COURSE OVERVIEW

Course Number

VMOW-221

Date

October 01, 2022 - October 08, 2022

We at Outward Bound are pleased that you will be joining us for the Alumni Service Week at Homeplace, our wilderness base near Ely, Minnesota.  You will come together with other alumni who are familiar with the Outward Bound challenge for this unique blend of service work and community building.

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: $300.00
Tuition Deposit: -$500.00
Remaining Balance Due*: $-200.00

Location

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW)

Over 10,000 years ago, continental-sized glaciers scraped their way across much of Ontario and northern Minnesota leaving deep ruts, ravines, and holes in their tracks. Eventually, as the glaciers melted, these ravines filled with water, creating a seemingly endless interconnected web of lakes and rivers.

In 1978, the United States designated over 1-million acres of this Northern Minnesota landscape as a protected wilderness area called the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Because no roads, power lines, or motorized craft may enter its borders, the BWCAW has remained relatively unchanged since the glaciers receded. The BWCAW extends nearly 150 miles along the Canadian border and encompasses more than 1,000 lakes and rivers. Over 1,200 miles of navigable routes lead to over 2,200 campsites and provide an unparalleled opportunity to travel by canoe and dogsled.

In the winter, the BWCAW transforms into an even more severe and remote wilderness. While more difficult, winter enthusiasts’ travel over frozen lakes and rivers by dogsled, cross-country ski and snowshoe. Winter in the Boundary Waters is mesmerizing, peaceful, and exhilarating. It is a place of spectacular extremes, trackless snow, bracing cold air, glowing warm embers, and powerful silence.

Homeplace, Voyageur Outward Bound School Basecamp, Minnesota

Homeplace is located at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota. Situated where the Kawishiwi River meets Birch Lake in the Superior National Forest, the Voyageur Outward Bound School basecamp provides an ideal location for launching/ending BWCAW paddling and dogsledding trips, and practicing white water paddling skills. The surrounding boreal forest also makes Homeplace a great location for spotting moose, wolves, beavers, deer, woodpeckers, eagles and black bear.

Activities

The Alumni Service Week is not designed as a standard Outward Bound course, but as an opportunity alumni and us to benefit from each other's energy and enthusiasm.  Participants will work with Outward Bound staff to prepare for the upcoming season.  Work projects might consist of painting, staining, wood chopping, setting up cabins, landscaping, repairing waterfront docks, or repairing and reorganizing the equipment used during the previous season.  We may also offer projects tailored to a participant's specific skills, such as computer or kitchen work.

Opportunities for fun are incorporated into the week.  Activities might include rock climbing and rappelling, canoeing, an overnight expedition, saunas, or visits to local points of interest such as the International Wolf Center and North American Bear Center.  Additionally, opportunities for reflection, renewal, and initiatives may be offered.  Participants will have time to interact with the base staff through the various projects and community meals. As alumni, you become part of the community.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1:  The week begins at the Duluth Airport before transporting to the Voyageur Outward Bound School basecamp in northern MN.  Meet your Outward Bound liaison, settle into your accommodations, eat dinner and enjoy getting to know the group.

Day 2:  Review the list of basecamp service projects with your Outward Bound liaison.  Meet current Outward Bound staff, sign-up for tasks and get to work. 

Days 3-6:  Participate in a variety of optional activities like Voyageur canoe paddling, rock climbing and hiking while also getting work projects done around the basecamp.     

Day 7:  Finish up work projects and enjoy a final banquet celebration. 

Day 8:  Eat an early breakfast and depart for the airport to travel home.

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.  Fall brings red, yellow and bright orange leaves. It is cool and crisp and the forest is filled with peace and quiet. The weather can be unpredictable, ranging from bright sunshine, warm rain or sometimes snow. Average temperatures are cool, but can range from 30-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Evenings can be chilly but it’s typically sunny and very comfortable during the day. While you may experience the occasional thunderstorm or rain shower, most days are clear and comfortable.

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