It’s just the girls on this trip, exploring the granite peaks and alpine fields of the Sawatch mountains.
This all-girls eight-day backpacking course takes place in the Sawatch Range in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. All students who identify as girls are welcome to join! You’ll learn everything about thriving in the wilderness and discover new strengths within. You’ll also learn how to work as a team, each doing her part to support the group. Sleep under starry skies high up in the pristine Colorado Rockies. The Sawatch Range is sometimes called a “sea of mountains,” as reaching a summit gives you views of the many surrounding peaks.
This course is closed for the season. 2021 courses coming soon.
In early adolescence, many male students experience physical and cognitive development differently than female adolescents. Outward Bound has seen this in practice and has created select single-gender early adolescent courses comprised of developmentally similar students. This allows Instructors to effectively accommodate and teach to each groups' unique abilities. Single gender courses allow more open time to talk about fears and concerns, provide greater participation for girls in leadership roles, and lessen the potential for stereotyping behaviors to occur.
Are you ready to take a journey that will change your life? You won’t look at day-to-day drama the same way after you’ve conquered a high mountain ridge, made a boat obey your command in windswept waves or slept under the stars watching bats swoop overhead. Joining an Outward Bound expedition changes you. Your crew, your Instructor, your route and your adventures will have a profound and lasting impact on you as you rise to meet exhilarating natural challenges in some of the country’s wildest places.
Build skills, form connections: Learn and practice wilderness, teamwork and leadership skills. Find connections with your crewmates based on support and respect (and fun too!), and in the thick of challenges, discover there is more in you than you know.
Value strengths and strengthen values: Uncover your unique character strengths, develop your leadership abilities and learn how to let compassion in to everyday life by pushing your own limits and working alongside your peers.
Demonstrate mastery: As you gain confidence in new skills, take on more decision-making responsibilities. Work together to achieve team goals, solve problems and succeed both as individuals and as a group.
What you’ll learn: For Middle School students, heading away from home means taking on new responsibilities and expectations with crewmates who are strangers when you first meet and trusted teammates by the end of your expedition. It’s all about confidence.
After you come home, many of the character, leadership and service traits you uncovered on your expedition stay with you, helping you navigate your daily life with more resilience and success.
of Ben Sheppard
of Dan Susman
of Hannah Marshall
of Ian McConnell
of Ian McConnell
of Bob O'Rourke
of Mackenzie Mitchell
of Mackenzie Mitchell
of Mackenzie Mitchell
of Mackenzie Mitchell
Backpackers carry everything they need - food, shelter, clothing and gear – allowing them to go deep into the wilderness where few people go. Students feel a sense of freedom from deadlines and task lists as they grow accustomed to eating when hungry, setting up camp when tired and having complete control over what they accomplish each day. The simplicity of hiking gives students the opportunity to focus internally on their own thoughts and self-reliance, as well as externally to connect deeply with others as they talk, sing, play games and spend time together without distraction.
This course will begin with lessons in basic travel and camping techniques. Along the way, students learn Leave No Trace techniques, map and compass navigation and camp craft as they get a feel for the human and natural history of the area. Students backpack along valleys and long ridges, camp in basins with views of the top of the world and stop along the way to explore microclimates and alpine ecosystems. Most importantly, students spend time in an incredible area, sleep under the stars, feel the sunshine on their face and maybe watch a few sunsets over this magical landscape.
The expedition includes at least one peak attempt. Peak attempts are major enterprises and typically require early morning starts and take all day to complete. Weather or other factors including group dynamics and physical ability may preclude an attempt to ascend a peak.
Service to others and the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Participants follow Leave No Trace ethics as service to the environment and do acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Designated service projects are coordinated with land managers like the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service to collaborate on land restoration projects. Some projects are more community based, and students may help out at a horse rescue or renovating historic structures. As they see the impact of their actions firsthand, students develop a value of service and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home.
In order for profound learning to take place, there must be time to reflect on the experience. Solo is that opportunity, and that time can range anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours or more, depending on the length of the course. Weather and time permitting, 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 decisions about their future, journal and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings unencumbered by the constant external stimulation of modern life. The duration of Solo depends on the course length and type, as well as the competency and preparedness of the student group. With all the food, skills and supplies they need, participants are given a secluded spot to reflect alone and are monitored by staff throughout the experience to maintain safety. 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.
Whether an 8-day course or an 80 day course, all Outward Bound expeditions are focused on building character and leadership skills. Short courses are a great option for students looking for an introduction to the outdoors or for those who need a quick recharge. On shorter courses, students learn camping and expedition basics, as well as the skills specific to the course activity, such as climbing or rafting. Students get to know fellow crew mates surprisingly well as they share this immersive and intense experience.
On longer courses, Instructors progressively hand over more of the decision making and leadership of the expedition to the crew, allowing each person to test the new technical and interpersonal skills they have learned. Through the dynamics of an evolving group setting, students have more freedom to investigate who they are and how they want to develop personally. All along the way, students will experience a wide variety of some of the most beautiful wilderness in the US and the world.
The Sawatch Range is a large, high section of the Rocky Mountains in central Colorado. This range forms a portion of the Continental Divide and contains 15 peaks with elevations higher than 14,000 feet including Mount Elbert, which is the highest peak in the Rockies at 14,440 feet. Sawatch comes from a Ute word meaning sand dune as some of the peaks have a sandy color after the spring snows melt. These peaks are high enough that snow typically lasts into late July and some years may last year round. The Sawatch Range lies within the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) nation.
Course start at the Leadville Mountain Center. Get to know each other through group challenges and games. Finish out the day climbing around on the high ropes course.
Shuttle to the trailhead and grab your pack! The first day will be lighter, giving you time to learn skills, get closer to your crew, and acclimate to the elevation.
Peak attempt: You’ll get up before the sun and move quickly to get out of camp and start the ascent. From the summit you’ll get amazing views of the sea of mountains around you.
Solo: get some much needed rest. Take some time to reflect on how far you’ve come and what new things you have discovered about yourself.
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.
To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee.