Alpine Backpacking, Service, Rock Climbing, Base Camp
Middle School, Single Gender
Basic Paddle Strokes
Belaying a Climber
Food Preparation and Cooking
Leave No Trace Methods & Ethics
Explore the wilderness with other girls, learning to rock climb and canoe in the “American Alps” with Outward Bound.
The North Cascades Canoeing & Rock Climbing course offers young teens the opportunity to explore one of Washington State’s most beautiful recreation areas. You can expect to learn how to travel and camp in the wilderness, paddle canoes, set up tarps, rock climb and navigate using a map and compass. The course includes a focus on cultivating skills around leadership, character development, service to others and interpersonal development. From getting up early and cooking breakfast, to hiking or paddling all day, climbing a rock face, wilderness travel is demanding. You do not need to have any previous experience but arriving physically prepared and excited for the opportunity for personal development will enhance your experience and allow you to take full advantage of the expedition.
This course is open to non-binary, trans-women and gender expansive identifying students. We strive to create an inclusive environment for all of our students.
Benefits of a Single-gender Course
Outward Bound has observed the differences between male and female physical and cognitive development rates in early adolescence. Courses that are single gender allow instructors to effectively accommodate and teach to the group's abilities. Early adolescent, single-gender courses allow more open space to talk about fears and concerns. They provide a greater opportunity for females to take leadership roles, and lessen the potential for stereotyping behaviors to occur.
NOTE: For details on current COVID-19 policies, including vaccination, please contact an Admissions Advisor at the National Admissions Office at 866-467-7651.
What is this?
For detailed information on course availability statuses and what they mean, click here.
This course starts within the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to assess the possibility of applying for this course!
APPLY NOW This means a course has several open spots and is actively processing applications.
APPLY NOW – Almost Full This means there are three or fewer currently available spots left on a course. To secure your spot click Apply Now to begin an application!
Once a course has reached capacity, three waitlist spots will become available. In the event a spot becomes available, those on the waitlist may have an opportunity to secure the available spot. To join a course’s waitlist, click “Join Waitlist” to begin the application process. Upon completion of your application, a $500 deposit is required to reserve the waitlist spot. If you choose to remove your application from the waitlist, or if a spot does not become available, you will be refunded the $500 deposit. If a spot becomes available and you elect not to take it, Outward Bound will keep $150 of the deposit.
Waitlist spots are prioritized in the order of returned paperwork, not in the order applications are received, so be sure to return the initial paperwork as soon as possible! Please be aware that waitlist spots may become available up to two weeks before the course starts. While cancellations do occur, we cannot guarantee a spot will become available. Applicants may only be listed on one waitlist. If there is another course that still has availability and is also of interest to you, we recommend applying for that course instead. If you have questions, please call 866-467-7651 to speak with one of our Admissions Advisors.
CALL TO APPLY This means a course is very close to its start date. Although it is unlikely to secure a spot this late, you can call the National Admissions office at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
COURSE IS FULL When a course has reached maximum capacity, meaning all spots and the three waitlist spots are occupied, a course will read “Course Is Full.” This means applications are no longer being accepted.
CLOSED As a course nears its start date, the availability status may read “Closed.” In this event, a course roster has been finalized and applications are no longer being accepted or processed.
Are you ready to take a journey that will change your life? You won’t take for granted the day-to-day routine 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, heading away from home means taking on new responsibilities and expectations with crewmates who are strangers when you first meet and trusted teammates by the end of your expedition. It’s all about confidence.
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.
of Judith Robertson
of Judith Robertson
of Radha Vyas
During the canoeing expedition, students will travel between campsites along the lake. At camp, students will work as a team with their Instructors to learn the art of setting up a backcountry camp. Camp skills include setting up shelters, cooking meals and helping to decide where the following days will lead. Along the way, they will encounter the natural wonders of lake travel, including access to waterfalls, wildlife sighting and miraculously clear blue waters.
of Michael Mourar
of Lilita Wood
During your expedition they will learn the basics of climbing technique, belaying, rappelling and knots. Rock climbing is physically, mentally, and sometimes emotionally demanding. For many students, rock climbing is the high point of the course. For others, it’s a major mental challenge to face. Courses generally include 1-2 days of rock climbing, depending upon individual course itineraries and student groups.
Service to others and to our environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Groups follow Leave No Trace® ethics as they engage in acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Students see the impact of their actions firsthand, and may develop a desire to continue service in their home communities.
In order for profound learning to take place, students spend time reflecting on their experience, and Solo is that opportunity. 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. With sufficient food and equipment, students will set up camp at sites of their own, using the wilderness skills learned during the first portions of the course. The amount of time students spend on Solo is based on course length, weather, student condition, age and Instructor preference. Solo 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, reflecting, thinking and resting as they process lessons of the course to focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each participant at regular intervals, as safety is always a top priority.
Courses typically end with a Personal Challenge Event—an individual final physical push. This typically takes the form of an endurance run or triathlon-style challenge.
Outward Bound promotes character development, leadership and service in the most engaging classroom possible … the wilderness. In real time, students experience the effects of their decisions on themselves and the other members of their group as they work to complete difficult tasks necessary for wilderness travel. Instructors challenge students to try new things and step outside their comfort zones. They also provide feedback that students implement on course and when they return to their communities.
of Ian Siadak
of Laura Bannon
of Tyler Mitic
Depending on weather, snow melt and other conditions, the canoeing portion will take place at one of two Washington lakes. Both lakes offer the unique opportunity to explore a region of Washington by boat.
Ross Lake, Washington
Accessible only by boat or trail, this 25 mile long glacier-fed lake is nestled in the North Cascades National Park and the Pasayten Wilderness Area. This part of the park is known for the surrounding 8,000 ft. mountain peaks, deep glacially carved valleys, and clear blue-green water. Waterfalls flow into the lake from the glaciers above, and eagles soar overhead in search of trout. These regions are the ancestral lands of the Nłeʔkepmx Tmíxʷ (Nlaka'pamux) and Syilx tmixʷ (Okanagan) nations.
Lake Roosevelt, Washington
This lake, which sits behind the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River, is 130 miles long and is nestled in the beautiful forested hills of Northeastern Washington. Lake Roosevelt features calm, turquoise water and gorgeous fir and pine-forested shores. There are nearby waterfalls and hiking trails to explore along the lake, as well as a myriad of wildflowers and wildlife on the shoreline. These regions are the ancestral lands of the Syilx tmixʷ (Okanagan), Ktunaxa ɁamakɁis, Colville, Ktunaxa, San Poil and Spokane nations.
Team building, campcraft, wilderness travel, and canoeing skills
Explore lake by canoe and develop leadership skills by taking turns leading the group each day. Routines are solidified and group roles are reinforced.
Rock climbing. Trust building and personal challenge through rock climbing and belaying crew mates. Personal Challenge Event and course closing ceremony.
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.