We look forward to having you on course with us soon! If you have questions about the application process, submitting forms, or anything else, you may contact your student services representative directly, call the Student Services General Line ,(800) 878-5258 or email us at, email@example.com.
Now that you have enrolled, this Course Page is your “go to” location for all forms, gear lists and information specific to your course. Bookmark it for future reference! Below you will find the page divided into 5 blue tabs. Each tab has multiple expandable sections. Familiarizing yourself with the information on this Course Page is an essential part of preparing for course.
It is natural to have questions when preparing for the adventure ahead. Many answers to your questions can be found on this Course Page or within our Frequently Asked Questions. Additionally, you can always contact the Student Services Department.
We look forward to seeing you Outward Bound!
In this day and age it is hard for individuals to find a moment to be introspective. This six-day Florida sea kayaking course is specially designed to help adults rediscover themselves through challenge and remind them, ‘there is more in you than you know.’
Please review the Application & Cancelation Policies.
If your payment is not received by the due date listed in your Application Portal, you will risk losing your position on the course and your $500 deposit.
You can expect to spend a good deal of time each day in kayaks. We use both single and tandem kayaks. Each student will have an opportunity to spend time in both vessels. Depending on the wind and weather, the level of difficulty will most likely vary day to day. You and your crewmates will practice:
It will be necessary for you and your crewmates to perform a swim assessment; as well as a flip and swim assessment as practice for paddling and self-rescue. This activity is closely monitored by your instructors. It is critical for us to determine your paddling comfort as you and your crew explore the islands. Even if you are a non-swimmer or weak swimmer, you will still participate in this safety assessment. All students will be wearing personal floatation devices (PFDs) during the assessment. Personal floatation devices (PFDs) are required apparel anytime students are on the water.
Solo typically occurs more than halfway through your course and may last up to 24 hours. Your instructors will assign each participant an individual campsite within a designated area. Your instructors will teach you procedures to follow during solo and monitor you during this experience. You will know the location of your instructors’ campsite should you need to contact them; otherwise it is essential that you remain in your designated area. If your course has an overnight solo you will have your clothing, food and water. In addition, you will have Outward Bound issued gear: including rain gear, shelter, sleeping bag, compass and whistle. Due to a decreased need for caloric intake, you will have less food available than you would have during your other course activities. Solo is a not a “survival test.” You will not be physically active during solo, as solo is a time for rest, recharge and reflection. Solo is also a good time to write in the journals we provide. If you have questions or concerns, please discuss with your Student Services Representative or your instructors.
Service will be a continuous theme throughout your course. The ethic of service is practiced through Leave No Trace camping techniques, reaching out with compassion to your fellow crewmates and working together as a team to overcome the challenges of Outward Bound.
FINAL CHALLENGE EVENT
At the end of your course, you may participate in a final challenge event. This is an opportunity to see how much your skills have improved since you began your course.
If one or more of the following criteria apply to you, you may not comfortably fit in our sea kayaks. Please contact your Student Services Representative if your:
TEN THOUSAND ISLANDS, FL
Participants will paddle through lush mangrove tunnels in a land of contrast: between tropic and semi-tropic, land and sea, and salt and fresh water as they learn to work together to read tide charts, explore unique ecosystems, cook and set-up camp on white sandy beaches under the stars and paddle to new areas each day. Participants will also learn about what makes the Ten Thousand Islands famous worldwide, the environmental value the area adds, and how we can better take care of it. <Click to learn more about this course area.>
Depending on the location of your course, you may be sleeping on the beach in tents with up to 1 other participant or on camping platforms in a personal bug tent. You will also be given a ground sheet and a foam sleeping pad to place under your sleeping bag.
Here are some books that we encourage you to read as you plan for your course:
While you do not have to be a gifted athlete or in peak physical condition to attend an Outward Bound course, you do have to prepare for the challenges of Outward Bound.
