More than just a scenic wilderness adventure, this is your chance to discuss life with other adults and to reflect on your strengths, passions and purpose in a natural environment that is both challenging and refreshing. Learn technical outdoor skills, enjoy the thrills of adventure, and engage in stimulating conversations and lessons in teamwork, perseverance and personal development with a team of expert Instructors. Experience the satisfaction that comes from meeting an expedition goal, the growth that comes from learning to work effectively with new peers and the support that comes from sharing in challenging yet nurturing wilderness experiences. Whether you are transitioning in the work force or coping with the demands of an established career or big life change, this expedition will stretch your comfort zone, enhance your leadership style, expand your self-awareness and confidence and help you to examine personal goals.
This course is closed for the season. 2021 courses coming soon.
Do you ever want to unplug, step away from the daily grind to take on new challenges? Are you ready to conquer harder skills and remind your senses (or discover for the first time) what it’s like to crest a mountain peak, hear the echoes at the edge of a vast canyon or feel the rush of white water spray on your face? Take a break from your routine, radically change your surroundings and test your tenacity. Put some “firsts” in front of you and find moments of unexpected discovery along the way. Experience Outward Bound as an adult and prepare for an injection of adventure, awareness and adaptability that sticks with you long after you unpack your backpack.
Return home with newly expanded wilderness acumen, an energized outlook, a rekindled allowance of empathy into situations and relationships and an eye toward the future.
After first learning basic whitewater paddling techniques, students begin the expedition. Paddling as a group, students head down-river through sections of calm current and swift-moving whitewater rapids. The waters of the Rio Grande offer beginning paddlers a progressive challenge and a perfect place to learn and hone skills.
On the scenic cliffs of the Rio Grande overlooking the mountains of Mexico is Black Rocks – a beautiful climbing site in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Known mostly to locals, this seldom-visited spot gives participants a unique opportunity in back-country rock climbing. These 30 to 80 foot cliffs offer a variety of beginner and intermediate climbs that provide an ideal introduction to rock climbing. Regardless of a participant’s rock climbing and rappelling background, everyone is sure to find challenge and success as they spend a half day at Black Rocks.
All Outward Bound rock climbing and rappelling experiences are carefully supervised and employ safety systems aligned with national standards. During climbing days, participants learn about rock climbing equipment, safety and etiquette, belaying techniques and climbing rescue techniques. Encouraged and supported by their group, participants push their perceived limits and expand their comfort zones in a safe, fun and non-competitive environment.
Service to others and the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Participants follow Leave No Trace ethics as service to the environment and do acts of service while leading and supporting fellow participants. Designated service projects are coordinated with land managers like the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service to collaborate on land restoration projects. Some projects are more social services based, and participants may visit a nursing home or hospital to provide service there. Students develop a value of service, seeing the impact of their actions firsthand and transfer this desire to serve their communities back home.
The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition and gives students the opportunity to reflect on their Outward Bound experience. Many students use this reflection time to make decisions about their future, journal and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings unencumbered by the constant external stimulation of modern life. The duration of Solo depends on the course length and type, as well as the competency and preparedness of the student group. With all the food, skills and supplies they need, students are given a secluded spot to reflect alone, and are monitored by staff throughout the experience to maintain safety. Students find that Solo provokes profound and powerful learning in a short period of time and often becomes one of the most memorable parts of their Outward Bound experience.
Outward Bound courses vary in length from four to 85 days. On shorter courses, participants will receive an introduction to leadership skills, strength of character and a desire to serve while activities fill most of the time and the pace is quick. With longer courses, the same outcomes and benefits are achieved with the opportunity to reach a more profound level of mastery as there are more chances to develop technical skills, receive and implement feedback and further personal development. However many days the expedition lasts, the strength and impact of the experience lasts a lifetime.
Canoeing and wilderness navigation techniques are great practice for the essential skills and habits that help prepare for new challenges at work, home and in the community. Outward Bound expeditions encourage students to:
Outward Bound courses are designed to expand and stretch your limits so that every expedition is a true accomplishment and a memorable journey.
Big Bend State and National Park, Texas
Along the US-Mexico border in southwestern Texas, a powerful river and a mountainous desert unite in Texas’ Big Bend National Park. The Texas course area is one of the most remote and geologically interesting in the country. The Rio Grande River carves a huge, sweeping bend where Big Bend National Park earns its name. This 750,000-square mile wilderness is the eighth largest national park in the lower 48 states and a desert backpacking and rock climbing paradise. In this region, delicate desert flowers exist alongside fossilized trees millions of years old. Mountain passes give way to steep-walled canyons and cliffs. The land itself is awe-inspiring, with canyons towering 300 to 1,200 feet over the right. It is one of the last true desert regions in North America. Much of this rugged land has remained unchanged for centuries. Hundreds of species of birds and a healthy diversity of other animal and plant communities thrive within the splendid isolation of ancient limestone canyons, juniper and mesquite-covered mesas and coal-black night skies.
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.