Ideal for a parent and child or other family twosome or threesome, this course is an excellent way to learn about your child, parent or sibling.
Together with other families, learn and master paddling skills, cook together, engage in rich conversation, and support each other through every challenge. Skilled instructors manage the details, giving family members an opportunity to focus on bonding with one another. As you tackle challenges and overcome obstacles, discover how each family member pushes through to achieve more than you ever thought possible. No previous experience is required. Instructors teach you everything you need to know to travel comfortably, pack appropriately, load canoes, set up tents or tarps, paddle your canoe and navigate the St. Croix National and Scenic Riverway. At the end of the journey, return home with enhanced collaboration and communication skills, perseverance and compassion.
This course is closed for the season. 2018 courses coming soon.
Outward Bound Family expeditions are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to experience the great outdoors with the people you love. These eye-opening adventures provide a new and exciting place to bond as a family, improve communication, and cultivate a shared sense of natural wonder as you explore some of the nation’s most pristine wilderness areas together.
Families travel on the river in two-person canoes and learn to maneuver their canoes through Class I or II rapids. After lessons in basic river travel, students progress to learning about “reading” currents, anticipating obstacles, scouting rapids and working as an effective team to negotiate technical portions of the river. Students also learn about river hydrology, swimming in moving water, paddle techniques and the importance of Leave No Trace practices when camping and traveling.
Courses end with a Final Challenge Event—an individual final physical push. This course’s final challenge event is to rock climb at Taylors Falls. The St. Croix River and 100,000-year-old geological formations provide the backdrop for this amazing climb. This experience gives students an understanding of the power of water as it worked for millions of years to create this beautiful rock-climbing site. Students set goals and support one another on their final course push.
Weather and time permitting, a two- to four-hour 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 journal or write letters to friends and family. While students spend the majority of their solo time alone it is possible for parents and children to have a shared experience and deepen their relationships quietly amongst themselves. Instructors do check on each student as often as needed, to ensure that each student feels safe and comfortable. Instructors choose solo sites to offer as much solitude as possible while retaining some proximity to the 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.
The family course is a unique opportunity to for parents and children alike to have a introductory Outward Bound experience together. Whether families are looking to build a stronger relationships or test the waters for a longer expedition, this course will provide both.
St. Croix National Wild & Scenic Riverway, Wisconsin & Minnesota
This riverway starts as the Namekagon River in Northern Wisconsin and flows into the St. Croix River just north of Danbury, Wisconsin, where the river becomes the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota. Students paddle together on the upper section of either the Namekagon or St. Croix Rivers and enjoy pristine camping at campsites within this national park. The entire riverway includes over 200 miles of river travel and many rapids up to Class I or II, depending on water levels. The river section concludes near Minnesota’s Interstate State Park near Taylors Falls, Wisconsin. Interstate State Park contains some of the most outstanding and unique geological features to be found anywhere in the world. The story of how these features came to be as we see them today is complex but fascinating. Interstate State Park is no exception; the story of its formations goes back over a billion years. This makes for an amazing rock climbing experience that is the last challenge of the course.
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.