There are two kinds of strength necessary to complete your course; physical and mental. Your body needs to be strong, but you must also come with an open mind, willing spirit and a cooperative attitude. Whether you paddle a canoe or kayak for six or eight hours, expedition with a 50+ pound pack for 10 miles or scale a rock wall, you will be pushed and rewarded on many levels.
Note to nicotine users: It's essential to quit before you arrive. Using your course as a means to quit nicotine is NOT recommended. You will be put in a number of stressful situations and a person suffering from nicotine withdrawal may not be able to effectively deal with those situations.
Note to caffeine users: All adult courses (including family courses) will have coffee and caffeinated (i.e., black and green) tea available in moderation.
Consider and be prepared for:
Teamwork: Be ready to be part of a team. Think about other team experiences you may have had in the past. Remember what helped your team be successful. Plan on being a positive contributor during your course.
Living with Less: Look around and think about what you have and what you truly need. Things we may take for granted like hot running water, upholstered furniture and sidewalks will not be part of your experience. When you get into the routines of wilderness living, you may notice that life in the wilderness and life at home are similar in that they are ultimately about food, clothing, shelter and the relationships you have with those around you. Because the wilderness lifestyle is simple, you will leave behind non-essentials like deodorant, make up, electronic devices and books.
Being Away from Home: Whether it is the first or the 20th time you have been away from home, you might not have been this “out of touch.” Don’t be surprised if you feel homesick at some point. Please use your instructors and teammates as resources for support.
Compassion: Compassion is a pillar on which Outward Bound was built. Compassion can be shown in kind, thoughtful actions and can be practiced during course through active listening and understanding of other perspectives. You may find that you need to make compromises as you support your team. It is always important to remember that your attitude and actions affect everyone.
Group Discussion: Your instructors will lead group discussions as you debrief each day. Through coaching from your instructors, your group will practice positive communication and conflict resolution techniques. These skills help your group maintain respect for individual opinions no matter how they may differ. Hopefully, these lessons will extend to your everyday life. Be prepared to share your perspective and gain insight from others during these discussions.
Have fun and enjoy the adventure of preparation while training for your course! This is an excellent opportunity for you to get outside, get fit and explore your neighborhood's parks and recreation areas.
Adopt Healthy Habits: A great way to physically prepare is to adopt healthy habits. Reduce consumption of fatty foods, excessive alcohol and caffeine as these substances require a lot of water and oxygen to metabolize. Eat plenty of unrefined carbohydrates (i.e. whole grains). Drink water regularly instead of juice or soda. If you drink or use tobacco or tobacco products, it is essential to quit before you arrive. And last, but not least, arrive at course start well rested.
FITNESS AND TRAINING
• You do NOT have to be an athlete or highly-trained to attend an Outward Bound course.
• You DO have to be physically capable and active. Our courses are demanding. You will use your muscles in new and challenging ways.
• It takes strength and fitness to paddle a boat for six or eight hours a day, carry a 50+ pound pack for 5-10 miles or climb a rock wall. If you aren’t already involved in a fitness program, now is the time to start. Your efforts will pay off in enjoyment, comfort and fun.
PREPARATION FOR WATER ACTIVITIES
Endurance train at least three times a week on a rowing machine. If a rowing machine is not available, supplement with strength training three times a week by including sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups or weight training that concentrates on your shoulders, stomach and back.
As always cardiovascular exercise like running, walking, swimming or riding a bike will get you heart pumping and set you up for success on course!
Due to Leave No Trace camping ethics, we seldom build fires. You will be cooking on gas camp stoves. With coaching from your instructors, you learn backcountry cooking techniques and are responsible for helping with the preparation of all meals. Your diet will be a mix of dehydrated foods, fresh fruits and vegetables. We use rice, beans, tortillas, granola, oatmeal, crackers, salami, cheese, peanut butter, jelly, tuna fish, pasta and trail mixes.
