Join a group of young explorers for an introductory wilderness experience that builds comfort and confidence with backcountry living skills while developing strong, fun, and inclusive teams.
Over five days, you will learn a variety of real backcountry skills such as backcountry cooking, map and compass use, Leave No Trace, group initiatives, and sleeping in tents or handmade shelters. We’ll learn about the natural environment, including the mountain, forest, and water ecosystems, and make lifelong friends.
In addition to learning about plants and animals and how to survive alongside them in the wilderness, you'll experience fun low-ropes activities and other on-the-ground challenges. Practice your Leave No Trace camping skills and become an ambassador to help protect natural areas for the next generation (that’s you!).
This course is great for learning skills for future wilderness adventure, like a big family trek or a longer Outward Bound expedition. Plus, you’ll have great stories to share when you go back to school in the fall.
Leaving the Comforts of Home
For some younger students, Outward Bound is the first time away from home, which may bring up feelings of homesickness. Thus, each student group is comprised of a maximum of 12 students and is accompanied by an experienced staff team to ensure the care, supervision, and guidance for each student. We design our courses to set students up for success no matter how much experience they have with wilderness travel and independence.
This course is closed for the season. 2021 courses coming soon.
IMPORTANT UPDATE ON SUMMER COURSES
With the utmost regard for the safety and well-being of our students and staff, we have made
the very difficult decision to cancel all summer Classic and Intercept courses. Please check
back for fall 2020 and 2021 courses. Read our complete update.
Are you ready to take a journey that will change your life? You won’t look at day-to-day life the same way after you’ve spent time up close and personal with nature. Joining an Outward Bound expedition changes you. Your crew, your Instructor, and your discoveries are just the beginning of a lifetime of fun and adventure in the wilderness.
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.
Approach 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: For Elementary School students, heading away from home means taking on new responsibilities and expectations with crewmates who are strangers when you first meet and trusted teammates by the end of your expedition. It’s all about confidence.
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.
Benefits of a Similarly-Identifying Peer Group
These courses are designed to support a cohort of students who identify anywhere on the gender spectrum in an all-boys or all-girls patrol structure (open to all students who identify in that gender). This allows you to be yourself and find your voice as a leader in a supportive and similarly-identified peer group.
This course includes lessons in basic travel and camping techniques. Students will carry small backpacks from campsite to campsite as their heavier equipment is shuttled by our staff. This allows students to learn fundamental backpacking skills while keeping the level of physical challenge appropriate. Along the way, students learn Leave No Trace techniques, map and compass navigation and camp craft as they get a feel for the human and natural history of the area. The simplicity of hiking gives students the opportunity to be active and to focus both internally on their own thoughts and self-reliance, as well as externally to connect deeply with others as they talk, sing, play games and spend time together without distraction.
Service is an integral part of every Outward Bound course. Elementary school courses introduce the idea of service to others through a chore rotation. Students will also do an age appropriate service project with a community partner. This might include picking up trash at a picnic area or helping to feed trout at a fish hatchery.
Solo is an opportunity for rest and reflection. Outward Bound believes that reflection is necessary in order for learning to occur. Solo is closely supervised, lasts roughly 90 minutes, and includes journaling, drawing, or a craft project. Students will have snacks, water, and enough shelter to keep them out of the elements. Solo is a great opportunity to practice being present in nature.
Located just outside the historic town of Leadville, Colorado, the Leadville Mountain Center is our main Colorado basecamp. The property is over 600 acres at the base of Mount Massive. Students will have a backcountry experience sleeping in our developed campsites and opportunities to explore forests, fields, and wetlands. Our basecamp is perfect for giving students a taste of the wilderness while still providing a higher degree of support and comfort to our youngest students. The Leadville Mountain Center lies within the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) nation.
Opening ceremony, getting to know your group, camping and shelter building, backcountry sleeping
Explore flora and fauna along nature trails, backcountry cooking, low ropes course, Wilderness First Aid, backcountry navigation
Visit the fish hatchery to learn about water ecology, hiking, fishing and raft building activity
Hike to an alpine lake
Group challenge, backcountry cooking for a larger group, host families during closing ceremony
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.