COURSE OVERVIEW

Course Number

VTYB-231

Date

June 16, 2022 - June 25, 2022

Tuition & Payment

For your convenience, you may now pay the balance of tuition using our ONLINE PAYMENT OPTION. Please have the student's name, course number, course start date and balance due when using this payment option.

In most cases, a $500 deposit has been paid when you applied. Please refer to your Registration Email to confirm your balance*. If you are unsure of your balance due, please call 1-800-878-5258 or email studentservices@ncobs.org.

If your payment is not received by the due date listed in your Registration Email, you will risk losing your position on the course and your $500 deposit. Please review the Application & Cancelation Policies.

Tuition: $3,495.00
Tuition Deposit: -$500.00
Remaining Balance Due*: $2,995.00

Location

Superior Hiking Trail, Minnesota

On the southern edge of the massive Canadian Shield, a granite rock formation that runs from Minnesota to Hudson Bay and the Northwest Territories, sits the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior. The Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) follows the northern shore of the lake from Duluth, Minnesota to Canada covering almost 300 miles along the low-lying Sawtooth Mountain range. The trail meanders through dense boreal forest, sustains across awe-inspiring overlooks, and plunges into pristine river valleys. Well-marked trails, designated campsites, and challenging terrain make the SHT a great introductory backpacking experience.

Near the southern terminus of the Superior Hiking Trail is a rock-climbing location called Shovel Point, which features 80- to120-foot vertical granite cliffs towering above the lake. The dramatic vertical rock face combined with the dazzling, emerald colored lake ensures a memorable day for the novice and experienced rock climber alike.

Activities

Backpacking – The Superior Hiking Trail is a 300+ mile trail located in the densely wooded hills of the Sawtooth Mountain range overlooking Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. From hilltop views, Voyageur Outward Bound School backpacking expedition students look out at what appears to be an ocean - water as far as the eye can see.

On a Voyageur Outward Bound School backpacking expedition, students hike within dense forests, across wide-open ridge-tops and through exquisite canyons, tracing rivers that plummet to Lake Superior. Groups work together to carry everything they need in large backpacks while hiking from campsite to campsite, anywhere from 3 to 10 miles a day, depending on terrain. Groups tend to camp near pristine rivers and lakes each evening to resupply with water. Students learn how to filter and purify their water for drinking and cooking, prepare meals over a fire or stove, set-up shelters and navigate with a map.

Rock Climbing and Final Challenge Event - Time and weather permitting, Voyageur Outward Bound School courses end with a Final Challenge Event, a final individual physical push. Depending on where the course ends, students participate in their Final Challenge Event by rock climbing at Shovel Point on Lake Superior or Taylor’s Falls along the St. Croix River. Outward Bound chooses rock climbing sites that provide a number of different route options including cracks, sheer faces, and chimneys. Regardless of a student’s rock climbing background, everyone is sure to find something that will both challenge and encourage them. All Outward Bound rock climbing experiences are heavily supervised and employ safety systems that are compliant with national standards.

During climbing days, students learn about general rock-climbing equipment, safety and etiquette, belaying techniques, and climbing rescue techniques.  Encouraged and supported by their group, students push their perceived limits and expand their comfort zones in a non-competitive environment.   Students set their own goals and work toward them to see how their mental and physical stamina has grown as a result of their wilderness expedition.

Course End – All courses end with a shower, graduation ceremony and celebration dinner. Shower facilities are available at the basecamp or final campground location.

Solo – Weather and time permitting, an Outward Bound Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition and gives students the opportunity to reflect on their Outward Bound experience. The duration of Solo depends on the course length and type as well as the competency and preparedness of the student group. Students on a 1-2 week course typically spend 2 hours to half-a-day on Solo. 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 1-2 times, to ensure that each student feels safe and comfortable. Instructors work with each student individually to structure a successful, unique Solo experience that meets their specific needs. Solo is purposefully scheduled near the end of the expedition so students have plenty of time to acclimate to their new environments beforehand.

Students often have mixed feelings leading up to Solo. Inevitably, students feel some nervousness and hesitation but are also excited to rest, reflect and test their new skills after spending many days in the wilderness. Students often find that Solo provokes profound and powerful learning in a short period of time and Solo often becomes one of the most memorable parts of their Outward Bound experience.