The amount of physical activity you experience during your course demands a nutritious diet to help fuel your body. Junk food is not available on course. To prepare, we suggest you cut down on candy, soft drinks, pastries and other junk foods. All adult courses (including family courses) will have coffee and caffeinated (i.e., black and green) tea available in moderation.
Moderating alcohol and tobacco consumption will contribute to your fitness. These products will not be part of your Outward Bound course; a clear head and fast reflexes are essential to safety and success on course. If you are overweight, don’t go on a crash diet to shed extra pounds; you will only deplete the strength you want to develop. Please check with our Medical Screener to set a realistic goal for weight loss and stay committed.
The following list represents common meals at Outward Bound (this is not a menu)
Drinks (other than water)
The North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) strives to accommodate applicants who have dietary restrictions.
Our courses are backcountry, wilderness-based programs. We purchase our course food in bulk. Prior to course start, your instructors plan your crew’s meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks). We travel expedition-style with approximately a week’s worth of food at a time. All course food must be packable and non-perishable. You prepare and eat meals together as a crew in a camp setting, under the supervision and guidance of your instructors. You will not have access to a dining hall or cafeteria. We do not permit participants to bring their own food or snacks unless authorized to do so by NCOBS.
Be prepared to try new foods. It is imperative for your well-being to replenish the calories you are expending each day.
Please complete the Dietary Allergen Questionnaire to inform Outward Bound of any dietary restrictions. This information will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by our Medical Screener.
Food Allergies: Eight kinds of food cause most food allergies: cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish. Signs of a food allergy include a rash, or red, itchy skin; stuffy or itchy nose, sneezing, or itchy and teary eyes; vomiting, stomach cramps or diarrhea; angioedema or swelling; hoarseness, throat tightness or a lump in the throat; wheezing, chest tightness or trouble breathing. Some people with food allergies can have a serious reaction called anaphylaxis.
NCOBS cannot guarantee there will be no exposure to known allergens. If the applicant has had an anaphylactic response related to a dietary allergen, we must consider our remote wilderness area as we determine the appropriateness of our programs for the applicant.
Food Intolerance or Sensitivity: A food intolerance or a food sensitivity occurs when a person has difficulty digesting a food item. This can lead to symptoms such as intestinal gas, abdominal pain or diarrhea. If you are able to tolerate the food item in limited amounts, please let us know. It may broaden the range of foods we are able to provide.
Food Preference: Food preferences are choices that are made for reasons other than allergy, tolerance or sensitivity. We sincerely request that you think through your practice of limiting your food options while you are on course. Our primary goal is to meet students’ dietary allergies or intolerance/ sensitivities. The addition of food preferences could further influence the menu items we can provide.
Our staff members, who have had years of experience in the field, find that once students with food preferences engage in our rigorous backcountry, wilderness-based activities, those same students tend to (at least temporarily) broaden their food choices. We believe students may find these foods surprisingly appealing during their course due to their bodies’ increased need for calories.
Maintaining personal hygiene in the wilderness is important and is taught on every course. You will be outside while on course and won't have access to a shower or bath. You will be able to do basic cleanup every day: brush your teeth, wash your face and comb your hair. At the end of your course, you will be able to do a more thorough cleanup.
Since North Carolina Outward Bound is an outdoor program, you can expect to learn and use Leave No Trace camping techniques. Know that it is natural to have questions regarding sanitation in an outdoor setting. Your instructors will answer your questions and will teach you the hygienic and environmentally safe way to dispose of waste as well as techniques for basic cleanliness - don't hesitate to approach them with any questions or concerns
In our everyday lives, technology is always at our fingertips. By contrast, in the life of an Outward Bound participant, you have the unique opportunity to unplug and fully immerse yourself in the wilderness to connect with your crewmates and instructors.
Safety and Risk Management
Please review our Safety and Risk Management page.
