This Pathfinder sailing and canoeing expedition is for young adults seeking a fresh challenge in an intense team setting and two unique environments. On the Maine Coast, you will sail the rugged shoreline and then explore the Northwoods of Maine by canoe. On the ocean, lakes and rivers of the eastern seaboard’s wildest regions, you will explore your strengths and values, learn to live and travel simply, set goals and work towards them. You will rely on your group, the forces of nature and what the group can carry. In a phased teaching progression, Instructors will introduce beginning, intermediate and advanced sailing and paddling skills as students learn to live and work closely together. Regular group discussions allow for reflection on each day’s progress and ensure that leadership and responsibilities are shared so that every student is integral to planning the next day. The habits learned and strengthened through these expeditions will serve you for life and prepare you for whatever challenges come next.
This course is closed for the season. 2018 courses coming soon.
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.
Traditional 30-foot sailboats encourage teamwork and leadership like no other classroom. On an open boat with no cabin and no engine, students work closely together to travel, using only the wind or the oars as propulsion. As they rotate responsibilities, the group learns the crafts of maneuvering under sail, coastal navigation, rowing and living aboard a small open boat. At night, students sleep on deck under a tarp, taking turns to keep anchor watch under brilliant night skies.
The granite outcroppings that made Maine famous as a source of building material a century ago now provides the setting for outstanding rock climbing or rappelling. Students learn to use climbing equipment, tie knots, climb and belay. Climbing hones and develops balance, coordination, flexibility and grace on the rock. Rock climbing sessions present many individual challenges, while the team must work together to set systems up, communicate clearly and support each other throughout the climb.
In the heart of Maine’s Northwoods are networks of remote lakes and rivers that flow through a five million acre forest. Students learn to maneuver canoes using paddle strokes such as the sweep, draw, pry and J-stroke. To get from one waterway into another, participants portage (carry the canoes on their shoulders) and line (guide the loaded canoe down the sides of unrunnable rapids). On whitewater, students practice swimming in rapids so they know what to do in the event of a capsize and learn whitewater strokes, river reading skills, route finding and rescue techniques. Whitewater sections like “Seboomook,” “The Sluice,” “Surprise,” and “The Maze” test students’ draw, cross-draw and bracing techniques. Upstream travel is achieved by “poling,” another traditional means of travel that involves propelling a canoe upstream using a 12 foot long setting pole. In learning to work, communicate well and coordinate efforts with their paddling partner each day, students discover the power of two people truly working together
Service projects are often incorporated into Outward Bound courses through coordination with local land managers, conservation groups, government agencies or social service agencies. While on expedition, students are encouraged to practice service to the environment and their team by sharing responsibilities and following Leave No Trace ethics throughout the course.
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 half or two-thirds of the course. The time students spend on Solo depends on the length of the course. On one-week courses, Solo is four to 12 hours long; on courses three weeks or longer, Solo will be up to 72 hours. Often located along beautiful shorelines or peaceful rivers, 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 or just thinking and resting as they process lessons of the course to focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each participant at least daily.
On our Pathfinder expeditions, participants learn and practice the geometry of navigation, the coordination of climbing, the choreography of rowing and paddling, the science of sailing, the good habits of living simply, the self-discipline of keeping equipment organized and ready and the essential arts of forming a positive community. The abilities formed through learning these expedition skills will prove applicable at home, school or work and will serve as preparation for the next challenges of life.
The coast of Maine, with its intricate and indented shoreline, is a unique segment of the North Atlantic seaboard. It is renowned among sailors for its picturesque beauty, iconic lighthouses, abundant bays and harbors, rocky islands and quiet coves. The rocky, spruce-covered islands are the summits of a prehistoric mountain range, and generations of inhabitants have made their livelihoods here. Evidence left behind on the islands reveals the historic presence of indigenous camps, pre-colonial fishing communities, post-colonial timber and farming operations and early 20th century granite quarries. Cold, nutrient-rich waters flow from the Canadian Maritimes, and make the Gulf of Maine home to a wide range of sea birds, seals, porpoises and whales. For the canoeing portion of this course, students will explore the upper reaches of the Penobscot, Kennebec and Allagash watersheds in Maine’s Northwoods. This is the land that Thoreau immortalized in The Maine Woods. The known history of this five million acre forest begins with the indigenous Abenaki people, who lived along the banks of these rivers during the winter, planted crops in the spring and then traveled downstream by canoe to coastal summer sites. After the discovery of massive white pines in the 17th century, these waterways were used by Europeans to transport logs from the forests to the mills downstream. These days, the forests, lakes and rivers are used primarily by canoeists, fishermen and other recreationalists.
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.