This is a training course for individuals interested in a career in Outdoor Education. It includes Wilderness First Responder (an advanced first aid certification) and focuses on teaching and facilitation as well as wilderness skills.
It includes a canoe expedition in the Boundary Waters, backpacking and rock climbing on the north shore of Lake Superior and a sea kayaking expedition in Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area (LSNMCA). Applicants will undergo a thorough review process to ensure that the course is right for them.
Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area (LSNMCA) is an amazing secret bay along the far northern shore of Lake Superior. It is little known but a best kept secret and favorite location for many of our sea kayak instructors who have also worked or traveled on both coasts.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness 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 on a handful of lakes) may enter its borders, so the Boundary Waters has changed little since the glaciers receded 10,000 years ago. Over 1 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 abound. Moose, deer, beaver, and otter are just a few of the wildlife you may see or see evidence of while you are there. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness 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. Adventure awaits
Wilderness Instructor Course
Enhance your readiness to work in outdoor programs by participating in this extensive multi-faceted educational expedition. Expand your skills in the following activities: sea kayaking, wilderness canoe travel, and rock climbing. Learn group facilitation methods and creative course planning strategies. Study risk management with groups in a variety of settings and situations, planning for and actually teaching area youth. Wilderness First Responder and Leave No Trace courses included; academic credit is available. The Wilderness Educators Course is a specialized Outward Bound course designed to train you in the skills necessary for an entry level job in the field of outdoor education. In addition to developing outdoor skills, group and individual management and teaching, you will learn philosophy and curriculum specific to Outward Bound, the world's original outdoor education institution.
Your group of six to 10 students will complete an expedition in the style of Outward Bound, learning about wilderness education through direct experience. Your instructors and other staff will enrich your expedition with seminars and discussions about how to teach both the skills you know and those you learn, plus broader issues concerning how to manage a wilderness experience to achieve specific goals for individuals and groups.
The Outward Bound Difference
Immerse yourself into the field of outdoor education through this comprehensive course for aspiring outdoor educators. Designed for those interested in careers in outdoor, adventure, and experiential education, this course focuses on skill development in the outdoor mediums of rivers, rock, and mountains. These industry-standard are combined with skill development in educational theory, OB pedagogy, teaching, leadership, risk management and group facilitation. Successful graduates will be well positioned for future work with camp programs, trip leading, high school or college outdoor programs, or Outward Bound work.
Your group will travel to the Canadian shore of Lake Superior. From there you begin your sea kayak expedition from Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area (LSNMCA) along Lake Superior's north shore. You will learn the art of paddling a sea kayak in varied weather, landing the craft in a variety of conditions, and navigation and rescue techniques. Your instructors will share the secrets of balancing your boat, handling it safely in the elements, and how to safely and effectively teach these skills to students.
You will develop your paddling and teaching skills and come to know your group while traveling and camping along the rugged, rocky shoreline. You will experience challenging open water crossings where fog, waves, and weather can make sea-kayaking much more than just paddling. Black Bay hosts a wide variety of craggy and smooth shorelines dotted by the occasional antique lighthouse and fringed by thick forests.
Your 18-20-day canoe expedition across the rugged and remote Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness will explore gigantic 150,000 acre lakes, paddle challenging "off the map" primitive areas and may include the Grand Portage, a nine-mile historic portage overland from Lake Superior to the Pigeon River.
The Boundary Waters surrounds a thousand year old trade route, which now defines the US Canadian border, used by the Ojibwe people and Voyageurs. To travel between lakes or around large rapids, the group will work as a team to carry packs and canoes over portage trails' rugged paths that can be as short as 30 yards or as long as a mile. Personal packs weigh at least 40 pounds, sometimes considerably more. Wilderness canoe expeditions are un-resupplied.
The group also will transport three to four heavier packs for food and equipment. These weigh between 50 and 80 pounds. Canoes weigh 75 pounds. This backcountry expedition really requires participants to become a high-functioning group that is able to communicate effectively, make decisions and take on challenges. It is the perfect backdrop for analyzing teamwork and learning how to facilitate and foster it; keys skills to successful delivery of outdoor education and of Outward Bound courses.
This course includes a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification course. The 60-hour 10-day course run for OB by Wilderness Medical Associates
NOTE: Instructor courses are designed for those with a serious interest in a career in outdoor education. They are not interchangeable with our semester courses.
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.