Immerse yourself in the marine ecosystem as you live, learn and collaborate with your teammates sailing a 30-ft open boat on the rugged Coast of Maine. With no prior sailing experience needed, you’ll learn the art of navigation and advanced seamanship, and share leadership roles and the responsibilities necessary to effectively sail a boat. From there, you and your group will backpack the northern Appalachian Mountain range in western Maine and northern New Hampshire, where you’ll test your camp craft and map and compass skills to take on more independence and challenges. On the third phase of this course, you will travel to the stunning beaches and cascading rivers of Costa Rica where whitewater rafting will test your expedition planning abilities in the new contexts of international travel, risk management and intercultural education. Activities, discussions and teaching opportunities throughout the course will prepare you for future endeavors, whether it’s a summer guide job or a career in outdoor education. This course provides an opportunity to earn college credit.
This course is closed for the season. 2020 courses coming soon.
Most College Savings Plans, including the 529 College Savings Plan, may be used to attend an Outward Bound expedition, thanks to a partnership with Western Colorado University. Anyone can register – you do not have to be a current Western Colorado University student. Registration is easy! Click here to learn more.
Are you motivated by the never-ending discovery in the adventure of the outdoors? Are you passionate about sharing knowledge and helping future generations become comfortable and confident appreciators of the natural world? Working as an outdoor educator requires deep technical expertise in outdoor skills alongside hands-on training in the science behind experiential learning and how to create lasting impact for students. Outward Bound leads the outdoor education industry in both areas, providing a coveted foundation to jump-start an outdoor-involved career.
Outdoor Educator courses allow you to work in and through the widest variety of wilderness environments and develop high level skills in each. Beyond preparing you for career opportunities in the outdoor industry, you may also earn academic credit in the field of Recreation and Outdoor Education.
Outward Bound is accredited with the American Gap Association and is the longest running program in this elite group dedicated to providing safe, meaningful and high-caliber educational experiences to students.
Our traditional 30-foot sailboats encourage teamwork and leadership like no other classroom. While exploring coastal Maine on an open boat with no cabin and no engine, students live closely together, using only wind and oars to power their way. Students learn the crafts of maneuvering under sail, coastal navigation and rowing. At night, the group sets up shelter on deck, taking turns with crewmates at anchor watch and sleeping beneath brilliant night skies.
The mountains of Maine are rugged and wooded, and the trails are remote, narrow and often steep. Students travel on wilderness footpaths and sometimes 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 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 like setting up tents and tarps, creating a kitchen area, taking a turn fetching water and cooking satisfying meals.
Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification is recognized as the standard level of expertise in backcountry first aid. This nationally recognized program trains participants to respond to emergencies in remote environments. Students complete practical skills, case studies and scenarios designed to challenge their decision-making abilities. A portion of the 80-hour curriculum is dedicated to standards for extended care situations.
Rock climbing sessions take place at the many granite crags and cliffs that make northern New England a renowned climbing destination. Students learn how to properly use harnesses, helmets, ropes and belay devices. Starting with the basics of tying into the rope and belay safety, students practice efficient movement over rock using friction techniques, edging and crack climbing, progressing to more advanced climbing techniques like setting up top ropes and building anchors.
During whitewater training, students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to paddle Class II, III, and possibly IV rapids. For two weeks, the group follows the water around Costa Rica, paddling several rivers on day trips and multi-day expeditions. Depending on water levels, students paddle in inflatable kayaks or learn to guide a raft. During this section, students complete their Whitewater Rescue Technician course. The Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) course is designed specifically for professional guides, private boaters, fish and game personnel and others who work or play on and around flowing water. Students benefit from intensive, hands-on course experience and learn to use techniques and simple equipment to assess and perform river rescues. The emphasis is on speedy, low-tech and improvised rescue techniques that are effective and require minimal equipment.
Outdoor Education semester groups engage in service projects coordinated with local land managers, conservation groups, government agencies or social service agencies. While in the wilderness, students are encouraged to practice service to the environment and their team by sharing responsibilities and following Leave No Trace ethics.
The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition to give students quiet time to reflect on the Outward Bound experience. With food and equipment, wilderness skills learned in the first parts of the course and with safety a top priority, students take some time away from the group to be alone at designated campsites. Often located along beautiful lake shorelines or peaceful rivers, Solo sites are chosen to offer as much solitude as possible and 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 participant at regular intervals. The time students spend on Solo depends on the length of the course. On courses longer than three weeks, Solo is up to 72 hours long.
Students will receive in-depth training in expedition, interpersonal and educational skills necessary to work as a professional in the outdoor industry. As they become proficient in wilderness travel, they’ll follow a progression designed to enhance their teaching and leadership skills. Seeking and learning from challenges, while providing and receiving feedback from their Instructors and peers, students will be expected to step outside their comfort zones and complete tasks they never before thought possible. In addition to being an exhilarating adventure, this semester promotes situational thinking, individual and group goal setting, evaluation of options and decision-making, and flexibility and effectiveness in problem solving.
With its intricate and indented shoreline, the Maine coast is a unique segment of the North Atlantic seaboard. It is renown among sailors for its picturesque beauty, abundant bays and harbors, rocky islands and quiet coves. The Outward Bound course area covers nearly 200 linear miles of the Maine coast, with countless rivers, bays and islands to explore. The rocky, spruce-covered islands are the summits of a prehistoric mountain range and generations of inhabitants have made their livelihoods here. Evidence left behind on the islands reveals the historic presence of indigenous Abenaki camps, pre-colonial fishing communities, post-colonial timber and farming operations and early 20th century granite quarries. Cold, nutrient-rich waters flow from the Canadian Maritimes and make the Gulf of Maine home to a wide range of sea birds, harbor seals, porpoises and whales.
Backpacking will take place in the mountains of western Maine and northern New Hampshire which 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 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.
The coastal and river environments of Costa Rica provide a perfect backdrop for expanding wilderness travel skills. This small tropical nation is fast becoming a renowned destination for whitewater rafting, surfing, rainforest trekking and eco-adventures. About the size of West Virginia, Costa Rica has a variety of climates including tropical dry forest, rainforest and cloud forest. Due to its mountainous landscape and tropical rainfall, Costa Rica boasts more whitewater rivers than any other country of its size. The warm tropical rivers cut through lush rainforest and create an ideal rafting playground.
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.