Canadian Border Leadership Semester
Make a difference in the world.
The course includes a diverse curriculum of outdoor skills including sea kayaking on Lake Superior, backpacking in the Superior National Forest, and an extended canoe expedition in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
In addition to broad technical skill exposure, the length of this course allows for learning and inspection of personal goals, leadership styles, problem solving techniques, effective communication, group processing, and an ethic of service.
With a focus on developing leaders who aspire to learn while striving to make a positive difference in the world, the Canadian Border Leadership Semester is guaranteed to be a Gap Year like no other.
Established in 1964, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a labyrinth of lakes and rock that has been specifically protected as a true American wilderness; no roads, power lines, or motorized craft may enter its borders: Therefore, the Boundary Waters has changed little since its unveiling when the glaciers melted 10,000 years ago.
Over 1 million acres in size, the BWCAW extends 150 miles along the Canadian border. With over 1,200 miles of canoe routes, nearly 2,200 designated campsites and more than 1,000 lakes and streams, the BWCAW is a truly amazing place to experience the wilderness.
The BWCAW contains portage-linked lakes and streams, interspersed with islands, forests and crags. It has no piped water, prepared shelters, or signs to point the way. Within these borders you can canoe, portage, and camp in the spirit of the French-Canadian Voyageurs of 200 years ago. The Boundary Waters’ paddling routes offer outstanding opportunities for solitude, remoteness, teamwork, adventure, and challenge.
Lake Superior, Ontario
The Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area (LSNMCA) is a wilderness archipelago along the Canadian north shore of Lake Superior. The LSNMCA is a rugged and pristine landscape of sparkling, clear water, cliffs, pebble and sand beaches, and numerous islands. It is the largest freshwater, protected marine environment in the world and a premier sea kayaking destination.
Superior Hiking Trail, Minnesota
The 296-mile Superior Hiking Trail winds its way among birch, cedars and maples while crossing over dozens of sculptured waterfalls that cascade into Lake Superior. Well-marked trails, campsites and moderately challenging terrain make this a perfect place to gain independence from your instructors, continue to build teamwork and finish your expedition with style.
Gap Year / Semester Courses
Our Gap Year and Semester expeditions take you out of the classroom – and into the world. These courses are all about cultivating independence, developing technical skills, and engaging with the people and places around you. Learn from the best Instructors in the industry. Tackle challenges alongside a supportive crew of motivated peers. Amidst rugged natural landscapes, learn to lead and to follow; to give and receive feedback; and to trust in your own capabilities.
- Achievable Goals: Instructors work with individual students (average 1 to 4 Instructor/Student ratio) to make solid self-assessments and set achievable goals.
- Build core skills: Learn and practice wilderness, teamwork and leadership skills. Form a crew that supports and encourages one another, and in the thick of natural challenges, discover there is more in you than you know.
- Practice Outward Bound values: Learn to incorporate Outward Bound values into everyday life by pushing your own limits and seeking challenge as an opportunity for personal growth.
- Demonstrate mastery: As the course nears the end, take on more leadership and decision-making responsibilities. Work together to apply new skills and achieve team goals during this final phase of the expedition.
- What you’ll learn: Return home an experienced leader with technical wilderness skills. Back in the workplace or classroom, apply a renewed commitment to excellence, a capacity to inspire others, and a desire to make a difference.
Listed below are a few of the activities:
Each 75-pound canoe is carried upside down on one person’s shoulders by utilizing the pads attached to the center thwart.
Students will develop their paddling and teaching skills as they bond as a group while traveling and camping along the rugged, rocky Superior shoreline. Additionally, they will experience challenging open water crossings where fog, waves, and weather necessitate their newly acquired navigation skills.
Two days of whitewater canoeing and a half day of whitewater kayaking add to the excitement and breadth of your experience. You will learn how to “read” water and trust yourself to make split-second decisions in order to determine the best routes through the rushing waves.
The rock climbing sites provide a number of different route options including cracks, sheer faces, and chimneys. Regardless of a student’s rock climbing background, they are sure to find a route that will engage them and encourage the expansion of their comfort zone.
Looking out over the top of the boreal forest, the High Ropes Course is an incredible obstacle course set 30-feet in the air. Students will swing from Tarzan ropes, walk on tightrope wires, and climb a cargo net before jumping on the zip line for an exhilarating ride back to solid ground.
Regardless of Solo length, all students receive sufficient food, water, and shelter to keep them safe and healthy during Solo. Instructors choose Solo sites to offer as much solitude as possible while retaining some proximity to the whole group. While students spend the majority of their Solo time alone, Instructors do check on each student as often as needed, usually 1-4 times per day, to ensure that each student feels safe and comfortable. The two Solos are purposefully scheduled so that students have plenty of time to acclimate to their new environments beforehand.
Students often have mixed feelings leading up to Solo: nervousness and hesitation regarding the unknown but also excitement to rest, reflect, and test their new skills while alone. Students often 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.
The PCE is non-competitive triathlon-style paddle, portage, run, or ski to show each student how their mental and physical stamina has grown as a result of their wilderness expedition and training regime. Students celebrate the completion of their PCE and wilderness expedition with a final banquet and graduation ceremony at the VOBS basecamp.
Please submit the Course Inquiry form or call (828) 239-2376 to discuss if this course is right for you.
Visit the Voyageur Outward Bound School frequently asked questions page to learn more about the application process, scholarships, what to expect, how to pack and where your course begins.
Upon enrollment on a Voyageur Outward Bound School course students receive a day-by-day course itinerary, detailed packing list, and detailed arrival and departure information specific to their course.
Moreover, we bring together diverse groups of students to instill cultural understanding and teamwork skills that enable them to become principled leaders.
Thanks to generous donations from alumni, parents, corporations, foundations, and others, Outward Bound awards up to $3.7 million in scholarships to 6,000 students each year.
The Voyageur Outward Bound School scholarship program is need-based and in order to be considered, applicants must first enroll on a course, pay a $500 deposit and check a box noting that they are interested in a Scholarship. The deposit payment is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 enrollment processing fee (usually non-refundable). After the applicant enrolls, a Course Advisor will send them a Scholarship Application along with the other enrollment materials. The applicant is required to submit a copy of their most recent 1040 tax return along with the completed Scholarship Application. The average scholarship is 15-30% off of the posted fee. If the applicant receives an Outward Bound scholarship but it’s not enough for them to participate, Outward Bound will refund their $500 deposit, including the $150 enrollment processing fee.
In some cases, applicants can schedule a payment plan with the Voyageur Outward Bound School rather than paying for the whole course in one lump sum. In cases of payment plans, final balances are due at least 90 days prior to the course-start.
TX Courses: In most cases, but not all, Voyageur Outward Bound School students arrive in El Paso, TX the day before their course officially begins. Students spend the night in a local hotel (not included in course-cost) as directed by their Course Advisor. Students typically return to the El Paso International Airport around 1:00 PM on the last day of the course and should plan to fly out any time after 2:00 PM to account for check-in and security clearance.
Explicit travel directions will be shared with you after you enroll on a course. Students should refrain from making travel plans prior to being approved for their course and receiving travel details for their specific course as the exact details may differ slightly from the directions listed above.
|6/14/16 – 8/16/16||64||18+||$8995||VMGL-672|
Canadian Border Leadership Semester Inquiry
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