This Florida canoeing course is designed for struggling youth and their families. These courses help address behaviors such as unhealthy risk-taking, low motivation, defiance or poor school performance. Courses are presented as metaphors for the transition from childhood to adulthood and help teens connect their desire for more freedom with the reality that they must take on additional responsibility.
CENTRAL RIVERS, FLORIDA
Central Florida is home to some of the country’s most historic and biologically diverse waterways. It offers paddling on small, winding canoe trails as well as larger rivers and lakes, with camping in a variety of environments from hardwood hammock forests to barrier islands.
The Suwannee River, Ocklawaha River, and St John’s River offer hundreds of miles of paddling in some of the country’s most unspoiled wilderness. These rivers support a variety of ecosystems including freshwater springs, swamps, sandy beaches, hardwood hammocks trees, and salt marshes. Shaded by giant Cypress and Tupelo trees, these rivers support a variety of wildlife and have deep cultural histories.
You can expect to spend a good deal of time each day in canoes. You will be in a tandem canoe, which means there are two participants per canoe. Depending on the wind and weather, the level of difficulty will vary day to day. You and your crewmates will learn or 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 area. Even if you are a non-swimmer or weak swimmer, you will still participate in this safety assessment. All students will be wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs) during the assessment. Personal flotation devices (PFDs) are required apparel anytime students are on the water.
Outward Bound believes that an appropriate amount of independence is a powerful educational tool. In order to deliver that benefit, Outward Bound purposefully and gradually transfers certain leadership responsibilities to the students. This process of expanded student responsibilities is accomplished through three expeditions phases: Training, Main and Final.
Your course may also include a day on our Ropes Challenge Course.
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.
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. On your course, the ethic of service is practiced in greater depth and includes a service project. Students will spend the last days of the course completing a two-day service project; such as working in a soup kitchen. Alert your instructor AT COURSE START if you need written verification or documentation of service hours.
Solo typically occurs more than halfway through your course and may last up to 72 hours (depending on your age range). 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.
Here are some books that we encourage you to read as you plan for your course:
At least one parent/guardian is required to attend an interactive series of workshops during the last three days of the course. Parents will learn many of the same tools the students have learned during the course. The purpose of the seminar is three-fold:
Students will reunite with their parents/guardians on the day before the course ends to speak with them about the course and the plans for their return home.The seminar is a great opportunity to renew hope in your future relationship.
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 email@example.com.
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.
Based on your programming area, you may be sleeping on river banks or beaches in tents with up to four other participants or on a camping platform in a personal bug tent. You will also be given a ground sheet and a foam sleeping pad to place under your sleeping bag. Sleeping arrangements are single-gendered.
During the first few days of the course, you will be working with your instructors to create goals for your Achievement Plan. The goals will focus on areas that you and your family identified as opportunities for your personal growth which will help you be successful in your life, at home and at school. You will be working on the goals for your Achievement Plan throughout the course.
In addition to the Achievement Plan, there will be a structured letter(s) that we will ask you to write your family. Your family will be writing a similar letter(s) to you. These letters are an important part of helping you and your family create a plan for your success once you return home.