“Ben and I had a handshake agreement as he left for your program; he was going into it as a boy and coming out as a young man. He looked me square in the eye and agreed. Well, he did just that. A transformation. A metamorphosis. His walk in life is entirely different now. He has begun the move into manhood. He is self-aware and aware of his situation, all the time. He accepts his mother’s authority. He is more cheerful and more positive - far more fun to be around. And Outward Bound made all the difference.” – Grandmother of Intercept Participant
Geared specifically toward male teens struggling with unhealthy risk-taking, low-motivation, defiance, anger and/or poor school performance, this course helps examine the decisions they’ve been making in their lives and practice new ways of setting goals and connecting decisions with consequences. The goal of Outward Bound Intercept is to help students find the leader within them. Throughout the course, students will be introduced to the joys and challenges of expeditionary backpacking while traveling in the unique ecosystems of Western North Carolina. New activities, crewmates and environments help to break habits and patterns as well as coach students on discovering the next positive steps in their lives. This course also includes one to two days of community service at locations such as local animal shelters, food banks or gardens.
During the expedition, Instructors facilitate initiatives that teach students how to constructively work as part of a team, make better more thoughtful decisions and consider the relationship between the desire for freedom at home and responsibilities that come with it. At the end of the wilderness portion of this course, there is an intensive family conference and workshop that shows families how to leverage their Outward Bound experience into a model for everyday life. Students and their families will walk away with a new outlook, a plan and a new optimism for success.
This course is closed for the season. 2019 courses coming soon.
Outward Bound Intercept expeditions are specifically designed for struggling teens and their families. These highly structured courses remove young people from daily pressures and influences and present them instead with natural challenges, guided risks and a supportive environment. More than just resolving destructive behaviors, these courses develop positive decision-making skills, strengthen their ability to build healthy and lasting relationships, and cultivate a positive self-image. Compassionate Instructors help students and parents find a healthy sense of boundaries so families interact more effectively with one another and the world around them.
With the support of Outward Bound’s Intercept program, and the dedicated involvement of both students and their families, relationships start fresh, perceived limitations are overcome, new opportunities emerge and new futures are created.
The expedition is designed to be a challenging 20 to 28-day expedition focused on:
During the wilderness portion students will be rock climbing and backpacking. Rock climbing pushes students to step outside their comfort zones, communicate and trust their new crewmates. With a focus on safety, this course activity will start with the basics, such as working with ropes and learning to tie knots. Depending on the weather and group dynamics, students will then move on to learning the basics of bouldering and then progress to a top-rope climb or rappel. Students may also engage in a high ropes obstacle course to further foster group dynamics and teamwork. With the backpacking component, Instructors teach participants about map and compass navigation, expedition planning, weather forecasting and how to minimize the impact on the land by using Leave No Trace techniques.
Service is a continuous theme throughout any Outward Bound course. By discovering the true meaning of giving back to the community and one another, students discover their ability to lead. The ethic of service will be practiced through Leave No Trace camping techniques, reaching out with compassion to fellow crewmates and working as a team to overcome the challenges of course. Longer expeditions like this one also allow time to complete a service project. Common projects include trail work, helping at local food pantries and other local non-profit organizations.
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.
During the Intercept course, students make great strides in learning how to balance freedom and responsibility, working with others and making positive choices. As the course comes to a close, students feel accomplished and ready to envision a life at home after Outward Bound. With newfound excitement and maturity, teens are ready for the next step —to meet with their family to translate all they’ve learned into lasting positive change.
Buy-in and commitment at home from parents/guardians are critical components of the success of the Intercept experience. While students are out on course, parents/guardians will have the opportunity to examine their relationship with their teen by completing a comprehensive workbook. After the wilderness expedition comes to a close, parents/guardians receive a detailed account from Instructors about what course was like for their teen—including the struggles and successes and how challenges were handled. With these tools in hand, families are reunited for a three-day seminar. With the help of an Instructor acting as a facilitator, families develop an agreement to guide life once they get home. The goal for the family is to know that teens can conduct themselves appropriately and to clearly define expectations. The goal for the student is to have a say in the direction their life takes and to clearly understand what is required of them to earn more freedom.
Longer courses allow for a full-immersion into the Outward Bound experience with ample time to practice technical and interpersonal skills. The Intercept course in particular offers participants the opportunity to be fully removed from the temptations and triggers of life at home and start fresh with new habits, friends and lessons. Students can expect to practice living and working together in the wilderness while creating a solid foundation of skills that they can translate to other areas of their lives. With the added support of parent and guardian involvement, students are prepared to take lessons they’ve learned on this course back to their home, family, work and school environments.
Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina
The Blue Ridge Mountains, or Southern Appalachians, is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. While the mountains themselves formed over 250 million years ago, some of the rocks that underlie the region are over a billion years old.
The long geologic and evolutionary history of the Southern Appalachians has created one of the most biologically diverse regions in North America; some even say it is “rainforest-like.” This region is home to beautiful rushing rivers, hundreds of waterfalls and some of the highest peaks in the Eastern United States—including Mt. Mitchell (elevation 6,684 feet), the highest point east of the Mississippi River. Its diverse landscapes have been featured in many motion pictures including The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans.
Outward Bound students can expect to share the wilderness with over 700 different kinds of trees, more than 50 types of mammals, 150 different types of birds and over 50 species of amphibians. The huge numbers of tree and plant life is actually what gives these mountains their namesake. Trees put the ‘blue’ in the Blue Ridge Mountains from the organic chemicals they release into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the distinctive color of these mountains. Temperatures in this area range from 50 to 85 degrees in the summer, 30 to 65 degrees in the spring and fall, and 10 to 50 degrees in the winter.
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.