Explore Florida’s biologically diverse waterways from both above and below the water.
This canoeing course will have you paddling past freshwater springs and cypress-lined shores that support a variety of wildlife. You may even spot manatees, dolphins and other marine life on your journey.
By carrying all of the necessary food, water, and shelter systems on your boats, traveling by canoe provides the ultimate freedom to move nimbly through this diverse ecosystem. As a team, you will work together to navigate with maps, snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of a natural spring, cook and set up camp along the river bank under the stars and paddle to new areas each day within the Central Florida’s Waterways.
In addition to learning new skills in backcountry travel and climbing, you will also develop confidence, teamwork and leadership skills while working together within the group to meet daily goals.
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.
Build skills, form connections: Learn and practice wilderness, teamwork and leadership skills. Find connections with your crewmates based on support and respect (and fun too!), and in the thick of challenges, discover there is more in you than you know.
Value strengths and strengthen values: Uncover your unique character strengths, develop your leadership abilities and learn how to let compassion in to everyday life by pushing your own limits and working alongside your peers.
Demonstrate mastery: As you gain confidence in new skills, take on more decision-making responsibilities. Work together to achieve team goals, solve problems and succeed both as individuals and as a group.
What you’ll learn: For Middle School students, the opportunities to carry more weight (literally and figuratively) and make impactful decisions with accompanying consequences fills the expedition as you go through numerous trials and triumphs. It’s all about independence.
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.
To break up days spent paddling with crewmates, students will have the opportunity to snorkel in the crystal clear waters of a natural spring. These springs pump millions of gallons of water a day into the rivers and lakes of central Florida. The water is a comfortable 72 degrees year-round and the springs are teeming with life, such as fish and turtles. Students will also learn about the geography of the limestone structures that form the springhead and the impact that humans have had on them over the years.
of James Mixon
During this journey, students will complete an extended canoe expedition. This course includes learning the art of paddling a canoe in a variety of water conditions as well as orienteering, expedition planning, Leave No Trace wilderness living, cooking and setting up camp in the outdoors. Students will be using tandem, two person canoes, which foster teamwork and communication skills. Along the way, they will take turns navigating and leading their crew as they see hundreds of natural wonders and discover, through challenge, that they are stronger than they know.
Service to others and the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Participants follow Leave No Trace ethics as service to the environment and do acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Students develop a value of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand, and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home. On longer courses, students have the opportunity to do a formal service project with a local agency. Common projects include trail work, helping at local food pantries and other local non-profit organizations. Service projects can be a few hours up to a full day.
A little more than halfway through course, students will participate in a reflection period called Solo. During this time, Instructors assign students their own individual spaces within a designated area. These sites are both secluded and within hearing distance of other group members and Instructors for safety. Students will be given all the necessary gear, food, water and skills to enjoy this time alone. Solo is a great opportunity for students to relax, recharge and reflect on their course after having long days of strenuous group activities. They also know the location of their Instructors should they need to contact them for any reason. Instructors will be monitoring students closely during this experience.
Acquire a taste for adventure on this nine-day Outward Bound experience, which reminds students of their connection to nature and leaves them feeling inspired to take on real challenge in their everyday life. Through these condensed experiences, students become comfortable living and working together in the wilderness while practicing the Four Pillars of Outward Bound; craftsmanship, self-reliance, physical fitness and compassion. Participants also create a solid foundation of skills that they can build upon once they return home.
Waterways of Central Florida
Central Florida is home to some of the country’s most historic and biologically diverse waterways. It offers paddling on small, winding canoe trails, as well as larger rivers and lakes, with camping in a variety of environments from hardwood hammock forests to barrier islands. The Suwannee River, Ocklawaha River, and St John’s River offer hundreds of miles of paddling in some of the country’s most unspoiled wilderness. These rivers support a variety of ecosystems including freshwater springs, swamps, and cypress lined shores. Shaded by giant Cypress and Tupelo trees, these rivers support a variety of wildlife and have deep cultural histories.
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.
To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee.