Explore the winding canoe trails of Central Florida’s unspoiled wilderness with your fellow female veterans on this six-day adventure
With the company and camaraderie of your all-female crew, you will work together to navigate these rivers, explore fragile and unique ecosystems, and cook and set-up camp on the shores of some of the country’s most historic and biologically diverse rivers. The freshwater springs and Cyprus swamps found along the way support a variety of wildlife and you may spot manatees, dolphins and other marine life on your journey.
Outside of the time spent being physically active and brushing up on your backcountry living skills, you and your crew will share stories, validate experiences and develop trust and compassion
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Outward Bound Veterans expeditions focus on team camaraderie and the opportune challenges available in nature as tools to build connections and successes beyond military life. These expeditions encourage participants to explore their strengths and bond with fellow veterans in a safe, positive, goal-oriented environment that allows each veteran to apply their service skills in new ways. From carrying heavy packs, moving fatigued muscles and sleeping outside to exerting leadership, communication and decision-making skills, these courses help shape and support the self-confidence and sense of purpose many veterans need to continue serving as leaders in their families, communities and the nation.
Build skills, form connections: Veterans receive hands-on training in wilderness, adaptability and personal leadership skills. As part of an inclusive, supportive crew, they gain added strength in their communication abilities, establish trust and validate experiences with other veterans.
Value strengths and strengthen values: Beyond the structure and discipline of military service, Outward Bound focuses on resiliency, compassion, integrity, inclusion and diversity to help veterans reflect, share insights and experience each moment and triumph with new perspective.
Demonstrate mastery: Mastery is not just about conquering wilderness navigation skills. Reflection and self-awareness are equally vital to a veteran’s Outward Bound experience, equipping every Veteran student with new understanding and possibilities for coping they can use in their day-to-day lives.
What you’ll learn: Veterans return home energized, ready to tap into rediscovered strengths and eager to find new ways to contribute to family, work, community and the world.
Each veteran student returns home from their Outward Bound expedition having discovered more about themselves and what they want to achieve, how to overcome setbacks and, most importantly, how to move forward to reach important new milestones.
During this course, participants can expect to spend a good deal of time each day in canoes traveling from campsite to campsite. These canoes are tandem, which are perfect for fostering collaboration and communication skills between crewmates. Depending on the weather, the level of difficulty will vary day to day. Crews will learn: marine expedition risk-assessment and management, marine route planning and navigation, paddle strokes, canoe-based rescues, equipment use, and how to work with a paddling partner.
During course, students will have the opportunity to relax and recharge for the challenges ahead during a period of self-reflection. This self-reflection period can last anywhere from a few hours as you take in a view and write in your journal, to 24 hours, in which Instructors will give you all the necessary food, water and shelter to enjoy your time alone. The Instructors will determine the length of your downtime based on the needs of each crew.
Central Florida is home to some of the country’s most historic and biologically diverse waterways. It offers paddling on small, winding canoe trails as well as larger rivers and lakes, with camping in a variety of environments from hardwood hammock forests to barrier islands.
The Suwannee River, Ocklawaha River, and St John’s River offer hundreds of miles of paddling in some of the country’s most unspoiled wilderness. These rivers support a variety of ecosystems including freshwater springs, swamps, sandy beaches, hardwood hammocks trees, and salt marshes. Shaded by giant Cypress and Tupelo trees, these rivers support a variety of wildlife and have deep cultural histories.