River Navigation, Service, Whitewater Canoeing, Rock Climbing
Basic Paddle Strokes
Belaying a Climber
Map and Compass
Positive Risk Taking
Sense of Social Connection
In this diverse course with three elements, explore all that Maine has to offer – from the rocky shoreline and spruce-covered islands to mountains, lakes, and rivers on foot and by canoe.
Take a deep dive traveling through the unforgettable wilderness of Maine on this 30-day three-element course. Maine sailing, backpacking and canoeing expeditions traverse a variety of wild and rugged environments — from the granite shores, intricate rivers and dense islands of the Maine Coast, the peaks of the northern Appalachian mountain range and the Rangeley Lakes, and/or the Moosehead region of Maine’s Northwoods.
This course will embark when most sailors are headed south to warmer waters. As summer changes to Fall and the harbors empty themselves of pleasure vessels, the Maine coast begins to show its raw and rugged beauty. With this beauty comes challenge – colder temperatures, stronger winds, bigger swell, and a more impactful and exciting experience.
In the mountains and lakes regions, you will learn to camp and travel across the wilderness, relying on your group, the supplies you have on hand and the skills you learn as you go. You’ll learn coastal navigation, small boat seamanship, woods craftsmanship, weather observation, anchoring, and campsite selection, as well as beginning, intermediate and advanced skills in lake navigation, paddling technique, and river hydrology. Leadership and responsibilities become shared during the journey, and group communication grows as each day’s plan is decided and challenges are discussed. As you live and work closely together, you’ll learn far more than seamanship, hiking and canoeing skills. The personal growth, habits and wilderness routines developed on this extended expedition can be applied to whatever challenges life presents you after course.
NOTE: For the health and safety of students and staff in the COVID-19 pandemic, students may be required to travel to course start by private transportation. Please work directly with your Course Advisor for your course for the most up-to-date and regionally-focused travel options. All students and staff must provide a current negative COVID-19 viral test result before arrival to course and/or consent to having a COVID-19 test administered at course start. Outward Bound requires students and staff to follow COVID-19 protocols for 14 days prior to course start and while traveling including physical distancing, wearing a mask in public, and frequent and thorough handwashing.For complete “Health and Safety Practices for Outward Bound Expeditions,” click here.
For detailed information on course availability statuses and what they mean, click here.
Thank you for your interest in Outward Bound!
This course starts within the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to assess the possibility of applying for this course!
APPLY NOW This means a course has several open spots and is actively processing applications.
APPLY NOW – Almost Full This means there are three or fewer currently available spots left on a course. To secure your spot click Apply Now to begin an application!
Once a course has reached capacity, three waitlist spots will become available. In the event a spot becomes available, those on the waitlist may have an opportunity to secure the available spot. To join a course’s waitlist, click “Join Waitlist” to begin the application process. Upon completion of your application, a $500 deposit is required to reserve the waitlist spot. If you choose to remove your application from the waitlist, or if a spot does not become available, you will be refunded the $500 deposit. If a spot becomes available and you elect not to take it, Outward Bound will keep $150 of the deposit.
Waitlist spots are prioritized in the order of returned paperwork, not in the order applications are received, so be sure to return the initial paperwork as soon as possible! Please be aware that waitlist spots may become available up to two weeks before the course starts. While cancellations do occur, we cannot guarantee a spot will become available. Applicants may only be listed on one waitlist. If there is another course that still has availability and is also of interest to you, we recommend applying for that course instead. If you have questions, please call 866-467-7651 to speak with one of our Admissions Advisors.
CALL TO APPLY This means a course is very close to its start date. Although it is unlikely to secure a spot this late, you can call the National Admissions office at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
COURSE IS FULL When a course has reached maximum capacity, meaning all spots and the three waitlist spots are occupied, a course will read “Course Is Full.” This means applications are no longer being accepted.
CLOSED As a course nears its start date, the availability status may read “Closed.” In this event, a course roster has been finalized and applications are no longer being accepted or processed.
