Sample Itinerary
Course start, introductory lesson is backpacking, begin hiking
Introduction to rock climbing and belay technique
Backpacking, lessons in map/compass travel & advanced camp craft
Rock climbing and rappelling, solo
Backpacking final challenge, return to base, clean and de-issue gear, service project
Personal challenge event, graduation, depart for the airport

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.

backpacking camp for teens in baltimore
Photo courtesy of Dalton Johnson
teens learn backpacking skills in baltimore
Photo courtesy of Dalton Johnson
outdoor leadership skills for teens
Photo courtesy of Dalton Johnson
teens backpacking trip in baltimore
Photo courtesy of Dalton Johnson
two people point out a location on a map on an expedition with outward bound
Photo courtesy of Dalton Johnson

Students learn how to hike effectively and efficiently as well as how to set up and manage trail campsites each night.  As the team overcomes numerous expedition challenges, they develop a greater belief in themselves and trust in one another.  Successful completion of this course requires more than the mastery of technical skills. It also requires adaptability, decision making and teamwork. The Appalachian Trail is a footpath that runs from Georgia to Maine, and is the crown jewel of trails in the United States.  Students backpack for five days in the wilderness of western Maryland and southern Pennsylvania.

rock climbing camp for teens in baltimore
Photo courtesy of Dalton Johnson
teens learn to rock climbing in baltimore
Photo courtesy of Dalton Johnson
rock climbing course for teens
Photo courtesy of Dalton Johnson
rock climbing class for teens in baltimore
Photo courtesy of Dalton Johnson
teen rock climbing class baltimore
Photo courtesy of Dalton Johnson
teens rock climbing in baltimore
Photo courtesy of Matt Freiere

During the expedition, students take a break from hiking and spend an afternoon rock climbing. This challenging activity pushes students out of their comfort zones and helps develop trust among crew members. Students rely on one another for support and encouragement to reach the top of cliff faces and crags.

Photo courtesy of Ben Worden
Photo courtesy of Ben Worden
Photo courtesy of Ben Worden
Photo courtesy of Ben Worden
Photo courtesy of Brock Jones

Service projects are often integrated into Outward Bound expeditions through coordination with land managers, conservation groups, government agencies or social service agencies. While on expedition, students are encouraged to practice service to the environment and their team by sharing responsibilities and following Recreate Responsibly ethics.  Outward Bound expeditions are designed to cultivate a service-ethic and, thereby, to inspire students to return home as agents of change in their communities. Many students will also have a chance to work on an ongoing project inside of the park where Baltimore’s Campus is located. The project aims to make Baltimore one of the nation’s only urban bird treaty cities through a collaboration with Baltimore Wilderness Coalition, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

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. It is a chance to experience solitude in the wilderness without distraction while also taking a break from the physical rigors of activities. Students experience short periods of time away from their group throughout the course for reflection.  These “mini-solos” are at solo sites chosen by Instructors to provide as much solitude as possible (within emergency whistle-signaling distance of other group members). Participants have all necessary equipment, food and water during their Solo time, and safety is always the top priority.

Helping students and their families see positive development in character skills is a key component of Outward Bound courses. After completing the course, students will receive a written narrative from their instructor that highlights how the student engaged in the course, what strengths were observed, and any recommendations for further development.

Photo courtesy of Zach Shenal
Photo courtesy of Zach Shenal
Photo courtesy of Zach Shenal
backpacking trip for teens
Photo courtesy of Dalton Johnson

The Appalachian Trail in Maryland follows a 41-mile route along the backbone of South Mountain, a north-south ridge that extends from Pennsylvania to the Potomac River. The AT varies in elevation across the state from 230 feet to more than 1860 feet. The trail extends to the north into Southern Pennsylvania’s Michaux State Forest where Outward Bound students in this area will rock climb at one of three sites: Annapolis Rocks, Shaffer Rocks or Pole Steeple in the nearby Pine Grove Furnace State Park. These regions are the ancestral lands of the Massawomeck and Piscataway nations.


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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.