Live and travel among glacially carved mountains in one of the most iconic locations in the world – Yosemite National Park. Backpack among the granite domes, starry nights and alpine lakes, and then return to the City by the Bay for urban service and cultural immersion. With the city as your classroom, gain knowledge and appreciation for different cultures, types of food and the economic and social issues facing cities across the U.S. After two weeks of service-learning, leadership development and self-discovery in both natural and urban environments, return home ready to apply new skills, leadership and compassion to your everyday life.
This course is closed for the season. 2018 courses coming soon.
No two Outward Bound expeditions are ever quite the same. Every crew is unique; every route is distinct; and every adventure is dynamic. But one thing remains the same. On each course, students rise to meet exhilarating natural challenges in some of the country’s wildest places – and find strength and determination along the way.
This multi-day backpacking expedition takes place in the heart of the Sierra Nevada within Yosemite National Park. Students will backpack through old growth forests, swim in alpine lakes and sleep under bright star laden skies, carrying their equipment and food on their backs and moving camp each day.
This first phase of course will set a foundation for personal growth, collaboration, understanding and support that only the wilderness can provide. In addition to technical skills, instructors will teach and facilitate the interpersonal skills needed for students to function effectively as a team, accomplish goals, and tackle new challenges every day. Challenges on course are designed to impel students toward taking risks, drawing upon inner resources and developing trust in one another. Gaining the skills to work together as a unified team will set the stage for students to transfer these lessons back the city for the second half of their course.
Far removed from starry nights and alpine lakes, San Francisco is a bustling city of streetlights and people. This city provides a juxtaposition of wealth and poverty—back alleys and striking bay views, sprinkled with tourist destinations that attract travelers from across the globe. Continuing expedition style, students will carry their gear and travel like locals, taking the bus, walking and taking the ferry to their nightly abode. With the city as their classroom, students will gain knowledge and appreciation for different cultures, types of food and the economic and social issues cities face across the US.
Service projects vary from working with parks to improve facilities and trail systems for future visitors, to helping local gardeners and other food initiatives for underserved populations in the city. There will be a minimum of two designated service projects; however, every component of this expedition is designed to ignite participants’ drive to be agents of change in the community. Ultimately, participants will be able to apply the leadership, compassion and skills developed on this section of the course to their everyday lives.
On every Outward Bound course reflection is an integral part of the learning process. During the solo phase of course, participants will find reprieve from the rigors of daily travel and spend a structured period of resting and reflecting near the group’s base camp. The primary focus of this time is to reflect on personal and group goals. Depending on the participant’s age and the length of the expedition, solo can range in length from a few hours to three days. Participants are provided with simple food, shelter and occasional check-ins from Instructors during this unique experience. The maximum solo length on this course is 72 hours.
This course pushes participants physically, socially and emotionally. With a longer course length of 22 days, participants dig deep and achieve a higher level of mastery. Participants will gain both technical and personal skills that they will be able to take back to their community, school, and work; they will discover increased self-confidence, improved leadership and a desire to make a difference.
Yosemite National Park: Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, is famous for breathtaking views of waterfalls, massive granite domes, and peaceful alpine meadows. Yosemite is home to some of the world’s most treasured landmarks; places like El Capitan, Half Dome and Glacier Point can be seen on the horizon along with dramatic alpine peaks rising from the valley to elevations above 12,000 feet. With fairly stable and beautiful weather, as summer advances, temperatures tend to become more moderate, in the 70s to 80s during the day and 30s to 50s in the evening.
Bay Area: The urban expedition will take students on a tour of San Francisco landmarks like Chinatown, Pier 39, the Mission District, Baker Beach, and Market Street. Students will camp in local parks and with unique partner agencies across the city. San Francisco offers rich histories, diverse cultural traditions and foods, and an abundance of initiative opportunities. Though a dramatic change from Yosemite, students will find inspiration and new perspectives in this bustling, beautiful city.
“An ethic of service is an outcome of every Outward Bound course and I think it is important that the projects are applicable to the course experience. On course, I teach low impact travel and camping techniques and try to get students psyched on destroying human developments like fire rings and cairns. The connection they make with the course area amplifies the service project buy-in which in turn helps get students involved with giving back to their communities at home.
"On course, the energetic crew of teenagers worked in pairs, and in two hours, cleared six campsites. When I asked how they felt when completing the morning’s mission, Donna, a high school junior simply said, “It feels good to give back to a place that I have grown to love. I would have no idea that people had camped here if I was walking by.”
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.