This course is an extended canoe expedition in one of America's last true wilderness areas. Rock climbing, ropes course, service, solo, final expedition and a wilderness triathlon are only a few aspects that make this adventure a true life experience that you will never forget! This course is ideal for teenagers who are motivated to challenge themselves mentally, physically, and personally. This is achieved by setting daily goals, paddling each day to make it to the next camp as well as creating lifelong friendships with your expedition team through trust and companionship.
Our instructors are committed to bringing teenagers into the wilderness and exposing them to the beauty, freedom and the adventure of Outward Bound. From portaging canoes to taking care of your teammates, building a fire to building character, the Boundary Waters is a perfect place to get out on your own and practice the independence and leadership that everyone craves no matter what age. The course structure is focused on student success, self-confidence and teamwork. Students are expected to try their best, exercise compassion, craftsmanship, tenacity and to have an incredible experience in Northern Minnesota!
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is a labyrinth of lakes and rock that has been specifically protected as a true American wilderness. No roads, power lines, or motorized craft (with the exception of a handful of lakes) may enter its borders. The BWCAW has seen little change since the glaciers receded 10,000 years ago. Over one million acres in size, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness extends nearly 150 miles along the Canadian border adjacent to Quetico Provincial Park.
Waterfalls, sheer rock cliffs and deep, crystal-clear lakes are only a few natural wonders that can be seen in the BWCAW. Moose, deer, beaver, and otter are a few of the wildlife you may encounter or see evidence of while on route. This wilderness area contains several thousand portage-linked lakes and streams interspersed with islands, forests and crags. It has no piped water, prepared shelters or signs to point the way. You must rely on your instructors and group members to reach your camp each day.
This course not only builds canoeing skills but also promotes teamwork as the entire group carries canoes and gear from one lake to the other during the expedition route. Each evening you will engage in discussions to review personal and group challenges encountered as well as additional ones to be expected in days to come. Topics include leadership, independent (and interdependent) decision-making, responsibility and teamwork.
During your expedition there will also be opportunities to learn geology, environmental ethics and natural history. Successful completion of your course demands mastery of skills, trust, fitness, confidence, leadership, initiative and compassion. The promotion of these qualities and the discovery of what is in you is the purpose of Outward Bound.
Once reaching camp in the evening and all chores are completed, you will sit around the fire (that you built) reflecting about the trials and tribulations of the day, laugh at hilarious jokes, plan the next day’s route, and through conversation, see how others are not so different than you expected them to be. These are the moments you will remember for the rest of your life.
Throughout course you will learn paddle strokes, camp craft and the art of portaging. The Boundary Waters contains thousands of lakes connected by short trails. Carrying your canoes and packs between each lake requires teamwork, ingenuity, grit and perseverance. As you explore this wooded land consisting of clear blue lakes and winding rivers, you may stop along the way to learn rock climbing. We will teach you proper climbing, belaying and rappelling techniques. You and your crew will cheer each other on as each of you scale vertical granite cliffs (securely tied into anchored ropes of course). A high ropes course, Personal Challenge Event (in the form of a wilderness triathlon), solo and service are also components of this two to three week expedition that culminates with a final expedition where your instructors become silent group members for you and your team to make the decisions.
NOTE: Virtually all airlines, except United and Southwest, require that travelers age 14 or younger flying without a companion over the age of 18 pay for their Unaccompanied Minor service. This fee ranges anywhere from $40 to $75 each way. In most cases, the Unaccompanied Minor service is OPTIONAL for travelers between the ages of 15-17.
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.