Embark on this bold 30-day sailing and backpacking expedition. Start by spending nine days and nights learning to navigate around Penobscot Bay’s hundreds of wild islands, being guided by the sun, moon, wind and tides. Learn to work with your crew and experience the satisfaction of traveling on a 30-foot pulling boat with just the wind and your mates for propulsion. Reflect on how the simple lessons learned translate to your life’s journey. Back on shore, re-examine your strengths and realize your potential with the CliftonStrengths Assessment before shifting gears and heading north to Maine’s lakes and mountains region. Tackle challenging summits with breathtaking vistas in the Maine North Woods. Adopt a simple life, relying on your group, the forces of nature and what the group can carry. Along the way you’ll wrestle with new challenges, explore your values, actively practice leadership skills, communication and teamwork. The lessons will translate to building character and self-knowledge. Your commitment and motivation on this expedition will reward you with a renewed focus and provide skills for life.
This course is closed for the season. 2021 courses coming soon.
Our Pathfinder expeditions are designed for young adults who are recent high school graduates, college students, or young adults seeking personal, educational, or professional direction. Throughout these 30-day expeditions, students focus on increasing self-knowledge, clarifying values, strengthening decision-making skills and processes, and setting goals – all life skills to help chart a path toward independence with confidence and passion.
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. At night, students sleep on deck under a tarp, taking turns to keep anchor watch under brilliant night skies.
The granite outcroppings that made Maine famous as a source of building material a century ago now provide the setting for outstanding rock climbing or rappelling. Students learn safe use of climbing equipment, tie knots, climb and belay. The act of rock climbing hones and develops balance, coordination, flexibility, and grace on the rock. Climbing in wild places presents unique individual challenges for each climber, while the team must work together to set systems up, communicate clearly, and support each other throughout the whole experience.
Backpacking is an ideal combination of team and individual elements. The mountains of Maine are rugged and wooded, and the trails are remote, narrow and often steep. At times students travel on wilderness footpaths; at others, they navigate off trail. From mountain peaks on clear days the group is rewarded with spectacular views. Living and traveling with just what one can carry on his/her back is a simple existence, in which small choices can make deceptively great differences. To live well in the outdoors, all crew members must share the chores that turn a camp into a home, including setting up tents and tarps, creating a kitchen area, taking a turn fetching water, and cooking satisfying meals.
Prior to arriving on course, participants complete the online CliftonStrengths assessment, identifying natural talents based on their unique sequence of 34 Clifton talent themes. On course, time is devoted to frequent examination of participant’s individual strengths to learn how to maximize their potential, positively impact relationships, and manage weaknesses toward the most productive outcomes. Practicing with their group on course, strengths knowledge and framework is reinforced to direct talents in the direction of performance going forward in life.
Service projects are incorporated into Outward Bound courses through coordination with local 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 Leave No Trace ethics throughout the course.
Solo provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition and gives students the opportunity to reflect on their Outward Bound experience. With sufficient food and equipment, students will set up camp at sites of their own, using the wilderness skills learned during the first half or two-thirds of the course. On a Pathfinder course, the solo time will be between 48-72 hours, depending on weather conditions, course location and student readiness. Solo is often regarded by students as one of the most powerful elements of their course, as it is a time to ready oneself for the next stage.
Solo sites are often located along beautiful shorelines or peaceful rivers, and 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 of the course to focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each participant at least daily.
On a Pathfinder course, participants will challenge themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally through a backcountry expedition. All of the skills learned on this course will serve as preparation for the next challenge in life and help students achieve personal and professional goals.
This Pathfinder course travels through two iconic Maine landscapes – the coastal islands and shoreline, and the northern end of the Appalachian mountain range.
The coast of Maine, with its intricate and indented shoreline, is a unique segment of the North Atlantic seaboard. It is renown among sailors for its picturesque beauty, iconic lighthouses, abundant bays and harbors, rocky islands, and quiet coves. Our cruising area covers nearly 200 miles of the Maine coast, with countless rivers, bays and islands to explore. The rocky, spruce-covered islands are the summits of a prehistoric mountain range, and generations of inhabitants have made their livelihoods here. Evidence left behind on the islands reveals the historic presence of indigenous Abenaki camps, pre-colonial fishing communities, post-colonial timber and farming operations, and early 20th century granite quarries. Cold, nutrient-rich waters flow from the Canadian Maritimes, and make the Gulf of Maine home to a wide range of sea birds, seals, porpoises, and whales.
Within the mountains of western Maine and northern New Hampshire, there is a huge range of spectacular backpacking terrain. HIOBS takes backpacking programs into the White Mountain National Forest, along sections of the Appalachian Trail, into the Carter-Mahoosuc Range, the Hundred-Mile Wilderness, the Grafton Loop Trail and the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness, and this Pathfinder program will take place in one or more of these areas, depending on local conditions. These spruce-fir and hardwood forests are home to hundreds of species of birds as well as moose, deer and black bear. Rushing waterfalls, clear twisting streams and spectacular views from rocky summits reward backpackers ready for adventure.
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.