Intercept Texas Big Bend Backpacking
This 28-day backpacking course is a rare chance to experience desert solitude in the presence of rugged mountains, canyons and mesas.
The wilderness expedition concludes with an intensive family conference and workshop, which helps the entire family leverage the experience into a model for everyday life. Both parents and teens walk away with a new outlook, a new plan and new optimism for success.
Our Texas course area, one of the most remote and geologically interesting in the Outward Bound system, lies along the US-Mexico border in southwestern Texas. Here, the Rio Grande River carves a huge sweeping bend through the area–earning its namesake, Big Bend National Park. This 750,000-square mile wilderness area is an ideal setting for desert backpacking, canyoneering and rock climbing. In this region, delicate desert flowers exist alongside fossilized trees millions of years old; mountain passes give way to steep-walled canyons and cliffs. Much of this landscape has remained unchanged for centuries.
- Anger issues
- Low motivation
- Chronically poor school performance
- Risky behavior issues
Struggling Teens & Young Adults Expeditions are not for teens with a history of violent behavior, recent suicide attempts, serious eating disorders, chemical dependencies, or chronic juvenile offenses.
Please submit the Course Inquiry form or call (828) 239-2376 to discuss if this program is right for your family.
Outward Bound Intercept expeditions are specifically designed for struggling teens and their families. These highly structured courses remove young people from the pressures and influences of home and school, and present them instead with healthy risks and natural challenges. In a fresh, wilderness environment, students practice new ways of making choices and setting goals.
- 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: Instructors teach students the skills they need to travel safely through the wilderness. As the group builds competency, they confront obstacles that require real-time, cooperative decision-making and attention to detail.
- Practice Outward Bound values: Instructors mentor students through the process of self-discovery and encourage appropriate risk-taking and positive approaches to daily challenges.
- Demonstrate mastery: As the course nears the end, Instructors step back – and allow students to experience the joys and challenges of taking charge.
- Transfer skills: Students prepare to reunite with families and transfer Outward Bound successes to lives back home. This phase involves two days of volunteer work and culminates with a facilitated conversation between students and their families.
- What students learn: Equipped with conflict resolution skills, communication strategies and a keen awareness of themselves and others, students are empowered to start on a new path.
The wilderness expedition is followed by a carefully designed curriculum aimed at preparing students to reunite with their families, reengage in their home lives, and transfer their successes at Outward Bound to the challenges they will face in the future.
The post-expedition curriculum includes at least two days of community service and culminates with a facilitated conversation between individual students and their families. This conversation provides a chance for the family to work together to make a plan for the student’s return and for the student to verbalize his or her continued commitment to growth and goals for the future.
Listed below are a few of the activities:
Students learn about general rock-climbing equipment, safety, and etiquette before learning how to belay. The full day of rock climbing provides ample opportunities to climb, belay, and rappel over the edge while safely descending to the base of majestic cliffs.
During this phase of course, all students receive sufficient food, water, and shelter to keep them safe and healthy. Instructors choose Solo sites to offer as much solitude as possible while retaining some proximity to the 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.
Students may 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 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 run to show students 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 basecamp.
Preparing people to be of service to others -the giving of yourself and your time to individuals, the environment and communities — is one of the core values of Outward Bound. Additionally, students have a structured opportunity to put giving back into action through 2 days of community service that is an integral part of their course.
Service in Texas is designed to offer as much interaction with local people as possible, as a way of exchanging cultural awareness. The specific type of service project depends upon the structure of your course and local needs and opportunities. Service projects could include helping paint and clean in a border town or working in a local wilderness area.
But now it’s back to reality. How do you and your teen translate the incredible Intercept experience into lasting positive change?
You as a parent or guardian are a critical link in the success of the Intercept experience for your teen. You will have the opportunity to think through your relationship while they are with us using a provided comprehensive workbook. Then, an intensive two- or three-day seminar helps form and solidifies the path that begins for your family when the Intercept expedition ends.
The next step is the parent conference and debrief. You’ll meet one-on-one with at least one of the expedition instructors to learn how your teen fared on the course. You’ll hear a detailed account of what the course was like, the struggles and success of the group, and how your teen handled the challenges. With the instructor, you’ll prepare for the next day’s meeting with your teen.
Now it’s time to make a plan. Together with an instructor acting as a facilitator, you and your teen will come up with a new agreement to guide life at home. The goal for you is to know that your teen can conduct himself or herself appropriately and to clearly define what you expect. The goal for your teen is to have a say in the direction their life takes and to clearly understand what is required to earn more freedom.
At the end of course, both you and your teen will walk away with a new outlook, a new plan and new optimism for success as a family.
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.
|11.15.16 – 12.12.16||28||14-17||$6595||VRIB-661|
|1.31.17 – 2.27.17||28||16-20||$6895||VRIB-761|
|3.14.17 – 4.10.17||28||16-20||$6895||VRIB-762|
|11.14.17 – 12.11.17||28||14-17||$6895||VRIB-763|
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