This six-day sea kayaking expedition provides veterans with an opportunity to connect with one another in a positive, wilderness setting outside of the military. No previous sea kayaking experience is required, as instructors teach the crew everything they need to know: how to pack appropriately, paddle, set up tarps and navigate the emerald green waters of Lake Superior. As the team works to overcome challenges and move toward a common goal, they build camaraderie, establish trust and discuss and reflect on shared experiences. Time spent in the untarnished wilderness enables the rediscovery of strength and peace of mind to help navigate civilian life – and helps remind participants why they lead lives of purpose and service.
Outward Bound Veterans expeditions build on camaraderie and the challenge of the natural world as a pathway to healing. These expeditions encourage participants to connect with existing strengths and bond with fellow veterans in a safe, positive, mission-driven environment. As they harness the power of wartime experiences like carrying heavy packs, moving fatigued muscles and sleeping outside, these courses help build the self-confidence and sense of purpose veterans need to continue serving as leaders in their families, communities and the nation.
- Build core skills: Veterans receive hands-on training on expedition and personal skills. As part of an inclusive, supportive crew, they gain communication skills, establish trust and validate experiences among other veterans.
- Practice Outward Bound values: Instructors focus on Outward Bound core values like compassion, integrity, excellence, inclusion and diversity to help veterans reflect, share insights and live in the present moment.
- Process and Reflect: Journaling, one-on-one and group discussions help veterans understand how Outward Bound experiences might translate to coping skills back home.
- What participants learn: Veterans return home inspired, ready to tap into rediscovered strengths and eager to find new ways to contribute to society.
Skilled Outward Bound instructors and Lake Superior herself provide exceptional learning opportunities for all paddlers - from the complete novice to talented sea kayaker. Participants learn a variety of paddling, landing, rescue and navigation skills to contend with diverse weather and water conditions. Paddling anywhere from zero to 20 miles in a day, groups camp just inland from sandy bays or rocky shorelines.
Apostle Islands, Wisconsin
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a designated United States National Park and encompasses 21 islands along the southern shore of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. Windswept beaches, sea caves, cliffs and historic lighthouses are just a few of the park’s highlights.
While the Apostle Islands are known for incredible clear blue skies, weather patterns change quickly, making the area a popular but challenging sea kayaking destination. Strong sea kayaking skills and guidance from a highly trained instructors are essential when sea kayaking on Lake Superior.