Do you ever want to unplug, step away from the daily grind to take on new challenges? Are you ready to conquer harder skills and remind your senses (or discover for the first time) what it’s like to crest a mountain peak, hear the echoes at the edge of a vast canyon or feel the rush of white water spray on your face? Take a break from your routine, radically change your surroundings and test your tenacity. Put some “firsts” in front of you and find moments of unexpected discovery along the way. Experience Outward Bound as an adult and prepare for an injection of adventure, awareness and adaptability that sticks with you long after you unpack your backpack.
Build skills, form connections: Meet like-minded peers and make connections as you work through priorities and adventures together, learn outdoor skills at the hands of expert Instructors, and earn every good night’s sleep.
Value strengths and strengthen values: Re-discover your inner strength, renew your natural leadership abilities and practice adapting to new environments. Tap in to your trust and compassion as you tackle obstacles with a support crew standing beside you.
Demonstrate mastery: As you awaken your wilderness skills and dig deep to rise to the physical and mental challenges, the bulk of the expedition’s leadership and decision-making responsibilities transfer from the Instructor to the crew. Work together to achieve team goals, solve problems and succeed both individually and together.
What you’ll learn: Watch, try and share more difficult outdoor skills that you’ll master on your expedition. Discover and then remind yourself that there’s more in you than you know. Having taken the risks, learned from and adapted to all sorts of new situations and environments, you’re ready for whatever life hands you going forward.
Return home with newly expanded wilderness acumen, an energized outlook, a rekindled allowance of empathy into situations and relationships and an eye toward the future.
Traditional 30-foot sailboats encourage teamwork and leadership like no other classroom. On an open boat with no cabin and no engine, the group will live closely together using only wind and oars to power their way. As they rotate responsibilities during this expedition, students learn the crafts of maneuvering under sail, coastal navigation, rowing and living aboard a small open boat. At night, students sleep on deck under a tarp, taking turns at anchor watch under brilliant night skies.
On this course, students:
Learn to navigate using a map or a chart and a compass to arrive accurately at the day’s destination over mountains and across open water.
Adjust sails properly for sailing at different angles to the wind, and execute sailing maneuvers like tacking and gybing, which turn the boat through the wind.
Move the boat under oar power, coordinating all the rowers' movements so that the oars splash as one, precisely maneuvering in and out of secluded anchorages.
Live (cook, eat, sleep, work and learn) with the group in the backcountry, contributing energy and ideas, sharing tasks and responsibilities and relying on each other.
Backpacking is an ideal combination of team and individual elements. The mountains of Maine are jagged and densely wooded, and the trails are remote, narrow and often steep. Students travel on wilderness footpaths, navigating on and off trail throughout the journey. From atop the mountain peaks, if the weather cooperates, the group’s hard work is rewarded with spectacular views. Living and traveling with just a backpack is a simple existence, in which small choices can make deceptively great differences. To live well in the wilderness, all crew members must share the chores that turn a camp into a home, including setting up tents and tarps, creating a kitchen area, taking turns fetching water and cooking satisfying meals.
of Hannah Baker
Wilderness canoe expedition skills are the mark of a New England outdoorsperson. In the foothills of Maine’s mountains are networks of remote lakes and rivers. Students learn to maneuver canoes using paddle strokes such as the sweep, draw, pry and J-stroke. To get from one waterway into another, students portage (carry the canoes on their shoulders) and line (guide the loaded canoe down the sides of un-runnable rapids). In learning to work, communicate and coordinate efforts as paddling partners each day, students discover the power of truly working together.
of Hannah Baker
of Hannah Baker
The granite that made the Maine Coast famous as a source of building material a century ago now provides the setting for some outstanding rock climbing or rappelling from the sea cliffs. Students learn to use climbing equipment, tie knots, climb and belay each other, while Instructors provide overall supervision of the site. Climbing hones and develops balance, coordination, flexibility and grace on the rock. Climbing presents many individual challenges for students, while the team must work together to set systems up, communicate clearly and support each other throughout the climb.
of Hannah Baker
of Hannah Baker
Service projects are often incorporated into Outward Bound courses through coordination with local land managers, conservation groups, government or social service agencies. While in the wilderness, students are encouraged to practice service to the environment and their team by sharing responsibilities and following Leave No Trace ethics throughout the expedition.
