COURSE OVERVIEW

Course Number

VTYF-141

Date

June 18, 2021 - July 02, 2021

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: $4,695.00
Tuition Deposit: -$500.00
Remaining Balance Due*: $4,195.00

Location

St. Croix River National Wild and Scenic Riverway, Minnesota and Wisconsin

The St. Croix River system was one of the initial 8 rivers to be designated as a National Wild and Scenic River in 1968. With 200-miles of canoe routes lined by an ever changing landscape of dense forest, towering rock walls and oak savannah, the St. Croix River provides a wonderful introduction to paddling.

Multiple different rivers, including the St. Croix River’s largest tributary, the Namekagon River in Wisconsin, converge to eventually become the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota. This section of protected river concludes near Minnesota’s Interstate State Park. Interstate State Park contains some of the most outstanding and unique geological features to be found anywhere in the world, including 10 different lava flows that allow for excellent rock climbing.

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

Canoeing St Croix – Each section of the St. Croix River is a beautiful introductory experience to canoeing. Students travel in two-person canoes and learn to maneuver through Class I or II rapids. Students learn to steer their canoes with confidence by using the “J,” “Pry,” and “Sweep” strokes while communicating with their paddling partners. After learning daily travel routines and canoe strokes, students continue to develop their skills by learning how to recognize river current, anticipate obstacles, scout rapids, and work as an effective team to negotiate more challenging sections of the river.

In addition to paddling, students gain a basic understanding of river and forest ecology, river hydrology, swimming in moving water, fire building, camp craft, and expeditionary travel. Each night, the group will make camp, pitch tents, and cook over an open fire while debriefing their day.

Backpacking – The Superior Hiking Trail is a 250-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.

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.

Sample Itinerary

DAY 1- Course start, introduction to backcountry living
DAY 2 Paddle school, immersion training, begin paddling
DAYS 3-5- Canoeing, introductory lessons in navigation and camp-craft
DAY 6- Finish river expedition
DAY 7- Rock climbing, learn climbing and belaying techniques, rappelling
DAY 8- Introductory lesson is backpacking, begin hiking
DAYS 9-11- Backpacking
DAY 12- Solo
DAY 13- Finish backpacking expedition
DAY 14- Shower, clean and de-issue gear, graduation
DAY 15- Transport 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

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. 

*If you have received a COVID-19 vaccine you still need to adhere to all COVID-19 safety practices.

VOBS COVID-19 Practices Page 

This page houses information about pre-course policies/expectations, testing and travel guidelines, and on-course policies. 

VOBS COVID-19 FAQ's Page 

If you have a question about anything related to COVID-19- look here! The answer is probably included on this page. If you cannot find an answer to your question on this page please reach out to your Course Advisor. 

Testing Information Quick Look

Check out this table of information about required and recommended COVID tests:

Testing timeline example: If your course starts on 2/4/21 then your 3-day prior test should be completed on 2/1/21. 

Click the link below for specific face mask information for travel

CDC Face Mask Travel Information