This seven-day expedition is an opportunity to experience challenge and growth as a family in a fun, supportive, wilderness environment. Ideal for a parent and child or other family twosome or threesome, this course is an excellent way to learn about yourself and your child, parent, sibling or other family member.
Skilled Instructors manage the details, giving family members an opportunity to focus on learning new skills and bonding with one another. Discover and celebrate the unique strengths and contributions of each family member as you work together to tackle challenges, overcome obstacles and enjoy the beauty and fun of wilderness travel. No previous experience is required. Instructors teach you everything you need to know to travel comfortably, pack appropriately, set up camp, cook over a fire, navigate and paddle your canoe through the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. At the end of the journey, return home with enhanced communication skills, collaboration, perseverance, compassion and unique memories.
This course is closed for the season. 2019 courses coming soon.
Outward Bound Family expeditions are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to experience the great outdoors with the people you love. These eye-opening adventures provide a new and exciting place to bond as a family, improve communication, and cultivate a shared sense of natural wonder as you explore some of the nation’s most pristine wilderness areas together.
Families paddle together on the upper section of either the Namekagon or St. Croix Rivers and enjoy pristine camping within this National Scenic Riverway. In two-person canoes, participants learn to maneuver their team through Class I or Class II rapids. After lessons in basic river travel, participants learn about “reading” currents, anticipating obstacles, understanding river dynamics and working as an effective team to negotiate both technical and calm portions of the river. Participants also learn about weather, swimming in moving water, paddle techniques and the importance of Leave No Trace ethics when camping and traveling.
With 100,000 year-old rock formations and the St. Croix River as a backdrop, Interstate State Park offers a variety of beginner and intermediate climbs that provide an ideal introduction to rock climbing. Regardless of a participant’s rock climbing and rappelling background, everyone is sure to find success in this Final Challenge Event. Families support, motivate and celebrate each other as they belay one another through the final challenge of the course.
All Outward Bound rock climbing and rappelling experiences are carefully supervised and employ safety systems aligned with national standards. During climbing days, participants learn about rock climbing equipment, safety and etiquette, belaying techniques and climbing rescue techniques. Encouraged and supported by their group, participants push their perceived limits and expand their comfort zones in a safe, fun and non-competitive environment.
Weather and time permitting, a two- to four-hour solitude or “Solo” experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition and gives participants the opportunity to reflect on their Outward Bound experience. Many participants use this reflection time to journal or write letters to friends and family. While participants typically spend this time alone, it is possible for families to have a shared experience or “duo” and deepen their relationships quietly amongst themselves. Instructors check on participants as often as needed to ensure comfort and safety. Instructors choose Solo sites to offer as much solitude as possible while retaining some proximity to the group. Participants tend to 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.
Service is a cornerstone of every Outward Bound experience. From the seemingly small daily acts of service to the environment to the regular tasks of being part of an expeditionary team, participants have ample opportunities to experience the value of giving back to the larger community. On the expedition, participants are encouraged to practice environmental stewardship in the form of Leave No Trace ethics - leaving campsites, trails and waterways in better condition than they found them. Participants also practice regular acts of service for their team including preparing and serving meals, helping others put on or take off packs or setting up shelters for the entire team.
This course is a unique opportunity for family members to have an introductory experience to Outward Bound together. Whether families are looking to build a stronger relationships or test the waters for a longer expedition, this course will provide an opportunity to develop both interpersonal and outdoor skills.
St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, Wisconsin & Minnesota
The Riverway starts as the Namekagon River in Northern Wisconsin and flows into the St. Croix River just north of Danbury, Wisconsin, where the river becomes the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota. The entire Riverway includes over 200 miles of river travel and many rapids up to Class I or Class II, depending on water levels. Carved by glaciers more than 10,000 years ago, the Riverway harbors centuries-old rock formations and glacial potholes found in very few places on earth.
This corridor provides scenic views and a haven for native fish and wildlife including bald eagles, osprey, fox and bear. With a rich natural and human history including Dakota, Ojibwe, Voyageurs, loggers and settlers, traveling the St. Croix Scenic Riverway gives students a chance enjoy a wilderness-like experience while connecting to the past within easy reach of a major metropolitan area. The river section concludes near Minnesota’s Interstate State Park in Taylor’s Falls, Minnesota where 100,000 year old rock formations provide a unique and beautiful setting to enjoy rock climbing.
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.