Depending on the length of your course and course area, mail may be delivered to you. Delivery can take up to one week from the time it reaches our base camp. Please do not have packages sent to you unless they contain emergency items - no candy or food please! All correspondence must be clearly addressed with the participant’s name and course number. Letters received near the end of the course may not be delivered on time and will be returned to sender. You will be notified of your base camp mailing address and emergency numbers prior to your course start. If your course allows for mail delivery (criteria below), remember to bring postcards with stamps attached as you can write to family and friends while you are on course.
Mail delivery is not available on Everglades/Ten Thousand Islands courses.
At all levels of our school, we demonstrate our dedication to participant safety by our words, actions and values. Outward Bound has been a national leader in wilderness safety for over 50 years and frequently advises and assists other organizations in outdoor adventure risk management. Living and traveling in a remote wilderness setting exposes you to risks different than those you may encounter in your daily life. We believe that accepting appropriate risks and training and preparing participants to manage those risks, provides invaluable life experience. Regardless of precautionary measures, risk and uncertainty are central to the concept of challenge and adventure. The intent is not to avoid activities involving risk but to recognize, prepare for and successfully manage risk. In order to identify any potential hazards and update best practices, our programs are regularly reviewed by outdoor professionals from inside and outside the Outward Bound system.
Outward Bound instructors receive regular training in the activities and environments in which we deliver our courses. They are trained to anticipate and manage risks inherent in remote areas. They are also trained in first aid, search and rescue and emergency management. Our instructors are certified Wilderness First Responders; some are Wilderness Emergency Medical Technicians or equivalent. Outward Bound maintains a minimum staff-to-student ratio of approximately 1:6. Instructors work in teams of two or three with six to 12 students. Instructor teams are usually co-ed but balancing skills and teaching styles is our primary staffing focus. One instructor in every team is a lead instructor with multiple seasons of training and experience. The lead instructor has single point accountability for the safety and effectiveness of the course in the field as well as mentoring their staffing team. For more information on our instructors, please check out our staff profiles page or our careers page for instructor requirements.
As a participant, you must take responsibility for yourself by following instructions and practicing the skills taught by your instructors.
Please also review our Safety and Risk Management page.
If a family emergency occurs while the course is in progress, emergency messages can be relayed by calling our toll-free number (800-878-5258) on weekdays 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM eastern time. Prior to course start, you will receive an email that provides an after-hours and weekend emergency phone number.
The Student Services Department of the North Carolina Outward Bound School is committed to supporting you through the enrollment process. If you have comments or feedback to share regarding your experience with us, please contact our Director of Student Services Erin Broome, firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Carolina Outward Bound School provides:
We also provide activity-specific items based on your course type:
Please refer to the Packing List below for the items to bring to course.
First, shop your closet or those of your family or friends - you might have many of these items already. Then start planning what you may need to buy, leaving yourself time to find sales or free shipping.
Many students shop for clothing and gear from the following retailers:
Plan ahead! When you arrive for course start, you will not have an opportunity to purchase forgotten items!
Please review the video How to Pack for Course Without Breaking the Bank below.
When packing, use a duffel bag or soft-sided luggage (if available) due to limited storage space at our facility.
When you arrive, your instructors will facilitate a process we call “duffel shuffle” that includes:
Our Clothing and Gear list reflects the layering principle. It is vital that all your clothing be comfortable, quick-drying, and warm. Several layers of light clothing keep you warm and can be adjusted to changes in both weather and activity. For example, wearing a long sleeve shirt, a fleece layer and a jacket allows you to adapt to changing conditions.
Points to keep in mind while planning and shopping:
Please bring your prescription eyewear to course and any applicable backup options. For glasses a retaining band is necessary to prevent loss during an activity.
For participants who wear contact lenses, you must bring your prescription glasses as back up. Be sure to bring enough contact lens solution so you can be diligent in your contact lens routine while out on course.
Please be aware that the use of contact lenses in the backcountry does carry more risk than when at home. A great level of diligence and hygiene is required in ensuring you do not damage your eyes.
