This seven-day Oregon rafting course for teens is a unique program specifically designed for grieving teens coping with the death of a loved one. During this transformational adventure, participants experience powerful grief-work activities woven into the context of the traditional Outward Bound curriculum.
The first days of your trip will be spent on the wild and scenic Deschutes River building critical skills in teamwork and camp craft. This experience will serve as the foundation as you continue your journey, learning paddling skills, river hydrology, raft captaining, and safety. The course also includes an emphasis on leadership, character development, and an ethic of service. You do not need to have any previous experience, and will be taught necessary skills, including challenges such as navigating through rapids, swimming in cold water, paddling into headwinds, and more. 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.
This course is not currently accepting enrollments. Please check back frequently, as this is subject to
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JOIN WAITLIST Once a course has reached capacity, three waitlist positions become available. To join a course’s waitlist, click “Join Waitlist” to begin the application process. A $500 deposit is required. This $500 deposit includes a $150 non-refundable application fee and a $350 tuition payment. The $350 tuition payment is refundable only if you cancel your waitlist application or if an open position does not become available. If a position does become available, the applicant will be applied to the open position and the Application and Cancellation Policies of the Regional Outward Bound School will be followed, including forfeiture of the $500 deposit if you cancel 90 days or less prior to the course start date.
Waitlist applicants are encouraged to complete all required admissions documents while awaiting an open position. Positions may become available up to two weeks prior to the course start date. Applicants may only apply to one course. We recommend applying to a course with open positions instead of a course that is accepting waitlist applications. 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.
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Course start, welcome and introductions, gear-check, course overview
Fitting and use of personal flotation device, safety topics, captaining a raft, reading water, swim assessment, capsize drill, navigation, and camp-craft skills
Practice captaining a raft, scouting, throw bag drill, swimming activities
Opportunity for a day hike, rock jump, rock climbing, and/or rappelling. These activities are dependent on student and Instructor outcomes for the course
Day run through the town of Maupin. Largest concentration of rapids
De-issue and clean gear; course closing and celebration
Course price reflects reduced tuition made possible through the generous support of our donors and the Leadership support of The New York Life Foundation. Additional need based scholarships are available. To learn more about additional need based scholarships, click here.
Grieving Teens expeditions are designed to help students build confidence and resiliency, acquire coping skills and create a network of ongoing of support. The grief work that is woven into the curriculum helps young people share in a relevant healing experience with real-world outcomes. And in a time and space set aside just for them, grieving teens realize they are not alone.
Build core skills: Instructors provide students with hands-on training on expedition and personal skills. As they learn to live and travel together, students create an inclusive, supportive crew, sharing through discussion circles and grief rituals.
Practice Outward Bound values: Students learn to incorporate Outward Bound values into everyday life by pushing their own limits and seeking challenge as an opportunity for personal growth and healing.
Process and reflect: Journaling, one-on-one conferences and discussion circles help students understand how Outward Bound successes might translate to coping skills back home.
Demonstrate mastery: As the course nears the end, students tackle an expedition challenge, and pause to share and honor their losses.
What you’ll learn: Students return home with healthy support mechanisms and a positive network of peers they can count on in the future.
Students will travel on the river in four to six-person paddle rafts, and learn to “captain” (maneuver) their paddle raft team through Class II to III rapids. After lessons in basic river travel and safety, students will learn to read currents, anticipate obstacles, and scout rapids. Students will also learn river hydrology, swimming in currents, paddle techniques, and expeditionary travel. There may also be an opportunity for short day hikes.
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.
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.
The Deschutes River is part of the national Wild & Scenic Rivers System, flowing north from the Oregon Cascades to the Columbia River and then on to the Pacific Ocean. Courses generally travel anywhere from fifty to one hundred miles along the Lower Deschutes. The rapids on the Deschutes are rated to class IV, mostly class II-III. The group camps each night along the banks of the river.
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To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $300 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee.