It’s time to make your own adventure. Outward Bound’s Classic expeditions for middle and high school students are built with you in mind. Make new friends, sleep under the stars, and learn skills like backcountry navigation and how to cook a delicious meal no matter where you are. You’ve got this! Whether you’re in a raft or on a mountainside, you’ll learn what you’re made of – and you’ll see first-hand how far teamwork can take you. Join us for an unforgettable challenge and discover a whole new way to get outside.
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.
Settled by the Powhatan Indians and first explored by Captain John Smith in the 1600s, history and nature intersect in the Chesapeake Bay to create a place with endless potential for discovery. Students paddle throughout the Chesapeake Bay, camping each night along the shoreline. Instructors teach proper sea kayaking techniques such as paddling, rolls and wet exits. Students also learn marine navigation and face challenges that develop advanced leadership skills separate from the technical skills they will be mastering.
Students learn how to hike effectively and efficiently as well as how to set up and manage trail campsites each night. As the team overcomes numerous expedition challenges, they develop a greater belief in themselves and trust in one another. Successful completion of this course requires more than the mastery of technical skills. It also requires adaptability, decision making and teamwork.The Appalachian Trail is a footpath that runs from Georgia to Maine, and is the crown jewel of trails in the United States. Students backpack for five days in the wilderness of western Maryland and southern Pennsylvania.
During the expedition, students take a break from hiking and spend an afternoon rock climbing. This challenging activity pushes students out of their comfort zones and helps develop trust among crew members. Students rely on one another for support and encouragement to reach the top of cliff faces and crags.
Service to others and to the environment are core values of Outward Bound and they are integrated into each course. Participants follow Recreate Responsibly ethics as part of their service to the environment. Students develop an ingrained appreciation of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, by multiple small acts of service with and for their crewmates while leading and supporting each other throughout the journey.
In order for profound learning to take place, there must be time to reflect on the experience. Solo is that opportunity, and that time can range anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours. It is a chance to experience solitude in the wilderness without distraction while also taking a break from the physical rigors of activities. Students experience short periods of time away from their group throughout the course for reflection. These “mini-solos” are at solo sites chosen by Instructors to provide as much solitude as possible (within emergency whistle-signaling distance of other group members). Participants have all necessary equipment, food and water during their Solo time, and safety is always the top priority.
Helping students and their families see positive development in character skills is a key component of Outward Bound courses. After completing the course, students will receive a written narrative from their instructor that highlights how the student engaged in the course, what strengths were observed, and any recommendations for further development.
Chesapeake Bay, Nanticoke River
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the nation - the meeting point where 400 rivers, creeks, and streams spanning from New York to Virginia all travel to the Atlantic Ocean. It boasts 4,600 miles of tidal shoreline perfect for kayaking. Outward Bound courses use a section of the historic 3,000-mile Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail which trace the 1607–1609 voyages of Captain John Smith to chart the land and waterways of the Bay. Along with the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, it is one of two water trails designated as National Historic Trails. These regions are the ancestral lands of the Nentego (Nanticoke) nation.
The Appalachian Trail in Maryland follows a 41-mile route along the backbone of South Mountain, a north-south ridge that extends from Pennsylvania to the Potomac River. The AT varies in elevation across the state from 230 feet to more than 1860 feet. The trail extends to the north into Southern Pennsylvania’s Michaux State Forest where Outward Bound students in this area will rock climb at one of three sites: Annapolis Rocks, Shaffer Rocks or Pole Steeple in the nearby Pine Grove Furnace State Park. These regions are the ancestral lands of the Massawomeck and Piscataway nations.