“This expedition has given me more than I could have ever expected or wished for! I have never been as motivated as I am today. Thank you to all of the staff and my crew members for being so supportive and nurturing during our course. Words will never be enough for all that I have learned during the physical and mental challenges on course. I am certain that there are no limits to what we are capable of and will never forget the pillars nor the valuable skills we were taught.” – Estefane
Discover what it’s like to live, work and play in the great outdoors of Western North Carolina on this multi-activity wilderness adventure. The journey will take students deep into some of the oldest mountains in the world, over rocky mountain faces and through racing rivers. In the Pisgah National Forests, you and your crew will work together to make your way through lush forests, cook your own meals, set-up camp in the backcountry, navigate rushing mountain rivers by canoe, build trust belaying one another while rock climbing and learn Leave No Trace techniques to minimize their impact on the land. After long days of challenge and adventure, students will be rewarded with skills, views, memories and connections that will last a lifetime.
|NTP7-961||3.21.19 - 4.19.19||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.
Sometimes you don’t know where you want to go in life until you spend a few weeks in the middle of nowhere. Pathfinder expeditions give you time and space to understand what’s important to you and the skills to get there. Over the next 30 days, you’ll rise to meet natural challenges, becoming accustomed to setting goals, making decisions, and recovering from set-backs, all of which help clarify bigger choices that await you in life beyond your course.
Return home after broadening your horizons, learning how to adapt to new environments and trying untested possibilities, with an action plan for the future. With newfound leadership potential, self-awareness, and problem-solving skills, you’ll be ready for your next big step.
Before course starts, students identify a member of their support system (parent, friend, coach, teacher, etc.) who help them stay committed to their goals once they return home from course. Then, prior to the completion of course, students participate in a conference call with that support person and an Outward Bound instructor. The purpose of the call is to discuss lessons learned during course, identify goals for the future, and how to incorporate this newfound knowledge into their lives at home
Students backpack in Pisgah National Forest where they learn to travel safely through the backcountry, navigate varied terrain with a map and compass, as well as how to live in the wilderness responsibly using Leave No Trace principles. Equally important is time spent learning conflict resolution skills, communication styles, leadership techniques, as well as teamwork. After the crew has practiced these skills the instructors step back, let providing the opportunity for the group to work together, navigating through the wilderness where they will be rewarded with stunning misty mountain vistas.”
After a few days discovering wilderness fundamentals and building crew comradery, students will learn to maneuver Class I-Class III whitewater rapids. Paddling through sculpted rock channels in tandem (two person) canoes offers the perfect opportunity to foster further collaboration and communication skills between crewmates. Students will execute synchronized strokes, dynamic eddy turns, peel-outs and ferries on either the French Broad, Tuckaseegee, Chattooga, New or Nantahala Rivers. Some of the topics crews cover during this portion of the course include: identification and use of equipment, basic water safety and rescue techniques, how to work with paddling partners to successfully negotiate Class l-Class III rapids and flatwater and whitewater paddling strokes.
With a focus on safety, climbing instruction starts by teaching the basics, such as working with ropes and learning to tie knots. As students progress, they learn how to climb up, or rappel down, a rock face. They may also have the opportunity to work through a high ropes obstacle course together. These uniquely structured activities provide opportunities not only for self-reliance, but also for communication and collaboration as participants confront and work through fears and challenges.
Participants prepare for the unexpected by earning a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification. This fast-paced, hands-on training is designed to teach skills to care for those who become ill or injured and are far from definitive medical care. Offered through a partnership with Landmark Learning, an accredited organization, this certification includes classroom lectures and demonstrations combined with realistic scenarios where mock patients challenge participants to use what they've learned.
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. Solo is a rite of passage on any Outward Bound course, and it is highlighted on this Pathfinder course to help participants prepare to chart their path and contribute more fully to their communities.
During Solo, Instructors assign students to their own individual sites within a designated area. These sites are both secluded and within hearing distance of other group members and Instructors for safety. Students will have all the necessary gear, food, water and skills to enjoy this time alone. They also know the location of their Instructors’ camp site should they need to contact them for any reason. Instructors will be monitoring students closely during this experience. Solo is a great opportunity for students to relax, recharge and reflect on their course after having long days of strenuous group activities. 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. 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 the local communities that surround the course area. Students 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 explore the role of service on 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, North Carolina
The Blue Ridge Mountains, or Southern Appalachians, is one of the oldest mountain ranges 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 North America. Some even say it is “rainforest-like.” This region 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. Its diverse landscapes have been featured in many motion pictures, including The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans.
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. The huge numbers of tree and plants is actually what gives these mountains their namesake. Trees put the ‘blue’ in the Blue Ridge Mountains from the organic chemicals they release into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the distinctive color of these mountains. Temperatures in this area range from 50 to 85 degrees in the summer, 30 to 65 degrees in the spring and fall and 10 to 50 degrees in the winter.
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.