Travel with a crew through lush forests, cook your own meals, set up camp in the backcountry, navigate rivers by canoe and learn Leave No Trace techniques to minimize your impact on the land. After long days of challenge and adventure, you’ll be rewarded with skills that last a lifetime. Enjoy views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the company of your crew as you backpack over varied terrain, climb rock faces and paddle down cool mountain whitewater. Participate in a call prior to the end of your course with a member of your support system who can help you stay committed to your goals.
Longer courses allow time to conduct service projects such as maintaining trails, partnering with nonprofits or helping at local farms and gardens. These projects illuminate the true meaning of giving back, the value of compassion and your own ability to lead. No prior experience is necessary. You just have to be willing to dig deep, embrace the moment and take on the challenge.
|NTP7-861||3.21.18 - 4.19.18||30||18 - 25||$5,895||ENROLL|
This course may be full or preparing to leave in the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
Our Pathfinder expeditions are designed for young adults who are recent high school graduates, college students, or young adults seeking personal, educational, or professional direction. Throughout these 30-day expeditions, students focus on increasing self-knowledge, clarifying values, strengthening decision-making skills and processes, and setting goals – all life skills to help chart a path toward independence with confidence and passion.
During this course, students will be backpacking in the Pisgah National Forest where they will learn safety precautions for backcountry foot travel, how to find campsites, and how to navigate varied terrain using a map and compass, as well as how to do these activities responsibly using Leave No Trace principles. Equally important will be time spent learning conflict resolution, communication styles, leadership and team building. After practicing these skills, the instructors will step back and let the crew work together to collectively navigate through the wilderness.
Weather permitting, students spend up to three days maneuvering Class I-III whitewater through sculpted rock channels in tandem (two person) canoes, perfect for fostering collaboration and communication skills between crewmates. Students execute synchronized strokes, dynamic eddy turns, peel-outs and ferries on the French Broad or Tuckaseegee Rivers and occasionally on the Chattooga, New and Nantahala Rivers. During this portion of the course, topics include: basic water safety and rescue techniques, identification and use of equipment, and how to work with paddling partners to successfully negotiate class l-III rapids and flat water strokes.
After the initial few days of backpacking, students will take their challenge vertical by either climbing up a mountain or rappelling down one. With a focus on safety, instructors will start with the basics, such as working with ropes and learning to tie knots. Students will then put their skills to the test as they learn how to climb or rappel at some of the best climbing sites east of the Mississippi River. Depending on the weather and the dynamics within the group, the crew may even have the opportunity to experience a high ropes obstacle course. These activities will push students to step outside their comfort zones to communicate and trust one another.
Participants have the opportunity to prepare for the unexpected by earning a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification. This training prepares participants to deal with illnesses and injuries in a wilderness setting through a combination of classroom learning and hands-on scenarios. Offered through partnerships with recognized national providers, such as Landmark Learning or SOLO, this certification is often a requirement for entry-level outdoor education jobs.
For thousands of years and across many cultures, solitude and reflection in nature have helped young adults to recognize and bring forth their personal gifts. The solo ceremony and rite of passage experience is highlighted on this Pathfinder course to help participants prepare to chart their path and contribute more fully to their communities. Participants return from solo with a new perspective on the parts of themselves they are ready to leave behind and those they want to embrace as they move forward. They return to their crew ready to incorporate their personal learnings into the greater context of community for the final expedition and for life after the course. On this course, students will participate in a solo progression that includes daily reflection time and a multi-day solo experience.
Service has always been an integral part of Outward Bound, providing the opportunity for students to experience a deeper relationship with the environment and local communities through which they travel. Students on this course can expect to engage in several service projects that may include trail maintenance, building and grounds maintenance in local recreation areas, invasive species management, working with rescue animals, or building houses. Students will explore the role of service on their course and in their life at home and reflect on the impact of service on the community and themselves.
The Final Expedition of a Pathfinder course provides students with the opportunity to be responsible for caring for themselves and each other in the backcountry. On Final Expedition, the instructors step back and the students take on the responsibility for route planning, navigation, time management, and communication. Students develop confidence in their leadership, technical, and interpersonal skills as they work together to complete the expedition.
Blue Ridge Mountains, NC
The Southern Appalachians, including the Blue Ridge Mountains, are some of the oldest mountains in the world. While the mountains themselves formed over 250 million years ago, some of the rocks that underlie the region are over a billion years old. The long geologic and evolutionary history of the Southern Appalachians has created one of the most biologically diverse regions in the temperate world. It is home to beautiful rushing rivers, hundreds of waterfalls and some of the highest peaks in the Eastern United States—including Mt. Mitchell (elevation 6,684 feet), the highest point east of the Mississippi River. Outward Bound students can expect to share the wilderness with over 700 different kinds of trees, more than 50 types of mammals, 150 different types of birds and over 50 species of amphibians. This course area is situated within a million acres of national forests, federally-protected wilderness areas and other public lands. Its diverse landscapes have been featured in many motion pictures, including The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans. Temperatures in this area range from 50 - 85 degrees in the summer, 30 - 65 degrees in the spring and fall, and 10 - 50 degrees in the winter.
“This course taught me that is okay to make mistakes and come back from them. I think this course has enabled me to take more risks and try new things because I feel more capable of handling new situations.” - Erin. A, Outward Bound alumnus
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.