This all-boy, 9-day backpacking journey is an opportunity for young teens to face new challenges in a unique wilderness environment and an intense team setting.
Maine Appalachian backpacking expeditions explore the remote stretches of the northern Appalachian mountain range. Over mountains and trails you will learn to camp and travel simply, relying only on your fellow students and what you can carry on your backs. Instructors will introduce you to beginning, intermediate, and advanced skills in mountain navigation, weather observation, and campsite selection. Regular group discussions allow for reflection on each day’s progress and ensure that leadership and responsibilities are shared so that every crew member is involved in planning the next day. Through living and working closely together, your group will practice more than wilderness travel skills—the habits learned and strengthened through this backpacking expedition will serve you for life and prepare you for whatever challenge comes next.
Single Gender Courses
In early adolescence, many male students experience physical and cognitive development at different rates compared to female adolescents. Outward Bound has seen this in practice and has created single-gender early adolescent courses comprised of students at similar levels of development. This allows instructors to effectively accommodate and teach to each groups' unique abilities. Single gender courses allow more open time to talk about fears and concerns, provide greater participation in leadership roles, ensure less distraction due to appearances, and lessen the potential for stereotyping behaviors to occur.
This course is closed for the season. 2021 courses coming soon.
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 High 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.
Backpacking is an ideal combination of team and individual elements. The mountains of Maine are rugged and wooded and the trails are remote, narrow, and often steep. At times students travel on wilderness footpaths and at other times they navigate off trail. From mountain peaks on clear days, the group is rewarded with spectacular views. Living and traveling with just what one can carry on their back is a simple existence, in which small choices can make deceptively great differences. To live well in the outdoors, all crew members must share the chores that turn a camp into a home, including setting up tents and tarps, creating a kitchen area, taking turns fetching water and cooking satisfying meals.
Among the mountains of Maine are rocky crags that offer beginning, intermediate and challenging rock climbing. After learning to use climbing equipment, tie knots, and belay each other, students test their balance, control and mental strength in the vertical world. In addition to stretching the limits of what they think they’re capable of, climbing hones their coordination, flexibility and grace on the rock. Depending upon the expedition route, technical rope activities may include a “via ferrate” or “Tyrolean traverse.” Climbing presents many individual challenges for students, while the team must work together to set systems up, communicate clearly, and support each other throughout the climb.
Service projects are often incorporated into Outward Bound courses through coordination with local land managers, conservation groups, government or social service agencies. While on expedition, students are encouraged to practice service to the environment and their team by sharing responsibilities and following Leave No Trace ethics throughout the course.
The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition to give students quiet time to reflect on their experience. With the basics of food and equipment, and with safety a top priority, students will take some time away from the group to be alone at sites of their own choosing, using the wilderness skills learned during the first parts of the course. Campsites are chosen to offer as much solitude as possible (yet be within emergency whistle-signaling distance of other group members). Most students spend their Solo time journaling, drawing or just thinking and resting as they process lessons learned and focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each student at regular intervals. The time students spend on Solo depends on the length of the course.
Nine-day courses for 13- to 14-year-olds are designed to introduce young teens to Outward Bound. Supportive Instructors teach the skills of wilderness travel and guide the formation of the group into an expedition team. As the students’ abilities grow, the Instructors intentionally and progressively challenge them to take on more responsibilities, try out more leadership roles, and develop a heightened sense of self and purpose. Under the close supervision of caring Instructors, students are permitted to share ideas, experiment, triumph and sometimes fail. While safety is a top priority, students may experience moments of frustration, disappointment, cold or tiredness. At such times, the Instructors coach young teens to review their choices, weigh the results, decide what changes to make and try again. We find this teaches decision making, responsibility, and resiliency and ensures that the group knows that all successes are truly theirs! Students return readier to fully participate and positively engage at home, in school, on teams, and in their communities.
of Hannah Baker
of Hannah Baker
The mountains of western Maine and northern New Hampshire comprise the northern end of the Appalachian mountain range. Within this region, the White Mountain National Forest, the Appalachian Trail, the Carter-Mahoosuc Range, the Hundred-Mile Wilderness, the Grafton Loop Trail and the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness all offer classic backpacking terrain. These spruce-fir and hardwood forests are home to hundreds of species of birds as well as moose, deer and black bear. Rushing waterfalls, clear twisting streams and spectacular views from rocky summits reward backpackers ready for adventure.
Travel to course, welcomes, equipment issue and check, introduction to camping
Team building: rock climbing or ropes course
Final expedition, return to basecamp, personal challenge event, equipment clean-up and de-issue
Course graduation, depart for airport
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.