“I came to Outward Bound looking for mental growth, new interactions and confidence and getting out of my comfort zone. They gave me all of that and more by having amazing Instructors that love their job and made it fun.” –Sheila, Voyageur Outward Bound School Alum
“Even when the course is harsh, I can grow from it and be stronger. The things I loved from this course are the views and the time that I personally spent out of society to think about myself, my future and my goals. The beauty of nature transformed me and I found that these experiences may never happen to me again.” – Haley, Voyageur Outward Bound School Alum
“Never once would I have thought that I could emotionally have been able to challenge myself like I have on this course. Truly I appreciate the privilege of this. It has created an impact and prepared me for the real world. It has also helped me find my place with myself and learn how to really live to my full potential.” – JR, Voyageur Outward Bound School Alum
On this three-week canoeing and backpacking expedition, immerse yourself in the wonders of the wilderness, backpacking along the North Shore of Lake Superior and canoeing within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness as you foster compassion and trust within yourself and your crew. In this renowned and beautiful environment, surrounded by a safe and supportive team, cultivate self-reliance, practice leadership and develop character. At every step of the journey, learn to help and understand others without the expectation of personal gain. Additionally, take part in a half-day backcountry or community service project—a structured and action-oriented opportunity to give back.
Courses in the Boundary Waters have low student to staff ratios (seven or fewer students with two Instructors), allowing for more individualized attention and focus.
|VMTF-051||6.16.20 - 7.7.20||22||16 - 18||$4,895||APPLY NOW|
|VMYF-051||6.16.20 - 7.7.20||22||14 - 16||$4,895||APPLY NOW|
|VMTF-052||7.20.20 - 8.10.20||22||16 - 18||$4,895||APPLY NOW|
|VMYF-052||7.20.20 - 8.10.20||22||14 - 16||$4,895||APPLY NOW|
|VMTF-053||7.28.20 - 8.18.20||22||16 - 18||$4,895||APPLY NOW|
|VMYF-053||7.28.20 - 8.18.20||22||14 - 16||$4,895||APPLY NOW|
This course starts within the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to assess the possibility of applying for this course!
Are you ready to take a journey that will change your life? You won’t look at day-to-day drama the same way after you’ve conquered a high mountain ridge, made a boat obey your command in windswept waves or slept under the stars watching bats swoop overhead. Joining an Outward Bound expedition changes you. Your crew, your Instructor, your route and your adventures will have a profound and lasting impact on you as you rise to meet exhilarating natural challenges in some of the country’s wildest places.
After you come home, many of the character, leadership and service traits you uncovered on your expedition stay with you, helping you navigate your daily life with more resilience and success.
Completing an extended canoe expedition includes learning the art of paddling a canoe in a variety of conditions, as well as map and compass reading, route finding and Leave No Trace wilderness living principles. Groups navigate a variety of waterways such as lakes, rivers and swamps, as well as working as a team to carry packs and canoes over portage trails when transitioning from one lake to another or to get safely around challenging rapids. Traveling by canoe allows groups to go far past where motorboats operate and, once there, it is possible to quietly observe bald eagles, moose and peaceful sunsets on mirror-calm lakes.
On the southern edge of the massive Canadian Shield, a granite rock formation that runs from Minnesota to Hudson Bay and the Northwest Territories, sits the largest freshwater lake in the world: Lake Superior. The Superior Hiking Trail follows the northern shore of the lake from Duluth, Minnesota to Canada, covering almost 300 miles along the low-lying Sawtooth Mountain range. Students spend multiple days hiking on the trail, which meanders through dense boreal forest, offers awe-inspiring overlooks and plunges into pristine river valleys. Well-marked trails, designated campsites and challenging terrain make the Superior Hiking Trail a great backpacking experience for all skill levels.
Near the southern terminus of the Superior Hiking Trail is a rock-climbing location called Shovel Point, which features 80 to 120-foot vertical granite cliffs towering above the lake. The dramatic vertical rock face combined with the dazzling, emerald-colored lake ensures a memorable day for the novice and experienced rock climber alike. Students learn about general rock-climbing equipment, safety and etiquette before learning how to belay. The climbing day provides ample opportunities for students to climb, belay and rappel over the edge, eventually climbing safely to the top of the granite cliffs.
Looking out over the top of the boreal forest and located 30 feet in the air, the high ropes course is incredible. Students swing from Tarzan ropes, walk on tightrope wires and climb a cargo net before jumping on the zip line for an exhilarating ride back to solid ground.
Service is a cornerstone of every Outward Bound experience. From the seemingly small daily acts of service for the environment to the regular tasks of being part of an expeditionary team, students have ample opportunities to experience the value of giving back to the larger community. On the expedition, students are encouraged to practice environmental stewardship in the form of Leave No Trace ethics — leaving campsites and trails in better condition than they found them. Students also practice regular acts of service for their team by preparing and serving meals, securing drinking water, setting up camp and giving their crew plenty of support.
On this course, designated service projects are coordinated with land managers like the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service to collaborate on land restoration projects. Some projects are more social services based, where students may spend time at a nursing home or hospital. Students develop a value of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home.
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 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. With all the food, skills and supplies they need, students are given a secluded spot to reflect alone, and are monitored by staff throughout the experience to maintain safety. 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 course.
High school students will experience a sense of accomplishment as they learn about perseverance (or grit), risk taking, self-identity and self-reliance. Students will learn to trust themselves and push themselves harder as they own their choices and advance toward mastery in their skill development. Group adversity will teach each student critical thinking skills, collaboration and decision-making. They will experience leadership in action as they see their potential become reality while practicing empathy and compassion towards others.
Canoeing, backpacking and wilderness navigation techniques are great practice for the essential skills and habits that help prepare students for new challenges at work, home and in the community. Outward Bound expeditions encourage students to:
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW)
Established in 1978, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is a labyrinth of lakes and rocks that has been specifically protected as a true American wilderness. No roads, power lines, or motorized craft may enter its borders; therefore, the Boundary Waters wilderness has changed little since its unveiling when the glaciers melted 10,000 years ago.
Over one million acres in size, the BWCAW extends 150 miles along the Minnesota/Canadian border. With over 1,200 miles of canoe routes, nearly 2,200 designated campsites and more than 1,000 lakes and streams, the BWCAW is a truly amazing place to experience the wilderness. It contains portage-linked lakes and streams, interspersed with islands, forests and crags. It has no piped water, prepared shelters or signs to point the way. Within these borders students can canoe, portage and camp in the spirit of the French-Canadian Voyageurs of 200 years ago. The Boundary Waters' paddling routes offer outstanding opportunities for solitude, remoteness, teamwork, adventure and challenge.
Superior Hiking Trail
The Superior Hiking Trail is a 296-mile footpath that largely follows the rocky ridgeline above Lake Superior on Minnesota's North Shore from Duluth to the Canadian border. Well-marked trails, campsites and challenging terrain make this a perfect thru-hike destination.
National Geographic says the Superior Hiking Trail “is the best long hike in the country between the Continental Divide and the Appalachian Trail.” At its lowest elevation, along the lakeshore, the trail is 602 feet above sea level. At its highest point the trail is 1,750 feet above sea level and more than 1,000 feet above Lake Superior. The Superior Hiking Trail is characterized by ascents to rock outcroppings and cliffs, and descents into numerous river and creek valleys that feature abundant wildlife viewing opportunities.
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.