An extraordinary winter adventure, this is your chance to gain leadership skills, define your values, be of service, strengthen the relationship with your family and – most important of all - discover what you are capable of. Travel over frozen lakes and rivers; learn how to manage teams of huskies; cross-country ski; navigate with a map and compass; check ice-conditions; process firewood; and learn how to stay comfortable in potentially sub-zero temperatures. At the end of the course, participate in a facilitated family conversation – a dedicated time for the entire family to gain insight into your experience and discuss how your newfound knowledge will transfer back to your daily lives.
|VMPD-761||2.24.17 - 3.25.17||30||18 - 30||$5,795||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.
Our Pathfinder expeditions are designed for young adults who are searching for direction. These 30-day expeditions help students explore their strengths and values, identify future goals and create an action plan for the future. Throughout the course, you’ll participate in structured goal-setting activities that help clarify priorities, strengthen character and define a new, self-directed path.
Students navigate a route over frozen lakes and rivers and travel the overland portage trails between them. Students develop skills in backcountry skiing, winter camping, managing and mushing dogs and controlling a dogsled. Group members take turns mushing the sled throughout the course, but everyone cares for the dogs on a daily basis. Mushing is not a passenger sport; it is hard and rewarding work. Students generally spend at least two days driving the team for each week of course length.
Each type of terrain requires different skills and group organization. On level, smooth terrain most group members ski or snowshoe ahead as two or three group members handle the sleds and dog teams. Skiers scout for obstacles, break trail through the snow and return to help maneuver the sleds when necessary. Over rough areas, the whole group helps to push, pull and turn the sled.
With plenty of training, students find that they can live comfortably in cold temperatures. Students learn how to regulate their body temperature with layers of clothing, exercise and diet. Setting up a snug winter camp takes time, energy and teamwork. Scouting for a sheltered bay with good firewood in the late afternoon, the group quickly learns that the night comes too quickly in the great white North.
Construct a shelter to ward off the chilling winds and erect a room-sized tent large enough to accommodate a wood stove and a brigade of weary travelers before cooking a warm, hearty dinner over an outdoor fire or the stove. Reflective evening conversations with fellow travellers amongst the solitude of the wintry northwoods grounds this extraordinary adventure. Students often enjoy clear evening stargazing before drifting off into a well deserved sleep.
Weather and time permitting, 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 significant decisions about their future, journal, or write letters to friends and family. The duration of Solo depends on the course length and type, as well as the competency and preparedness of the student group. Students on a Pathfinder Course typically experience a 24-hour Solo.
Regardless of Solo length, all students receive sufficient food, water, and shelter to keep them safe and healthy during Solo. Instructors choose Solo sites to offer as much solitude as possible while retaining some proximity to the group. While students spend the majority of their Solo time alone, Instructors do check on each student as often as needed, usually one to three times per day, to ensure that each student feels safe and comfortable. Solo is purposefully scheduled near the end of the expedition so students have plenty of time to acclimate to their new environment beforehand.
Students may have mixed feelings leading up to Solo: nervousness and hesitation regarding the unknown but also excitement to rest, reflect, and test their new skills while alone. 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.
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota
Over 10,000 years ago, continental-sized glaciers scraped their way across much of Ontario and northern Minnesota leaving deep ruts, ravines, and holes in their tracks. Eventually, as the glaciers melted, these ravines filled with water, creating a seemingly endless interconnected web of lakes and rivers. In the winter, the BWCAW transforms into an even more severe and remote wilderness. Winter enthusiasts travel over frozen lakes and rivers by dogsled, cross-country ski and snowshoe. Winter in the Boundary Waters is mesmerizing, peaceful, and exhilarating. It is a place of spectacular extremes, trackless snow, bracing cold air, glowing warm embers, and powerful silence.
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.