“When I was signing up for this course, my mindset was only focused on my end goal. I saw this course as just a tool to gain the hard skills and get some of the experience so that I could become an instructor. I hadn’t thought about how much I would learn or how much I would grow as a person.
This course taught me about acceptance, communication, leadership and gave me a huge appreciation for living in the moment and for the moment I am living in. The experience on course has been so magical. The stars seemingly reflected and mirrored by the luminescence while on the sailboat, the sunrises viewed across glassy water, and the view of the valley floors as we poked our heads out of the dense forest. The biggest surprise though is the amazing connections I have made with nine great people who were strangers just three-months ago.” Jack Maples, age 21
You’ll kick-off this expedition in California’s Joshua Tree National Park, backpacking and rock climbing in remote parts of the park the tourists never see. You will gain a deep understanding of your own leadership potential while immersing yourself in this moonscape environment. Through lessons in navigation, climbing safety, and creating an inclusive group culture, you will have an opportunity to learn and then practice teaching these skills to others. Shifting gears, you’ll head to the Florida Keys to sail on a 30-foot open sailboat, immersing yourself in the marine ecosystem as you live, learn and collaborate with your teammates in the stunning subtropical environment of Florida Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and the Everglades. With no prior sailing experience required, you’ll discover the art of navigation and advanced seamanship as you share leadership roles and all of the responsibilities necessary to effectively sail a boat. Activities, discussions and teaching opportunities throughout course will prepare you for future outdoor educational endeavors. This course provides an opportunity to earn college credit.
|HJQL-071||3.8.20 - 5.1.20||55||18 and up||$9,895||APPLY NOW|
|HJQL-171||3.7.21 - 4.30.21||55||18 and up||$9,895||APPLY NOW|
This course starts within the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to assess the possibility of applying for this course!
Most College Savings Plans, including the 529 College Savings Plan, may be used to attend an Outward Bound expedition, thanks to a partnership with Western Colorado University. Anyone can register – you do not have to be a current Western Colorado University student. Registration is easy! Click here to learn more.
Are you motivated by the never-ending discovery in the adventure of the outdoors? Are you passionate about sharing knowledge and helping future generations become comfortable and confident appreciators of the natural world? Working as an outdoor educator requires deep technical expertise in outdoor skills alongside hands-on training in the science behind experiential learning and how to create lasting impact for students. Outward Bound leads the outdoor education industry in both areas, providing a coveted foundation to jump-start an outdoor-involved career.
Outdoor Educator courses allow you to work in and through the widest variety of wilderness environments and develop high level skills in each. Beyond preparing you for career opportunities in the outdoor industry, you may also earn academic credit in the field of Recreation and Outdoor Education.
Outward Bound is accredited with the American Gap Association and is the longest running program in this elite group dedicated to providing safe, meaningful and high-caliber educational experiences to students.
Backpackers carry everything they need - food, shelter, clothing and gear – allowing them to spend longer time in the backcountry and venture into less visited places. With extended time to practice expeditionary skills and leadership challenges, you will leave this section with an appreciation for living outside your comfort zone and confidence to lead trips in the future.
This desert backpacking course includes both on-trail and off-trail terrain. Routes can be especially challenging as they travel through boulder-filled canyons and across vast desert washes. Joshua Tree is a high desert, with areas of the park over 5,000 feet. This landscape provides an opportunity for a pre-dawn start to a peak attempt. As water is scarce to come by naturally in the desert, staff will resupply food and water along the way at different sites designated by Outward Bound and the National Park. Though the landscape is demanding, there are few places in the world that compare to the beauty and uniqueness of an expedition in Joshua Tree.
The rock climbing section provides an opportunity to develop personal climbing skills while building trust among crew members as you belay one another and set goals as a group. Participants will climb some of the highest quality granite in one of the most popular world destinations for rock climbers. Building on the bonds formed in the backpacking section, you will find new challenges and successes as a crew.
