Designed specifically to help families rebuild strong, healthy relationships, this expedition is ideal for teens struggling with low self-image, engaging in potentially risky behaviors, not living up to their potential and demonstrating poor decision-making skills. The journey begins with a desert backpacking expedition and ends with a transition phase that includes a family seminar. During the course, instructors facilitate activities that build teamwork skills, help students make better decisions and encourage each student to find the leader within themselves. The expedition also includes a structured opportunity to give back through two days of community service. The wilderness through Big Bend backpacking expedition concludes with an intensive family conference and workshop, which helps the entire family leverage the experience into a model for everyday life. Both parents and teens walk away with a new outlook, a new plan and new optimism for success.
|VRIB-763||11.14.17 - 12.11.17||28||14 - 17||$6,895||ENROLL|
|VRIB-861||1.23.18 - 2.19.18||28||17 - 21||$6,895||ENROLL|
|VRIB-862||3.6.18 - 4.2.18||28||17 - 21||$6,895||ENROLL|
This course may be full or preparing to leave in the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
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.
On the Texas-Mexico border, students learn to backpack through rugged desert up to mountainous terrain with elevations ranging from 2,500 to 7,500 feet. During the expedition, instructors help students learn safe desert travel and teach them to plan the expedition around water management strategies. The group navigates from “tinaja” to “tinaja” - desert water sources vital to desert life.
Regardless of a student’s rock climbing background, they are sure to find something that will both challenge and encourage the expansion of their comfort zone. Students learn about general rock-climbing equipment, safety and etiquette before learning how to belay. The full day of rock climbing provides ample opportunities to climb, belay and rappel over the edge, eventually descending safely to the base of majestic cliffs.
As the course draws to a close, students have made great strides having learned how to balance freedom and responsibility, how to be part of a team, and how to make good choices and stick by them. They feel good about themselves and life. But now it’s back to reality. How do teens and families translate the incredible Intercept experience into lasting positive change?
Parents or guardians are a critical link in the success of the Intercept experience. Parents and guardians have the opportunity to think through their relationship with their teen by using a comprehensive workbook. Then, an intensive two- or three-day seminar helps form and solidify the path ahead.
The next step is the parent conference and debrief. Families meet one-on-one with at least one of the expedition instructors to learn how their teen fared on the course. They hear a detailed account of what the course was like, the struggles and success of the group, and how their teen handled the challenges. With the instructor, parents prepare for the next day’s meeting with their teen.
Finally, it’s time to make a plan. Together with an instructor acting as a facilitator, parents and teens come up with a new agreement to guide life at home. The goal for the family is to know that teens can conduct themselves appropriately and to clearly define expectations. The goal for the student is to have a say in the direction their life takes and to clearly understand what is required to earn more freedom.
Service is an integral part of the Outward Bound curriculum. Students are encouraged to practice service to the environment in the form of leaving campsites cleaner than we find them and practicing Leave No Trace ethics throughout the expedition. Preparing people to be of service to others is one of the core values of Outward Bound. During this expedition, students participate in two days of community service. Service in Texas is designed to offer as much interaction with local people as possible, as a way of exchanging cultural awareness. The specific type of service project depends upon the structure of the course as well as local needs and opportunities. Service projects could include helping paint and clean in a border town or working in a local wilderness area.
The solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition and gives students the opportunity to reflect on their Outward Bound experience. Many students use this reflection time to make decisions about their future, journal and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings unencumbered by the constant external stimulation of modern life. The duration of solo depends on the course length and type, as well as the competency and preparedness of the student group. With all the food, skills and supplies they need, participants are given a secluded spot to reflect alone and are monitored by staff throughout the experience to maintain safety. Students find that solo provokes profound and powerful learning in a short period of time and often becomes one of the most memorable parts of their Outward Bound experience.
Courses are offered in a variety of locations and for different lengths to provide a range of programming from which participants can choose the optimal experience for them. Longer courses allow for a full immersion into the Outward Bound experience, more time to practice wilderness travel, and the opportunity to experience both success and failure to promote personal growth. The Intercept course in particular offers the opportunity to be fully removed from the temptations and triggers of day-to-day life and start fresh with new habits and new lessons. Students can expect to get comfortable living and working together in the wilderness while creating a solid foundation of skill sets and they can continue to build on after course. With the added support of parent or guardian involvement, students are really able to take lessons they’ve learned on this course back to their home lives and implement the changes they want to see.
Rio Grande, TX
The Texas course area is one of the most remote and geologically interesting in the Outward Bound system. Along the US-Mexico border in southwestern Texas, the Rio Grande River carves a huge sweeping bend, earning its name—Big Bend National Park. This 750,000-square mile wilderness area is an ideal setting for desert backpacking, canyoneering and rock climbing. In this region, delicate desert flowers exist alongside fossilized trees millions of years old and mountain passes give way to steep-walled canyons and cliffs. Much of this landscape has remained unchanged for centuries.
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.