“This was the single hardest and one of the most beneficial experiences of my entire life." – Intercept Alumnus
“The staff was incredibly supportive and genuine. This is a great program.” – Patricia, Parent of Intercept Alumnus
“When I get home, I can tell people that Outward Bound reminded me about who I really am and want to be. It kickstarted that change into being a better person.” – Marisa, Intercept Alumnus
Designed specifically to help families rebuild strong, healthy relationships, this expedition is ideal for teens and young adults struggling with low self-image, engaging in potentially risky behaviors, not living up to their potential and/or demonstrating poor decision-making skills. The journey begins with a desert backpacking expedition and culminates in a family conference to support a successful transition back into home life. Within the structure of a wilderness expedition, students experience the thrills of adventure, the satisfaction of a hard day’s work, and the comradery of a supportive team in a classroom unlike any other. During the course, Instructors facilitate activities that build teamwork, communication and conflict resolution skills; helping students set goals and make better decisions; and encouraging each student to find the leader within themselves. The course concludes with a two-day community service project and a three-day intensive family conference and workshop, which helps the entire family transfer the experience into a model for everyday life. Families walk away with new problem-solving tools, fresh optimism and a plan for success.
|VRIB-864||11.13.18 - 12.10.18||28||14 - 17||$6,995||ENROLL|
|VRIB-961||1.22.19 - 2.18.19||28||14 - 17||$6,995||ENROLL|
|VRIB-962||3.5.19 - 4.1.19||28||14 - 17||$6,995||ENROLL|
This course may be full or preparing to leave in the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
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.
On the Texas-Mexico border, students explore the Chihuahuan Desert, crossing rugged mountain ranges, and traveling through water-polished canyons. At elevations ranging from 2,500 feet to 7,500 feet, students learn to backpack and camp in both desert and mountainous terrain. Expert Instructors help students learn techniques for safe desert travel and environmental preservation, teaching strategies for finding and managing the most vital resource to desert life - water. Travelling between these seldom-visited water sources, or “tinajas”, into remote corners of Big Bend State and National Parks, students experience desert life in a way that few others attempt. Venturing into the massive canyons and crossing vast and beautiful desert mesas, students reap the rewards of this remote adventure when the brilliant starlit sky illuminates the darkness of the desert night.
On the scenic cliffs of the Rio Grande overlooking the mountains of Mexico is Black Rocks – a beautiful climbing site in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Known mostly to locals, this seldom-visited spot gives students a unique opportunity in back-country rock climbing. These 30 foot to 80 foot cliffs offer a variety of beginner and intermediate climbs that provide an ideal introduction to rock climbing. Regardless of a student’s rock climbing and rappelling background, everyone is sure to find challenge and success as they spend a day at Black Rocks.
All Outward Bound rock climbing and rappelling experiences are carefully supervised and employ safety systems aligned with national standards. During climbing days, students learn about rock climbing equipment, safety and etiquette, belaying techniques and climbing rescue techniques. Encouraged and supported by their group, students push their perceived limits and expand their comfort zones in a safe, fun and non-competitive environment.
By the end of the course, students have made great strides having learned how to balance freedom and responsibility, how to be part of a team and how to make positive choices. They feel a sense of pride in themselves and their accomplishments and have a fresh perspective and outlook on their lives, but now it’s back to reality. How do teens and families translate the incredible Intercept experience into lasting positive change? Parents or guardians are a critical link in the success of the Intercept experience. Throughout the course, parents and guardians have the opportunity to think through their relationship with their teen by using a comprehensive workbook. Then, during an intensive three-day seminar, Instructors help translate the student experience to parents and guardians, giving families an opportunity to practice tools and strategies used on the expedition, creating a solid foundation of understanding and support for the path ahead.
The next step is the family conference and debrief. Families meet one-on-one with at least one of the expedition Instructors to learn how their young adult fared on the course. They hear a detailed account of what the course was like, the struggles and success of the group and how their young adult handled the challenges. With the Instructor, families prepare for the next day’s meeting where they make a plan for the future. Together with an Instructor acting as a facilitator, families come up with a new agreement to guide life at home. The goal for the family is to re-establish healthy roles and connections, restore any past harm, rebuild trust and create clear expectations for the future. The goal for the student is to have a voice in the direction their life takes and to clearly understand and commit to their responsibilities in order to earn trust and more freedom at home.
Service is a cornerstone of every Outward Bound experience. From the seemingly small, daily acts of service to the environment and the expedition team to the post-expedition service-learning projects, students have ample opportunities to experience the value of giving back to the larger community. On the expedition, students are encouraged to practice environmental stewardship in the form of Leave No Trace ethics - leaving campsites and trails in better condition than they found them. Students also practice regular acts of service for their team including preparing and serving meals, helping others put on or take off packs, or setting up shelters for the entire team. After the expedition, students participate in two days of organized service to the community. These projects are designed to offer as much interaction with local communities as possible, as a way of exchanging cultural awareness and fostering a sense of connection to the larger world. The specific type of service project depends upon the structure of the course as well as local needs and opportunities. Service projects could include helping paint and clean in a border town or working to improve a local wilderness area.
The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition and gives students the opportunity to reflect on their Outward Bound experience. Many students use this reflection time to make decisions about their future, journal and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings unencumbered by the constant external stimulation of modern life. The duration of Solo depends on the course length and type, as well as the competency and preparedness of the student group. With all the food, skills and supplies they need, participants are given a secluded spot to reflect alone, and are monitored by staff throughout the experience to maintain safety. Students find that Solo provokes profound and powerful learning in a short period of time and often becomes one of the most memorable parts of their Outward Bound experience.
Courses are offered in a variety of locations and for different lengths to provide a range of programming from which participants can choose the optimal experience for them. Longer courses allow for a full immersion into the Outward Bound experience, more time to practice wilderness travel, and the opportunity to experience both success and failure to promote personal growth. The Intercept course offers the opportunity to be fully removed from the temptations and triggers of day-to-day life and start fresh with new habits and new life lessons. Students can expect to get comfortable living and working together in the wilderness while creating a solid foundation of communication, problem solving and decision making skills that they can continue to build on after course. With the added support of parent or guardian involvement, students are able to take lessons they’ve learned on this course back to their home lives and implement the changes they want to see.
Big Bend State and National Park, Texas
The Texas course area is one of the most remote and geologically interesting in the Outward Bound system. Along the US-Mexico border in southwestern Texas, the Rio Grande River carves a huge, sweeping bend where Big Bend National Park earns its name. This 750,000-square mile wilderness is the eighth largest national park in the lower 48 states and a desert backpacking and rock climbing paradise. In this region, delicate desert flowers exist alongside fossilized trees millions of years old, within mountain passes that give way to steep-walled canyons and cliffs. Much of this rugged land has remained unchanged for centuries. Hundreds of species of birds and a healthy diversity of other animal and plant communities thrive amid the splendid isolation of ancient limestone canyons, juniper and mesquite- covered mesas and coal-black night skies.
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.