“The trip helped me put life in perspective and identify what was really important to me. Somehow in just a few days I was able to find a sense of calm and happiness I hadn’t been able to find since before that deployment in 2004.” –Past BCBOBS Veteran student

OVERVIEW

Veterans expeditions provide a structured time and place to build camaraderie, outdoors skills, and personal growth. As they improve communication skills, establish trust, and validate experiences among other veterans, participants experience increases in sense of self-worth, sense of purpose and sense of achievement, all in a non-military setting. Designed to facilitate a unique and exciting environment for veterans to reflect, share insights, and live in the present moment, the focus of these programs is around shared experiences and reconnecting with the sense of camaraderie and teamwork veterans and active duty service men and women experienced overseas. Although each expedition is unique, certain key components are a part of every Veterans expedition. The expedition begins with hands-on, progressive training in a variety of expedition and personal skills. The idea that participants are “crew, not passengers” is central to the Outward Bound learning approach.

As they cook, sleep, stay warm, navigate and select routes together, participants create a positive, inclusive, supportive group dynamic. Throughout the expedition, participants build, practice, and reflect on skills, and tackle new challenges together – rock climbing or a peak ascent – that pushes them to rediscover the strength and peace of mind to navigate the often difficult transition to civilian life.

This course is designed for Veterans of OEF/OIF that are looking to revisit their leadership skills, are interested in challenging themselves, and are open to discovering the lifelong benefits and perspective that only wilderness travel with Outward Bound can offer.

BACKPACKING

This seven-day Veterans course is expedition-style, featuring a 50 mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail. On day one of your expedition you will meet your crew and pack up at our base before hitting the trail. You and your crew will carry all necessary food and equipment for unplugged, outdoor living until your return on day six. This means no cell phones, no television, and no electronics. You should come ready to commit all of your time and energy to your expedition, your crew, and your Outward Bound experience.

While exploring one of the world’s most famous footpaths you can expect to practice basic backcountry skills including on and off-trail navigation, weather forecasting and preparation, campfire cooking and tarp setup. At the midpoint of your expedition you will spend most of a day rock climbing and rappelling. In addition to your time on the cliff-face you will learn the basics of anchor-building and safety management.

COURSE AREA

The Appalachian Trail stretches more than 2,100 miles from Georgia to Maine. In Maryland and south-central Pennsylvania it winds through rhododendron-filled valleys, stands of ancient hemlock, across dramatic peaks and Civil War battle-sites. Once you experience this piece of ‘The Trail,’ you may end up convinced to just keep hiking…