Adventure awaits on this eight-day canoeing course – your chance to explore the Delaware Water Gap from the hull of a two-person canoe.
You and your group will be moving to a new campsite every night and travel with all the food and equipment you need as you paddle along your expedition route. Sharpen your leadership skills and learn to inspire others as you take on new and exciting challenges with your crew.
This is a traditional Outward Bound course, specially designed for girls and gender-expansive students who are looking for this kind of community on their course. And when we say “for girls,” we mean we believe trans-girls are girls. You are welcome here – let’s adventure together!
At Outward Bound, we are crew, not passengers. We support each other and share in our challenges and our victories. Your crew becomes a critical piece of your experience while on course, and beyond! While all our courses are inclusive for all gender identities, we understand the value of affinity spaces, too. During this time of development, when young people need a safe and supportive space, this course builds self-esteem and community, and creates opportunities to make lifelong friends.
Students can expect a progression of activities to initiate personal growth and conversation about our unique and shared experiences. We will spend time having guided discussions on a variety of topics, as well as opportunities for individual reflection, while embracing the affirming and healing powers of nature.
Outward Bound’s affinity courses are designed to build community and cultivate self-efficacy. Expeditions are led by trained Instructors and aim to create a safe space for those who have experienced being marginalized due to their identity, and/or are exploring their gender identity. Outward Bound is a place for all people to learn, grow, make friends, and have fun! We encourage you to talk with one of our course advisors if you have questions about which course is the best fit for you.
NOTE: Outward Bound strongly recommends that all students be vaccinated against COVID-19 and up to date as defined by the CDC prior to arriving to their course start. For all open enrollment courses beginning on or after April 15, 2023, Outward Bound will no longer require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. For questions regarding this policy please see this page or call us at 866-467-7651.
Affinity Groups, Gender-expansive, Middle School, Single Gender
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!
JOIN WAITLIST Once a course has reached capacity, three waitlist positions become available. To join a course’s waitlist, click “Join Waitlist” to begin the application process. A $500 deposit is required. This $500 deposit includes a $150 non-refundable application fee and a $350 tuition payment. The $350 tuition payment is refundable only if you cancel your waitlist application or if an open position does not become available. If a position does become available, the applicant will be applied to the open position and the Application and Cancellation Policies of the Regional Outward Bound School will be followed, including forfeiture of the $500 deposit if you cancel 90 days or less prior to the course start date.
Waitlist applicants are encouraged to complete all required admissions documents while awaiting an open position. Positions may become available up to two weeks prior to the course start date. Applicants may only apply to one course. We recommend applying to a course with open positions instead of a course that is accepting waitlist applications. 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.
Course start and flatwater paddle school
Canoeing (Introductory lessons to canoeing, camp craft, rescue skills, river navigation and back country cooking)
It’s time to make your own adventure. Outward Bound’s Classic expeditions for middle and high school students are built with you in mind. Make new friends, sleep under the stars, and learn skills like backcountry navigation and how to cook a delicious meal no matter where you are. You’ve got this! Whether you’re in a raft or on a mountainside, you’ll learn what you’re made of – and you’ll see first-hand how far teamwork can take you. Join us for an unforgettable challenge and discover a whole new way to get outside.
Build skills, form connections: Learn and practice wilderness, teamwork and leadership skills. Find connections with your crewmates based on support and respect (and fun too!), and in the thick of challenges, discover there is more in you than you know.
Value strengths and strengthen values: Uncover your unique character strengths, develop your leadership abilities and learn how to let compassion into everyday life by pushing your own limits and working alongside your peers.
Demonstrate mastery: As you gain confidence in new skills, take on more decision-making responsibilities. Work together to achieve team goals, solve problems and succeed both as individuals and as a group.
What you’ll learn: Your connections matter – working together to navigate challenges will quickly turn your crewmates into friends. Together, you’ll find opportunities to carry more weight (literally and figuratively) and make impactful decisions with accompanying consequences. It’s all about confidence, communication, and independence.
After you come home, many of the character, leadership and service traits you uncovered on your expedition stay with you, helping you navigate your daily life with more resilience and success.
Be prepared to canoe the Delaware Water Gap where each section of the river is different and has its own personality. If you want secluded, wide water with lots of wildlife, the stretch that flows through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area from Matamoras to Kittatinny Point offers it all. In addition to learning valuable paddling techniques in a tandem canoe, you and your fellow crew members will learn basic outdoor skills like Leave-No-Trace Principles, wilderness hygiene, and backcountry cooking techniques in order to successfully live, work, and eat together. This process will not only hone your communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills, but take you on a journey unlike anything you’ve ever imagined.
Students will finish their expedition at our base camp at The Discovery Center – a serene, urban oasis and nature-based learning facility located in the heart of Philadelphia. Here students will have the opportunity to go outside of their comfort zone atop the Aerial Teams Challenge Course and gain greater confidence in their skills and abilities.
On shorter courses for middle schoolers, participants will challenge themselves as they learn the skills to live and travel with their crew mates on the river. Participants will have the opportunity to become proficient paddlers and practice river navigation and rescue skills as they learn to work as a team to maneuver down Delaware River.
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area encompasses 67,000 acres of mountain ridge, forest and floodplain on both sides of the Delaware River in the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. From the southern end of the park, you can view the S-shaped chasm of the Delaware Water Gap, where the river cuts a twisting path through 1,400-foot Kittatinny Ridge. Within the river watershed, you'll discover steep wooded-and-rock slopes, bountiful rhododendron, dark hallows, tinsel-like ravines and tumbling waterfalls.
These regions are the ancestral lands of the Lənape Haki-nk (Lenni-Lenape) and Munsee Lenape nations.
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.