Travel, learn, and grow in the American Southwest. Complete 12 hours of community service as you interact with local people, expanding cultural awareness while practicing the Outward Bound ethic of service. Acquire an extensive range of practical outdoor and life skills, and even more importantly, enjoy the confidence, independence and pride that come from mastering those skills. Learn to take risks, take ownership for your actions and identify your own strengths – all against the stunning backdrop of the arid landscape. At the end of the course, participate in a facilitated family conversation where the entire family can gain insight into your experience, and discuss how your newfound knowledge will transfer back to your daily life. With all of the color and contrast the Rio Grande area has to offer, this Pathfinder expedition is an unforgettable wilderness learning experience.
|VRPF-762||10.28.17 - 11.26.17||30||18 - 25||$5,295||CALL|
|VRPF-861||1.17.18 - 2.15.18||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.
After first learning basic whitewater strokes in calm currents, students begin the expedition. Paddling as a group, participants spend two weeks traveling down-river through sections of calm currents and whitewater. The waters of the Rio Grande offer beginning paddlers a progressive challenge and a perfect place to learn and hone skills.
Instructors assist students in mastering skills of paddling, scouting and running rapids. Students learn all the skills they need to move efficiently downriver. As there are only two students in a whitewater canoe, everyone has the opportunity to "captain their watercraft." Students learn to adapt to the river and desert environments and reset their internal clock to rise with the sun and sleep with the moon.
Students explore the Chihuahuan Desert, crossing mountainous terrain and traveling through water-polished canyons. At altitudes of 2,000-8,000 feet, backpack the vast Chisos Mountains. The small group will hike both on and off trail, crossing mountain passes, exploring immense canyons and traversing a rugged desert where atmospheric clarity and wide-open spaces make distances deceiving and navigation challenging. While hiking, students will learn desert travel skills such as strategies for water management and environmental preservation, as well as the finer points of balance and foot placement on rough terrain.
Regardless of their rock climbing background, students are sure to find something that challenges them and encourages the expansion of their comfort zone. Instructors teach the group about general rock-climbing equipment, safety and etiquette before learning how to belay. The full day of rock climbing provides ample opportunities to climb, belay and rappel over the edge, eventually descending safely to the base of a majestic cliff band.
Service is an integral part of the Outward Bound curriculum. Students are encouraged to practice service to the environment in the form of leaving campsites cleaner than they find them and practicing Leave No Trace ethics throughout the expedition. Preparing people to be of service to others is one of the core values of Outward Bound.
During the expedition, students participate in two days of community service. Service in Texas is designed to offer as much interaction with local people as possible, as a way of exchanging cultural awareness. The specific type of service project depends upon the structure of the course as well as local needs and opportunities. Service projects could include helping paint and clean in a border town or working in a local wilderness area.
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. Many students use this reflection time to make significant decisions about their future, journal or write letters to friends and family. The duration of solo depends on the course length and type, as well as the competency and preparedness of the student group. Students on a Pathfinder course typically experience a 24-48 hour solo. Regardless of solo length, all students receive sufficient food, water and shelter to keep them safe and healthy. Students find that solo provokes profound and powerful learning in a short period of time and often becomes one of the most memorable parts of their Outward Bound experience.
A 30-day Pathfinder course provides the opportunity to chart a path, the motivation to begin the journey, and the skills required to achieve personal and professional goals. While adventuring in the backcountry and tackling physical, mental and emotional challenges, students will:
Big Bend, TX
The Big Bend is one of the most remote and geologically interesting landscapes in the United States. It lies along the US-Mexico border in southwestern Texas. In this course area, Rio Grande River carves a huge sweeping bend through the area, giving the region its name. This 750,000-square mile wilderness area is an ideal setting for whitewater canoeing, desert backpacking, canyoneering and rock climbing. Students experience delicate desert flowers existing alongside fossilized trees millions of years old while mountain passes give way to steep-walled canyons and cliffs.
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.