The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition and gives students the opportunity to reflect on their Outward Bound experience. With sufficient food and equipment, students will set up campsites of their own, using the wilderness skills learned during the first parts of course. The time students spend on Solo depends on the length of the course. Often located along beautiful shorelines or peaceful rivers, campsites are chosen to offer as much solitude as possible (yet be within emergency whistle-signaling distance of other group members). Most students spend their Solo time journaling, drawing or just thinking and resting as they process lessons of the course to focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each participant at least daily.
This course focuses on developing a solid foundation of expedition skills and a greater understanding of and appreciation for the natural world. While immersed in a challenging wilderness expedition, each student will take on leadership roles. Outward Bound’s curriculum combines skills necessary to become proficient in wilderness travel, and interpersonal skills that will benefit students in any setting. Through a series of different activities, students practice applying general principles in different elements and environments, deepening their understanding of each skill and building greater levels of ability. In addition to this course being a memorable adventure, the experience will promote situational thinking, individual and group goal setting, evaluation of options and decision-making, and flexibility and effectiveness in problem solving.
The coast of Maine, with its intricate and indented shoreline, is a unique segment of the North Atlantic seaboard. It is renown among sailors for its picturesque beauty, iconic lighthouses, abundant bays and harbors, rocky islands, and quiet coves. Our sailboat cruising area covers nearly 200 miles of the Maine coast, with countless rivers, bays and islands to explore. The rocky, spruce-covered islands are the summits of a prehistoric mountain range, and generations of inhabitants have made their livelihoods here. Evidence left behind on the islands reveals the historic presence of indigenous Abenaki camps, pre-colonial fishing communities, post-colonial timber and farming operations and early 20th century granite quarries. Cold, nutrient-rich waters flow from the Canadian Maritimes, making the Gulf of Maine home to a wide range of sea birds, seals, porpoises, and whales.
The mountains of western Maine and northern New Hampshire comprise the northern end of the Appalachian mountain range. Within this region, the White Mountain National Forest, the Appalachian Trail, the Carter-Mahoosuc Range, the Hundred-Mile Wilderness, the Grafton Loop Trail and the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness all offer classic backpacking terrain. These spruce-fir and hardwood forests are home to hundreds of species of birds as well as moose, deer and black bear. Rushing waterfalls, clear twisting streams and spectacular views from rocky summits reward backpackers ready for adventure.
The upper reaches of the Androscoggin, Penobscot, Kennebec, and Allagash watersheds are fed by Moosehead Lake and the Rangeley Lakes. Indigenous Abenaki peoples used these waterways as both a means of transportation between winter habitats inland, summer living on the coast and as a source of food. The great rivers of Maine were used to move logs to mills downstate during the logging boom of the nineteenth century. These days, the lakes and rivers are used primarily by canoeists, fishermen and other recreationalists. Some of the portage trails here, such as along the Rapid River, have been in use for centuries. These regions are the ancestral lands of the Wabanaki Confederacy, which includes Abenaki/Abénaquis, W∂last∂kwiyik (Maliseet), Penobscot, and Passamaquoddy nations.
Travel to course, welcome, equipment issue and check, introduction to camping at our Newry Basecamp
Backpacking expedition: situational leadership, risk assessment and management, conflict resolution
Transport to the Rangeley Lakes region, begin canoeing
Canoeing expedition: paddle techniques, campcraft, map and compass, group development
Transport to Wheeler Bay base camp to begin the sailing expedition
Sailing expedition: navigation, maneuvering under sail and oars, seamanship, leadership and communication. A solo and rock climbing experience may be part of this section.
Final expedition challenge: test skills and knowledge, self-reliant problem solving; return to base camp
Personal Challenge Event, equipment clean-up and de-issue
If you are ready to enroll on a course click the enroll button next to the course you wish to select or you can enroll over the phone by speaking with one of our Admissions Advisors (toll-free) at 866-467-7651.
To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee.