It’s a weird feeling, preparing to head out on an adventure with a group of complete strangers. You’ll soon know what these people look like first thing in the morning, what they’re afraid of and what motivates them, all without ever having seen their social media or passing them in a hallway. While flipping our usual way of getting to know each other on its head is nerve-wracking and strange, it can also be refreshing and lead to meeting people you might not otherwise have the chance to get to know.
The Individuals that Make Up an Intercept Crew
Intercept courses are for teens and young adults who are struggling at home or school and looking for a reset. If this is you, you will find yourself in a small group of individuals similar in age to you. Depending on you and your family’s choice, you’ll be in a single-gender or an all-gender student team. Some things you’ll have in common with your team, and others will vary widely. Your team will likely come from all over the country – cities, rural areas and suburbs. Some might be athletes; others might not have spent much time outside; some may be adjusting to being active. Most likely, you’ll all share a need to get out of the house, disrupt your routines and try something new.
Students might feel disconnected from their family or community.
Some of your teammates may sometimes struggle to make friends or good decisions.
Most will be figuring out who they are, which can be easier to do in a new context where nobody has assumptions about who you are.
Your course community is yours to build together.
Some of your crewmates may hate school.
Some might be hoping to get their first job after their trip.
Most are looking for more independence.
All are looking for a path forward where things will be better.
Everybody has agreed to participate, though what’s motivating them might be different. Everyone will be nervous because no one knows exactly what to expect. You’ll navigate that together.
Some students will have diagnoses like anxiety or depression or ADHD, and some will have gone through hard times like losing a close family member or surviving abuse. Mostly, you’ll look like a regular group of teenagers or young adults, and it will be up to you to learn who your teammates are, what their strengths are (and yours!), what you have in common, who makes you laugh, who is the best paddling partner for a long day, and who is the best cook. You’ll find your place in the team, and though you may never have picked this crew out by yourself, you’ll end up sharing an unforgettable experience that no one else will ever quite understand.
Friends and Memories that Last a Lifetime
When you return, your family will join us for a few days in which we’ll help you figure out how to tell your story, express what you want to do next and reconnect with familiar people and places. You’ll have new friends and memories for a lifetime and a fresh perspective on the journey ahead.
Have more questions about who might be joining your crew on your expedition? Talk to one of our Admissions Advisors today.
About the Author
Renee Igo was an Outward Bound student at age 15 and has been instructing wilderness expeditions for the Voyageur Outward Bound School for the past eight years. When not instructing, she holds a variety of other teaching positions and raises sheep in Maine.