Explore one of the East Coast’s most historically and ecologically significant areas on this 7-day backpacking course.
On day one of the expedition, participants meet their crew, comprised of fellow veterans and service members, and pack up at base camp before hitting the trail. Once on the trail, participants learn and apply skills in backcountry living and travel, and also hone interpersonal skills such as communication, leadership and compassion. Each day allows for ample time to reflect, relate and discuss shared challenges. The group carries all necessary food and equipment for unplugged, outdoor living until their return on day six. This means no cell phones, no television, and no electronics. Participants should plan on arriving ready to commit all of their time and energy to their expedition, their crew, and an unforgettable Outward Bound experience.
This course is not currently accepting enrollments. Please check back.
Outward Bound Veterans expeditions build on camaraderie and the challenge of the natural world as a pathway to healing. These expeditions encourage participants to connect with existing strengths and bond with fellow veterans in a safe, positive, mission-driven environment. As they harness the power of wartime experiences like carrying heavy packs, moving fatigued muscles and sleeping outside, these courses help build the self-confidence and sense of purpose veterans need to continue serving as leaders in their families, communities and the nation.
Build core skills: Veterans receive hands-on training on expedition and personal skills. As part of an inclusive, supportive crew, they gain communication skills, establish trust and validate experiences among other veterans.
Practice Outward Bound values: Instructors focus on Outward Bound core values like compassion, integrity, excellence, inclusion and diversity to help veterans reflect, share insights and live in the present moment.
Process and Reflect: Journaling, one-on-one and group discussions help veterans understand how Outward Bound experiences might translate to coping skills back home.
What participants learn: Veterans return home inspired, ready to tap into rediscovered strengths and eager to find new ways to contribute to society.
of Kevin Neff
of Kevin Neff
While exploring one of the world’s most famous footpaths, participants can expect to practice basic backcountry skills including on and off-trail navigation, weather forecasting and preparation, campfire cooking and tarp setup. 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.
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.
of Alex Gorosh
of Zach Shenal
Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia
The 17,371 acre Dolly Sods Wilderness in the Monongahela National Forest is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. It is located in Grant, Randolph and Tucker Counties, West Virginia. The Dolly Sods Wilderness contains much of the Red Creek drainage and contains bog and heath eco-types, more commonly typical to southern Canada. Elevations range from 2,500 to over 4,700 feet.
Course start, introductory lesson is backpacking, begin hiking
Backpacking, lessons in backcountry skills
Backpacking final challenge, return to base, clean and de-issue gear