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Photograph (above) taken by Kenja Griffin
Sample Itinerary
*A short Solo Experience may occur during the expedition.
12-Day Course
DAY1
Course start and transport to trail
DAY2-5
Backpacking along the Appalachian Trail in the Delaware River Water Gap
DAY6
Resupply & Flatwater Paddle School
DAY7-11
Canoeing on the Delaware River in the Water Gap
DAY12
Transport back to Philadelphia for Graduation and BBQ Celebration
14-Day Course
DAY1
Course start and transport to trail
DAY2-6
Backpacking along the Appalachian Trail in the Delaware River Water Gap
DAY7
Resupply & Flatwater Paddle School
DAY8-10
Canoeing on the Delaware River in the Water Gap
DAY11
Solo
DAY12-13
Canoeing on the Delaware River in the Water Gap
DAY14
Transport back to Philadelphia for graduation and BBQ Celebration

It’s time to make your own adventure. Outward Bound’s Classic expeditions for middle and high school students are built with you in mind. Make new friends, sleep under the stars, and learn skills like backcountry navigation and how to cook a delicious meal no matter where you are. You’ve got this! Whether you’re in a raft or on a mountainside, you’ll learn what you’re made of – and you’ll see first-hand how far teamwork can take you. Join us for an unforgettable challenge and discover a whole new way to get outside.  

  • 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: Your connections matter – working together to navigate challenges will quickly turn your crewmates into friends. Together, you’ll find opportunities to carry more weight (literally and figuratively) and make impactful decisions with accompanying consequences. It’s all about confidence, communication, and independence. 

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.

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Photo courtesy of Cole Corrigan
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Photo courtesy of Cole Corrigan
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Photo courtesy of Cole Corrigan
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Photo courtesy of Cole Corrigan
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Photo courtesy of Cole Corrigan
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Photo courtesy of Cole Corrigan
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Photo courtesy of Cole Corrigan

Students will learn the necessary skills for wilderness travel including navigation, appropriate packing techniques, wilderness hygiene, backcountry cooking, Leave No Trace principles, group hiking and tarp sleeping systems, and safety protocols and procedures – just to name a few. Students will be physically and emotionally challenged as they work as a team to accomplish goals and put learned skills to practice.  Students will acquire the technical skills needed to be successful on this expedition, as well as the interpersonal skills needed to thrive in their daily lives back at home and in school. Students do not need prior backpacking experience for this course, but should bring an open mind and willingness to learn new skills!

canoeing on Delaware Water Gap
Photo courtesy of Ryan Harris
canoeing on Delaware Water Gap
Photo courtesy of Kenja Griffin
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Photo courtesy of Ben Goodman
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Photo courtesy of Kenja Griffin
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Photo courtesy of Michael DePrima
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Photo courtesy of Ben Goodman
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Photo courtesy of Cole Corrigan
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Photo courtesy of Ben Goodman
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Photo courtesy of Cole Corrigan
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Photo courtesy of Cole Corrigan
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Photo courtesy of Cole Corrigan

Students will learn technical paddling skills like river dynamics, navigation and rescue techniques as they explore the Delaware River Water Gap and its rapids, islands and wildlife.  The crew will practice learned skills and develop technique as they navigate the river and its pools, eddies, and swift currents.  As a crew they’ll work as a team to maneuver down the river, supporting one another and using the skills of backcountry living on the river.

Students will engage in Solo, a period of solitude, as a way to take a break from the physical nature of the expedition and experience time for quiet self-reflection and introspection. Instructors set the tone for the Solo experience and help students prepare for this unique opportunity to spend time away from their crew and process their experiences on a more personal level. While on Solo, students will have food, drinking water, appropriate clothes, a tarp for shelter, sleeping bag, journal, as well as a whistle with which they may alert their Instructors in the unlikely event of an emergency. Instructors also conduct periodic check-ins with each student. For many students, Solo is the highlight of their expedition. It allows students to take a deeper dive into their thoughts and consider how they may apply the lessons from course to their daily lives.

During this multi-element leadership intensive course, students will use the course area to develop and hone leadership and community-building skills. Students will demonstrate proficiency in technical backpacking and canoeing skills and demonstrate the self-awareness and emotional intelligence needed to become a compassionate leader who builds relationships and strong bonds with their crew. As they work together as a team, students develop trust, apply newly acquired personal and group skills and recognize and demonstrate sound principles for being a successful and efficient crew. 

Appalachian Trail/Delaware Water Gap

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area encompasses 67,000 acres of mountain ridge, forest and floodplain on both sides of the Delaware River in the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. From the southern end of the park, you can view the S-shaped chasm of the Delaware Water Gap, where the river cuts a twisting path through 1,400-foot Kittatinny Ridge. Within the river watershed, you'll discover steep wooded-and-rock slopes, bountiful rhododendron, dark hallows, tinsel-like ravines and tumbling waterfalls.

These regions are the ancestral lands of the Lənape Haki-nk (Lenni-Lenape) and Munsee Lenape nations.

OTHER COURSES YOU MAY LIKE

Getting Started


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. 

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ENROLL TODAY