Explore the wilderness with other girls, learning to rock climb and canoe in the “American Alps” with Outward Bound.
The Northwest Canoeing & Rock Climbing course offers young teens the opportunity to explore beautiful recreation areas in Washington State. Expect to learn how to pack appropriately, paddle canoes, set up tarps, climb and navigate. The course also includes an emphasis on leadership, character development, and an ethic of service. From getting up early and cooking breakfast to climbing a rock face, wilderness travel is demanding. You do not need to have any previous experience, but arriving physically fit and excited for the opportunity for personal development will enhance your experience and allow you to take full advantage of the expedition.
Benefits of a Single-gender Course
Single-gender courses 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 girls to take leadership roles, 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 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, students will encounter the natural wonders of lake travel, including access to waterfalls, wildlife sighting and miraculously clear blue waters.
of Judith Robertson
of Michael Mourar
of Lilita Wood
During your expedition you 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 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.
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.
Hike to lake and begin the intro lessons to campcraft, wilderness travel and canoeing expedition
Explore a lake by canoe, service project and a possible peak hike
Personal Challenge Event
Course end and transportation home
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.