You will be outside during your course. To maintain your health and comfort, the best protection from biting insects, skin irritation and sunburn is a physical barrier of clothing. Bring the required clothing and gear listed – it's essential to your comfort and safety.
It is your responsibility to follow your instructor’s directions and monitor how your skin reacts to the changing environment. Let them know if you encounter skin concerns before they present a barrier to your participation.
If you are traveling by air to your course, please review the TSA Carry-on Requirements for liquids.
Here are a few tips caring for long, kinky, or curly hair while on course:
Before course, consider putting your hair in a protective style, allowing enough time for your head to adjust prior to the start of your Outward Bound course. Be sure that your protective style will fit underneath a helmet. Suggested protective styles include:
Increased physical activity during Outward Bound may cause a change in your menstrual cycle. Prepare your menstruation kit using a zip lock bag even if you don’t expect your cycle during course.
Items to include:
We practice Leave No Trace camping techniques. Therefore, we pack out what we pack in. Instructors will distribute small opaque zip lock bags and small stuff sack for your individual storage of used items.You will dispose of any used items either during re-supplies (approximately every three to seven days) or at course end.
Your instructors are experienced in addressing menstruation care questions or concerns while on course. Don’t hesitate to ask them questions.
Participants will not be permitted to begin their course without their required medications OR with new medications not approved by our Medical Screener.
All medications (prescription, non-prescription and over-the-counter) must:
Your medication container should not include other medications, vitamins or supplements. If possible, bring a double supply.
Do not bring non-prescription medications such as aspirin, Advil, etc., unless they are listed in your medical information. We have a medical kit that contains these medications.
Medication updates that occur after applicants are cleared to participate could affect their status on course. Please update the Student Services Department with any medication changes such as:
For participants on youth courses, our instructors carry all prescription medications, with the exception of birth control and emergency medications such as EpiPens or rescue asthma inhalers.
For participants on adult (age 18+) courses, we encourage participants to store their medication(s) container(s) in a zip-lock bag for protection. Pill sorters are not recommended.
FOR POST COURSE CLEAN UP: Travel size toiletries that will stay at base camp: shampoo and conditioner, soap, towel, toothbrush, tooth paste, comb or brush
It's nice to go light, but many past students also recommend bringing the following items:
FOR SEA KAYAKING COURSES ONLY: 1 water bladder with bite-valve (Platypus, MSR). Hydration backpacks are not recommended.
Camp Shoes: A Croc-style, fast drying sandal with a heel strap is the ideal camp shoe for our courses. Your running shoes may double as camp shoes but be prepared for them to get wet, as camp shoes often serve as your stream/river crossing shoe. Camp shoes must fit securely to the foot, have a hard sole, be closed-toed and enclose the majority of the foot. Crocs and Keen sandals are ideal examples of camp shoes that can also be river crossing shoes.
Running Shoes: Running is a course component on most of our courses. A sturdy pair of running shoes with a supportive sole is ideal for running. These should be shoes you feel comfortable running in on pavement, gravel roads and trails. Barefoot running or minimalist style shoes are inappropriate for these areas.
Wet Shoes: A shoe that encloses the entire foot, has a hard sole and fits securely to the foot is the ideal wet shoe for our marine environment courses. An old pair of running shoes or sneakers is an example of a wet shoe that is often used by both students and staff. These are the shoes you will paddle in and they will get wet. Examples of unacceptable wet shoes include aqua socks or thin neoprene water shoes; flip flops; or any open toed, open heeled, or open sided sandals like Tevas, Chacos, Keens, Vibram 5 Fingers, and Crocs.
Each applicant has been sent a Welcome Email that contains an individual Applicant Portal link. Emails are sent from email@example.com. If you need this email re-sent, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Resend Applicant Portal. Please also include in the body of your email you or your child's full name.
