The wild lakes and mountains of Western Maine and Eastern New Hampshire are calling you for an unforgettable canoeing and rock-climbing adventure!
This canoeing and rock-climbing expedition provides a perfect balance of traveling along the iconic rivers and lakes of Western Maine by canoe with climbing the craggy granite cliffs of Eastern New Hampshire and surrounding classic climbing areas. Instructors introduce you to beginning, intermediate and advanced skills in canoe handling, river assessment and navigation, rock climbing and belaying, woods craftsmanship, weather observation and campsite selection as you live with and rely on your group and what you can carry on your backs. Weaving multiple climbing days into the canoeing expedition you’ll learn self-reliance and build technical skills and knowledge. Regular group discussions allow for reflection on each day’s progress and ensure that leadership and responsibilities are shared so that every crew member is integral to planning the next day. Through living and working closely together, your group will practice more than wilderness travel skills.
NOTE: For details on current COVID-19 policies, including vaccination, please contact an Admissions Advisor at the National Admissions Office at 866-467-7651.
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For detailed information on course availability statuses and what they mean, click here.
This course starts within the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to assess the possibility of applying for this course!
APPLY NOW This means a course has several open spots and is actively processing applications.
APPLY NOW – Almost Full This means there are three or fewer currently available spots left on a course. To secure your spot click Apply Now to begin an application!
Once a course has reached capacity, three waitlist spots will become available. In the event a spot becomes available, those on the waitlist may have an opportunity to secure the available spot. To join a course’s waitlist, click “Join Waitlist” to begin the application process. Upon completion of your application, a $500 deposit is required to reserve the waitlist spot. If you choose to remove your application from the waitlist, or if a spot does not become available, you will be refunded the $500 deposit. If a spot becomes available and you elect not to take it, Outward Bound will keep $150 of the deposit.
Waitlist spots are prioritized in the order of returned paperwork, not in the order applications are received, so be sure to return the initial paperwork as soon as possible! Please be aware that waitlist spots may become available up to two weeks before the course starts. While cancellations do occur, we cannot guarantee a spot will become available. Applicants may only be listed on one waitlist. If there is another course that still has availability and is also of interest to you, we recommend applying for that course instead. If you have questions, please call 866-467-7651 to speak with one of our Admissions Advisors.
CALL TO APPLY This means a course is very close to its start date. Although it is unlikely to secure a spot this late, you can call the National Admissions office at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
COURSE IS FULL When a course has reached maximum capacity, meaning all spots and the three waitlist spots are occupied, a course will read “Course Is Full.” This means applications are no longer being accepted.
CLOSED As a course nears its start date, the availability status may read “Closed.” In this event, a course roster has been finalized and applications are no longer being accepted or processed.
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, heard the echoes at the edge of a vast canyon, 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.
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 into 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: For High School students, the opportunities to carry more weight (literally and figuratively) and make impactful decisions with accompanying consequences fills the expedition as you go through numerous trials and triumphs. It’s all about 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.
Wilderness canoe expedition skills are the mark of a New England outdoorsperson. In the foothills of Maine’s mountains are networks of remote lakes and rivers. Students learn to maneuver canoes using paddle strokes such as the sweep, draw, pry, and J-stroke. To get from one waterway into another, the group will portage (carry the canoes on their shoulders), and line (guide the loaded canoe down the sides of un-runnable rapids). Teamwork skills are honed as every member of the crew learns to communicate well as they coordinate efforts with paddling partners each day. Discovering the power of people truly working together is a keystone of the experience.
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of Jack Rokous
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of Hannah Baker
of Jack Rokous
Rock climbing is the ultimate opportunity to challenge oneself physically, mentally, and emotionally. The mountains of Maine and New Hampshire provide rocky granite crags that offer beginning, intermediate and challenging rock climbing. During climbing days, participants learn about rock climbing equipment, safety, and etiquette, belaying techniques, climbing rescue techniques, and rappelling. Students test their balance, control, and mental strength on the vertical rock faces nearby. In addition to stretching the limits of what they think they’re capable of, climbing hones their coordination, flexibility, and grace on the rock. These skills will be put to the test over several days of progressive climbs on different sites to which students and the crew will travel and be rewarded with spectacular views.
Depending upon the expedition route, technical rope activities may include a “via ferrata” or “Tyrolean traverse”. There may be the opportunity to work through a high ropes obstacle course together - these uniquely structured activities provide opportunities not only for self-reliance, but also for communication and collaboration as participants confront and work through their fears.
Climbing presents many individual challenges for students, while the team must work together to set systems up, communicate clearly and support each other throughout the climb. Students do not need prior climbing or backpacking experience for this course, just an open-mind and willingness to learn new skills!
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Service projects are often incorporated into Outward Bound courses through coordination with local land managers, conservation groups, government agencies or social service 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.
The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition to give students quiet time to reflect on the Outward Bound experience. With the basics of food and equipment, and with safety a top priority, students will take some time away from the group to be alone at sites of their own, using the wilderness skills learned during the first parts of the course. Often located along beautiful lake shorelines or peaceful rivers, Solo sites are chosen to offer as much solitude as possible (yet be within emergency whistle-signaling distance of other group members). Most students spend their Solo time journaling, drawing or just thinking and resting as they process lessons learned and focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each participant at regular intervals. The time students spend on Solo depends on the length of the course – on a 22-day course, students can expect to complete at least one overnight Solo experience, weather and course conditions depending.
This course melds the dynamic relationships required when supporting, living and working closely as a team with the individual experience of being on a rock face. By actively engaging in the natural world, youth learn to live in the moment and build physical strength and self-control. By focusing on leadership, providing students will real decisions to make and real opportunities to succeed… and sometimes fail, students will learn resiliency and ensure that the group knows that all successes are truly theirs! Students will develop deep and meaningful connections, as they become comfortable living and working together in the wilderness. They’ll leave feeling inspired to take on real challenge and return readier to fully participate and positively engage at home, at school and in their communities.
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The upper reaches of the Androscoggin watershed are fed by Aziscohos Lake, the Magalloway River and the Rangeley Lakes. Indigenous Abenaki peoples used the Androscoggin as both a means of transportation between winter habitats inland, summer living on the coast and as a source of food. Later the Androscoggin River was used to move logs to mills downstate during the logging boom of the nineteenth century. These days the lakes and rivers are used primarily by canoeists, fishermen and other recreationalists. Some of the portage trails here, such as along the Rapid River, have been in use for centuries. These regions are the ancestral land of the Wabanaki Confederacy, which includes Abenaki/Abénaquis, W∂last∂kwiyik (Maliseet), Penobscot, and Passamaquoddy nations.
Travel to course, welcome, equipment issue and check, introduction to camping
Begin canoeing expedition with rock climbing introduction
Final canoeing expedition, return to basecamp
Personal Challenge Event, equipment clean-up and de-issue
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.