Students will acquire and build skills associated with technical rock climbing, including introductory rock climbing basics, knots, anchors, movement over rock, top-rope belaying, equipment use and care of harnesses and other items. This section will include a variety of styles: crack-climbing, face climbing and bouldering.
Our traditional 30-foot sailboats encourage teamwork and leadership like no other classroom. On an open boat with no cabin and no engine, students work closely together to travel, using only the wind or the oars as propulsion.
As they rotate responsibilities, the group learns the crafts of maneuvering under sail, coastal navigation, rowing, and living aboard a small open boat. The length and focus of the outdoor educator’s expedition expands beyond gaining sailing skills, providing students with experiential education theory and time to practice facilitating their own lessons. While on course, discussions about judgment and risk management teach future educators how to prioritize leadership and decision making in order to become more independent and versatile educators.
At night, students sleep on deck under a tarp, taking turns to keep anchor watch under brilliant night skies.
Students will learn:
Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification is recognized as the standard level of expertise in backcountry first aid. This nationally recognized program trains participants to respond to emergencies in remote settings. Half of the 80-hour curriculum students spend completing practical skills, case studies and scenarios designed to challenge their decision-making abilities. The other portion of training includes standards for extended care situations.
The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition. With sufficient food and equipment, you’ll spend time alone at an assigned campsite to rest, reflect and practice the camp craft skills you’ve been learning throughout the course. We choose your Solo site to offer as much solitude as possible, but within earshot of instructors for management considerations. You will not travel during this time and your instructors will check on you periodically. Many students are initially nervous about Solo but most are ready for a break from the group when the time for Solo arrives. This activity may be abbreviated or eliminated as instructors assess the weather, terrain or other factors that could affect the outcomes of Solo. For this program, a Solo progression is structured into course. For example, you may start with a Solo lasting only a few hours and culminate with a full 3-day Solo towards the end of your course. Many of our past students express this was one of the most powerful elements to their course.
Outdoor Educator groups engage in day-long service projects coordinated with local land managers, conservation groups or government agencies. While in the wilderness, students are encouraged to practice service to the environment and their team by sharing responsibilities and following Leave No Trace ethics throughout the expedition.
Students will receive in-depth training in expedition, interpersonal and educational skills necessary to work as a professional in the outdoor industry. As they become proficient in wilderness travel, they’ll follow a progression designed to enhance their teaching and leadership skills. Seeking and learning from challenges, while providing and receiving feedback from their Instructors and peers, students will be expected to step outside their comfort zones and complete tasks they never before thought possible. In addition to being an exhilarating adventure, this semester promotes situational thinking, individual and group goal setting, evaluation of options and decision-making, and flexibility and effectiveness in problem solving.
The high desert, where rugged mountains and desert plateaus have been sculpted by wind and rain, meet in Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree has stunning nights where stargazing is unmatched. The nights are juxtaposed against warm sand and boulder-filled days weaving through the iconic Dr. Seuss-like Joshua Tree. Participants will travel through granite monoliths and through narrow canyons and cap the day with brilliant fiery sunsets. Weather in the park is generally dry, cold and rainfall is sparse, though unpredictable, and sometimes persistent thunderstorms do occur. Temperatures vary, with lows around 40 and highs around 80 degrees to a much colder temp of 30 degrees at night and potentially hitting 100 early or late in the season.
The Florida Keys, home to numerous birds and abundant marine life, is rich with the confluence of water flowing out of the Everglades into inner Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The waterways are shallow and intricate, providing an exciting cruising area for Outward Bound’s nimble shallow-draft sailboats. Winding channels through the backcountry offer challenging and exciting navigation and the opportunity to explore mangrove keys, grassy tidal flats and coral patch reefs. The Atlantic side offers open water sailing and, in calm weather, excellent snorkeling at the outer reefs. We plan our course routes based on course type, local conditions and logistics, and weather patterns. Whether you are on the Atlantic or Gulf side, you will have lots of opportunities to learn the skills it takes to sail and travel in our traditional sailboats, live in community with your teammates, be challenged and reap the rewards.
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.