Once you have accessed your Applicant Portal, please review the Welcome Tab and then proceed to the Forms tab. All forms must be completed before your application will be reviewed. Your position may be released if required forms become past due.
ONLY MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS AFTER:
We typically need 6 firm enrollments in order to confirm the course as “GO.” If you purchase airline tickets before notified to do so, make sure you either purchase refundable/transferable tickets OR purchase trip insurance covering the cost of airfare in the event your course is canceled or if you are not cleared to participate. North Carolina Outward Bound is not responsible for refunding the cost of airline tickets, clothing and gear, etc.
YOUR COURSE WILL BEGIN AT THIS LOCATION WHETHER YOU ARE ARRIVING BY PLANE OR CAR.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
100 Terminal Dr - Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
This is our only pick-up location/time.
Traveling to and from course with a cell phone and charger is encouraged. Upon arrival and check in with our staff at the airport, we will remind participants to call their families immediately, as cell phones are not permitted once the course has officially begun. At that point, all cell phones will be turned off and stored in personal luggage until course end.
If you are delayed while traveling, call us immediately at 800-878-5258. We work diligently to accommodate unforeseen travel delays. However, in certain cases of extreme delays, it may not be possible for you to join the course.
Be dressed in items from the clothing list, make all necessary calls and have eaten prior to departure from the airport.
Review current government regulations regarding carry-on items at www.tsa.gov. Many airlines charge for each checked bag. Check your airline’s baggage policy and pay any fees for you or your child’s inbound and outbound ﬂights.
An Outward Bound representative will meet ALL arrivals in Terminal 2 baggage claim (lower level) across from carousel number 3 and near the Delta Baggage Services counter. Reference FLL Terminal 2 map.
North Carolina Outward Bound strongly suggests that you wear a mask while on planes and in other crowded, confined spaces during your travel.
Look for our representative wearing a shirt or hat with an Outward Bound logo and/or carrying an Outward Bound sign. Our representative will have a list of all student names and will note your arrival.
Our supervision officially begins when students depart the airport by NCOB vehicle or charter transportation.
YOUR COURSE WILL END AT THIS LOCATION WHETHER YOU ARE DEPARTING BY PLANE OR CAR.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
100 Terminal Dr - Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
This is our only drop-off location/time.
At least two weeks prior to course start, we will email a request for travel arrangements.
Please reference our COVID-19 Program Protocols.
Should you depart Outward Bound due to illness:
Airfare, related travel costs, and non-refundable tuition payments are expensive. Insurance to protect your trip and course is not required but strongly recommended. If you choose not to purchase insurance and cancel your course or leave your course early you will be held to the terms of the Cancellation Policy (See above).
Outward Bound offers an option for insuring these costs from the third-party provider InsureMyTrip through its Academic Explorer Program. This program has coverage options that include your travel costs and the non-refundable tuition costs. A link to that program’s insurance coverage options is above. Alternatively, you may choose to purchase trip related insurance through a different insurance provider. In either case, the amount and type of coverage you choose is your responsibility and must be discussed directly with the provider.
You may also want to consider insurance for the cost of Emergency Evacuation. Health insurance often does not cover the cost of emergency evacuation by air or other means and these costs can be very expensive. North Carolina Outward Bound School will not be financially responsible for these costs in the event that your student requires evacuation.
The Academic Explorer Program offered through InsureMyTrip does not offer coverage for emergency evacuation. You will need to purchase that coverage from a different insurance provider.
Outward Bound makes no representations or warranties about these insurance options or how they handle claims.
HOTELS NEAR THE FORT LAUDERDALE HOLLYWOOD AIRPORT
Prior to booking, conﬁrm any minimum age requirements and availability of shuttle service to/from the airport (if applicable).
If you are traveling by air, be aware of TSA guidelines. To avoid TSA taking items out of your carry-on luggage (like insect repellent and sunscreen), pack these items in your checked luggage or do not exceed size specifications. For more information please visit the TSA website: Transportation Security Administration - Carry-ons
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