This 12-day backpacking course takes you on a journey from wilderness to city. You’ll backpack through glacially-carved mountains in one of the most iconic locations in the world — Yosemite National Park. After a week spent backpacking among the granite domes, you’ll return to the City by the Bay for urban service and cultural immersion. This course is designed for LGBTQ teens to build community and cultivate self-efficacy through service-learning, leadership development, and self-discovery in both natural and urban environments.
Additionally, students will celebrate individuality as they move through San Francisco — a place rich in history and context for equity conversations, experiences, service and reflection.
This course is closed for the season. 2020 courses coming soon.
For our LGBTQ Backpacking to Urban Service course, Outward Bound California is excited to partner with OUT There Adventures (OTA), a Seattle based non-profit committed to fostering positive identity development, individual empowerment and improved quality of life for queer young people through professionally facilitated experiential education activities. OTA staff will be present on course to support our students as well as to provide follow-up through an 11 month service-leadership program wherein students will take the knowledge and skills acquired on this course back to their respective communities.
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.
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.
This multi-day backpacking expedition takes place in the heart of the Sierra Nevada, within Yosemite National Park. Students will backpack through old growth forests, swim in alpine lakes and sleep under bright star-laden skies, carrying their equipment and food on their backs and moving camp each day.
This first phase of course will set a foundation for personal growth, collaboration, understanding and support that only the wilderness can provide. Gaining the skills to work together as a unified team will set the stage for students to transfer these lessons back to the city for the second half of their course.
In addition to technical skills, Instructors teach and facilitate the interpersonal skills needed for students to function effectively as a team, accomplish goals and tackle new challenges every day. Challenges on course are designed to impel students toward taking risks, drawing upon inner resources and developing trust in one another.
Far removed from starry nights and alpine lakes, San Francisco is a bustling city of streetlights and people. This city provides a juxtaposition of wealth and poverty – back alleys and striking bay views, sprinkled with tourist destinations that attract travelers from across the globe. Continuing ‘expedition style’, students will carry their gear and travel like locals, walking, and taking the bus and the ferry to their nightly abode. With the city as their classroom, students will gain knowledge and appreciation for different cultures, types of food, and the economic and social issues cities face across the US.
Service projects vary from working with parks to improve facilities and trail systems for future visitors, to helping local gardeners and other food initiatives for under-resourced populations in the city. There will be a minimum of two service projects, however, every component of this expedition is designed to ignite students’ drive to be impactful members of their community. Some projects will focus on serving San Francisco’s rich and vibrant LGBTQ community. Ultimately, students will be able to apply the leadership, compassion and skills developed on this section of the course to their everyday lives.
On every Outward Bound course, reflection is an integral part of the learning process. During the Solo phase of course, students will find reprieve from the rigors of daily travel and spend a structured period of rest and reflection near the group’s base camp. The primary focus of this time is to reflect on personal and group goals. Depending on the student’s age and the length of the expedition, Solo can range in length from a few hours to three days. Participants are provided with food, shelter and occasional check-ins from Instructors during this unique experience. The maximum Solo length on this course is 48 hours.
This course pushes students physically, socially and emotionally. On this longer course length, students dig deep and achieve a higher level of mastery of both technical skills needed to travel in a crew and the social and emotional skills to be a positive member of the group. Additionally, this course aims to provide space for LGBTQ youth to explore how their identities intersect with their desire for personal growth and development. Participants will gain both technical and personal skills that they will be able to take back to their community, school and work.
Yosemite National Park, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, is famous for breathtaking views of waterfalls, massive granite domes, and peaceful alpine meadows. While this course steers clear of the crowded tourists’ attractions of the valley, dramatic alpine scenery can be seen in the horizon like peaks rising from the valley to elevations above 12,000 feet. With fairly stable and beautiful weather, as summer advances, temperatures tend to become more moderate, in the 70s to 80s during the day and 30s to 50s in the evening.
The Urban Expedition will take students on a tour of San Francisco landmarks like Chinatown, Pier 39, the Mission District, Baker Beach and Market Street. Students will camp in local parks and with unique partner agencies across the city. San Francisco offers rich histories, diverse cultural traditions and foods, and an abundance of initiative opportunities. Though a dramatic change from Yosemite, students will find inspiration and new perspectives in this bustling, beautiful city.
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.