An extraordinary winter cross country skiing and dog sledding 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 where the entire family can gain insight into your experience and discuss how your newfound knowledge will transfer back to your daily lives.
|VMPD-861||2.17.18 - 3.18.18||30||18 - 25||$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 recent high school graduates, college students, or young adults seeking personal, educational, or professional direction. Throughout these 30-day expeditions, students focus on increasing self-knowledge, clarifying values, strengthening decision-making skills and processes, and setting goals – all life skills to help chart a path toward independence with confidence and passion.
Mushing a team of dog sleds offers the opportunity to develop a unique working/trust relationship between the students and the dogs. Students will be trained in commands, how to handle the dogs and control the sleds through the ever-changing terrain of Minnesota’s North Woods. Students navigate a route over frozen lakes and rivers, and travel the overland portage trails between them. 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 mushing the team for each week of course length.
Students learn to rely on their own locomotion as they use skis to kick and glide across the frozen landscape. Adequate training will be given to teach the skiers to break trail, set the track for the dog sleds to follow and check the ice to allow for safe travel. The exhilaration that comes from the freedom of being able to efficiently move across a frozen lake or snow covered trail will make students understand why this is one of the oldest sport activities in the world. Skiers will occasionally help the mushers move the sleds over difficult terrain but otherwise travel separately from the dog sleds.
Learn to live comfortably in the Minnesota winter environment, and learn what it takes to construct a winter camp. Instructors teach students techniques for harvesting water beneath the ice, dressing properly in layers, felling trees for firewood, cooking over an open fire, and setting up cozy shelters and sleeping systems; participants learn they can thrive in a frozen environment. A hearty dinner over an outdoor fire or the wood stove in a large wall tent rounds out the day. Reflective evening conversations with fellow travelers amongst the solitude of the wintry north woods ground this extraordinary adventure. Students often enjoy clear evening stargazing before drifting off into a well-deserved sleep.
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 they found them and practicing Leave No Trace ethics throughout the expedition. Woven within the curriculum fabric are lessons emphasizing compassion and service to others. Students cultivate a desire to help and understand others without the expectation of personal gain. Additionally, students have a structured opportunity to put “giving back” into action during two days of community service that are part of their course. Service varies for each course but will include working with local community members or organizations.
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, 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. 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.
A 30-day Pathfinder course provides the opportunity to chart a path, the motivation to begin the journey, and the skills required to achieve personal and professional goals. While adventuring in the backcountry and tackling physical, mental and emotional challenges, students will:
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.