Explore the Chesapeake Bay from the hull of a kayak. With every stroke, work as a group to overcome expedition challenges, develop a greater belief in yourself and your crew and learn why teamwork is often more important than everything else combined. As you move through stunning natural landscapes and encounter physical, mental and emotional obstacles, you’ll discover the importance of perseverance – and identify and refine the leadership skills you already possess.
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Outward Bound Veterans expeditions focus on team camaraderie and the opportune challenges available in nature as tools to build connections and successes beyond military life. These expeditions encourage participants to explore their strengths and bond with fellow veterans in a safe, positive, goal-oriented environment that allows each veteran to apply their service skills in new ways. From carrying heavy packs, moving fatigued muscles and sleeping outside to exerting leadership, communication and decision-making skills, these courses help shape and support the self-confidence and sense of purpose many veterans need to continue serving as leaders in their families, communities and the nation.
Each veteran student returns home from their Outward Bound expedition having discovered more about themselves and what they want to achieve, how to overcome setbacks and, most importantly, how to move forward to reach important new milestones.
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.
A little more than halfway through their expedition, students participate in a reflection period called solo. Students are assigned individual campsites, within a designated area, and are provided with all necessary gear, food, water and skills to enjoy this time alone. Although secluded, solo-sites are within hearing distance of other group members and instructors for safety. Students are made aware of their Instructors’ solo site should they need to contact them for any reason, and instructors monitor students closely during this experience. Solo is a great opportunity for students to relax, recharge and reflect on their experience.
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 NY to VA all travel to the Atlantic Ocean. It boasts 4,600 miles of tidal shoreline perfect for kayaking. Our 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.