Service – Service is a cornerstone of every Outward Bound experience. From the seemingly small daily acts of service to the environment to the regular tasks of being part of an expeditionary team, students have ample opportunities to experience the value of giving back to the larger community. On the expedition, students are encouraged to practice environmental stewardship in the form of Leave No Trace ethics - leaving campsites, trails and waterways in better condition than they found them. Students also practice regular acts of service for their team including preparing and serving meals, helping others put on or take off packs or setting up shelters for the entire team.

Final Expedition – Outward Bound believes that an appropriate amount of independence is a powerful educational tool. In order to deliver that benefit, Outward Bound purposefully and gradually transfers certain leadership responsibilities to the students culminating with our “Final Expedition.” Near the end of course, if you and your group have demonstrated the necessary leadership, team problem-solving and wilderness living skills, you may be given the opportunity to travel without your instructors immediately present. Students on courses designed for ages 16 and older may travel without instructors immediately present (although they will be near the group for safety reasons) for one to five days depending on course length, student age, staff assessment of students’ abilities, and terrain. Many of our students feel this phase of the course is the most rewarding as the group learns to work together, problem solve, and accomplish a goal independently while utilizing all the skills they have acquired.

Sample Itinerary

The following is an example of what your course itinerary may look like. Your actual itinerary will vary according to weather, student skills and abilities, and instructor preferences.

Day 1: Meet the group and transport to the Superior Hiking Trail; possibly start at Gooseberry Falls. Meet your Outward Bound Instructors, organize your equipment and learn how to pack your backpack. The group will hike a short distance to the first campsite, set-up camp, eat dinner and sleep in tents on the very first night of the course.

Day 2: Wake, have breakfast, learn how to read maps and begin hiking. Travel until it’s time for lunch and then continue until it’s time to set-up camp, possibly at the Split Rock River. Learn to set-up camp and cook over a fire. Eat and participate in an evening activity before heading to your tent for the night.

Days 3-5: Continue backpacking from campsite to campsite, possibly camping at Christmas Tree Ridge, as you refine your wilderness skills and get you know your group.

Day 6: Participate in a morning service activity somewhere along the trail. Service activities might involve trail maintenance, tree planting or invasive species removal. Experience Solo in the afternoon. Take time to rest and reflect at a quiet spot along a nearby river.

Day 7: Begin the Final Expedition which involves less oversight from your Instructors and more group responsibility.

Days 8-9: Continue the Final Expedition until you reach your rock climbing site, possibly at Tettegouche State Park. Finish the expedition with the final Rock Climbing Challenge Event, clean equipment, shower, enjoy a celebratory banquet and participate in a graduation ceremony.

Day 10: Eat an early breakfast and depart for the airport to travel home.

Course Progression and Curriculum

In addition to the expedition itself and all of the skills and learning associated with it, Outward Bound’s time-tested curriculum includes education on the many aspects of personal growth and learning that can be found in each activity you undertake. You will learn four important Outward Bound Core Values:

  • Compassion
  • Integrity
  • Excellence
  • Inclusion and Diversity

You may find that the most important lessons you take home are learning about yourself and your community while acquiring backcountry skills and having an adventure.You’ll learn to protect and appreciate the unique, unspoiled environments through which you travel.

Successful completion of your course demands mastery of skills, trust, fitness, confidence, tenacity, leadership, initiative and compassion. The promotion of these qualities and the discovery of what’s in you is the purpose of Outward Bound.

Weather During Your Course

Weather is always a factor when traveling in the wilderness and it adds an exciting element of challenge to each course. Learning to handle varying weather conditions is essential to a successful wilderness course. 

Minnesota’s weather can be unpredictable with a wide range of temperatures.  In the summer the temperature tends to stay between 60 and 85 degrees. Summer brings occasional thunderstorms and rain showers. Expect cooler evenings, misty mornings, occasional rainstorms, and hot days perfect for swimming.

COVID-19 & Your Course

This tab houses ALL of the COVID-19 information for your course. Please refer to the following resources and information for any questions you may have about COVID-19 and your course. 

VOBS COVID-19 Practices Page This includes all our COVID-19 policies and expectations. 

 

VOBS COVID-19 FAQ's Page  If you have a question about anything related to COVID-19 review the FAQ's. 

Preparing for your Course

Please utilize the resource below to physically and mentally prepare for your course. The more preparation you do, the better your experience will be! 

VOBS Course Preparation Guide