Join us on our STRIVE Expedition where you will have the adventure of your life as you discover what happens when you challenge yourself to do more than you ever thought possible! These expeditions push each student to discover their strengths in and exciting environments as you canoe on the St. Croix National Park’s Riverway and rock climb at Blue Mound State Park. You will dig deep while you learn what it really means to challenge yourself, collaborate with your peers, problem solve and discover the empowerment that comes from experiencing success! The STRIVE expedition is designed to give each student the confidence to take the lead in their own lives.
As you and your group canoe and rock climb, you will gain technical skills and discover your personal strengths and leadership skills through grit and determine. During your expedition you will experience activities and challenges that create opportunities to build confidence as you push yourself and others to succeed! You will gain technical skills like rock climbing skills, canoeing, fire building, navigation and leave no trace ethics and at the same time interpersonal skills like communication, creativity, leadership, compassion and collaboration. Our founder Kurt Hahn often said that Outward Bound teaches “through” the wilderness rather than “for” the wilderness, resulting in students gaining skills that are important for today and last well into the future.
During this introductory experience in paddling and climbing you will scale the vertical quartzite outcropping of Blue Mounds, known by many as the best climbing crag in Minnesota. You will learn proper climbing and belaying techniques, practice basic climbing safety and rock rescue techniques. You and your crew will cheer each other on as each of you pushes your own limits.
Students travel on the river in two-person canoes, and learn to maneuver their canoe team through Class I or II rapids. After lessons in river travel, students will progress to learning about “reading” currents, anticipating obstacles, scouting rapids, and working as an effective team to negotiate technical portions of the river. At the same time students begin to understand river hydrology, swimming, paddle techniques, camping, and expeditionary travel. You will camp each night, pitch your tents, cook and talk over an open fire. A solo and service are also components of this expedition.
Successful completion of your course demands mastery of skills, trust, fitness, confidence, tenacity, leadership, initiative and compassion. On your Outward Bound course you will discover what it means when you realize “there is more in you than you think.” We believe when you do, as Hahn stated, “you will be unwilling to settle for less.”
St. Croix National Wild & Scenic Riverway, WI & MN––This riverway starts as the Namekagon River in Northern Wisconsin and flows into the St. Croix River just north of Danbury, Wisconsin and becomes the border between the two states. You will paddle together on the upper section of either the Namekagon or St. Croix Rivers. This means that you will enjoy pristine camping on campsites within this national park. The entire riverway includes over 200 miles of river travel and many rapids up to Class I or II rapids, depending on water levels.
Blue Mounds State Park, MN—Rising over 100 feet from the plains, the rare Sioux Quartzite cliffs of Blue Mounds can be seen for miles over the farmland and prairies that surround it. As you hike over the plateau from your campsite towards the cliffs, you walk though some of the only un-tilled prairie left in southwest Minnesota. A vast sea of prairie flowers sway in the breeze, a wild herd of bison graze on the horizon, watch out for prickly pear cactus blooming in cracks in the rock walls. This may sound more like a fictional Western movie set, this rare ecosystem actually exists in the southwest corner of Minnesota. Because it was guarded by 100 foot cliffs on three sides, this original Minnesota prairie escaped the plow, until it was turned into a state park in the 1960’s. Now it boasts a fragile and rare prairie ecosystem as well as the best rock climbing in the upper Midwest. In addition to mastering the vertical landscape of Blue Mounds, you will canoe the National Park’s Service St. Croix National Scenic Riverway that divides Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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