the next positive step in their lives. During the expedition, instructors facilitate activities that focus on teamwork skills, making better decisions, and considering the relationship between freedom and responsibilities at home. Instructors have extensive experience in wilderness living and adhere to the highest safety standards in the industry. The course is comprised of a Wilderness Expedition, Debrief and Parent/Student seminar. Students and their families walk away with a new outlook, a new plan, and a new optimism for success. Together the components of expedition, debrief and family seminar, provide a focus on teamwork, communication techniques, giving and receiving feedback, respect for others, anger management, helping students practice positive decision-making, and working to find new directions for a brighter future.
This course is closed for the season. 2018 courses coming soon.
Outward Bound Intercept expeditions are specifically designed for struggling teens and their families. These highly structured courses remove young people from the pressures and influences of home and school, and present them instead with healthy risks and natural challenges. In a fresh, wilderness environment, students practice new ways of making choices and setting goals.
This challenging 28-day expedition is focused on:
Students will enjoy a unique experience as they paddle through Florida’s ecosystems. During this course participants can expect to spend a good deal of time each day in canoes going from campsite to campsite. These canoes are tandem, which means student duos will need to learn to work together and communicate as they travel. Depending on the weather, the level of difficulty will vary day to day, but crews will learn marine expedition risk assessment and management, marine route planning and navigation, paddle strokes, canoe-based rescues, equipment use and how to work with a paddling partner.
A little more than halfway through course, students will participate in a reflection period called, solo. During this time, Instructors assign students to their own individual campsites within a designated area. These sites are both secluded and within hearing distance of other group members and instructors for safety. Students will be given all the necessary gear, food, water and skills to enjoy this time alone. They will also know the location of their Instructors’ solo site should they need to contact them for any reason, and instructors will be monitoring students closely during this experience. This experience is a great opportunity for students to relax, recharge and reflect on their course after having long days of strenuous group activities.
After the wilderness expedition ends, instructors meet with parents and provide a detailed account of what the course was like—including the struggles and successes—and how students handled challenges.
Together, parents and students participate in a two to three day intensive seminar that focuses on transitioning newly acquired skills from the program back into everyday life. With an instructor, families create a new agreement to guide life once they are back at home. At least one parent or guardian is required to be present at this seminar.
This canoeing expedition will take place in one of the two areas:
Florida Central Rivers
Central Florida is home to some of the country’s most historic and biologically diverse waterways. It offers paddling on small, winding canoe trails as well as larger rivers and lakes, with camping in a variety of environments from hardwood hammock forests to barrier islands. The Suwannee River, Ocklawaha River, and St John’s River offer hundreds of miles of paddling in some of the country’s most unspoiled wilderness. These rivers support a variety of ecosystems, including freshwater springs, swamps, sandy beaches, hardwood hammock trees and salt marshes. Shaded by giant Cypress and Tupelo trees, these rivers support a variety of wildlife and have deep cultural histories. On Central Florida’s east coast, the Indian River Lagoon, which encompasses Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore, is the most diverse estuary in North America. Nearly one third of the nation’s manatee population resides in this 156 mile-long waterway, along with an abundance of dolphins and other marine life.
This course takes place off the west coast of southern Florida in Everglades National Park and Ten Thousand Islands national Wildlife Refuge. As the largest sub-tropical wilderness in the United States and third-largest national park in the lower 48 states, The Everglades provide a variety of precious wildlife habitat. The aquatic preserve includes more than 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, and 40 species of mammals, within its confines. Everglades National Park is one of only three locations in the world to show up on the following lists: International Biosphere Reserve, Wetland of an International Importance and World Heritage Site.
This course area is in a subtropical region, with a 12-month growing season. The Florida peninsula is believed to be the last part of the continental United States to rise from the ocean, making it the youngest region geologically and only Alaska can claim a longer shoreline. The Everglades are mild and pleasant from December through April, with low humidity and clear skies. Temperatures reach average highs of 88 degrees and lows of 54 degrees. Strong cold fronts may occasionally create near freezing conditions, but such events are rare in this subtropical climate.
"I will be forever grateful to Outward Bound for giving me my son back. While on course he found his strength, his confidence and his voice. He learned how to work in a team and more importantly, he learned that he can be a vital member of a team. He is using the course tools in his everyday life and has the struggles and accomplishments from course to refer to when facing challenges of everyday life. We were worried how the transition home would work but the parent seminar was very appropriate. The team did an excellent job of teaching the parents what the kids learned in order to help us incorporate their new skills into our own households." - Tara B., Parent
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.