Course Number



January 22, 2024 - April 02, 2024

leadership semester - Spring

Students will embark on the adventure of a lifetime on this 72-day, multi-region, international semester course as they summit peaks in Patagonia, journey by river through the canopied forests and barrier islands of Florida, and complete their expedition by climbing rock faces in the lush, rolling, mountains of Western North Carolina.



Because the Appalachians were once one of the largest mountain ranges in the world they have many different geologic landforms, climates and soils. This long evolutionary history and temperate climate create an area which is teeming with life. Participants can expect to share the wilderness with over 700 different kinds of trees, more than 50 types of mammals, 150 different types of birds and about 40 species of amphibians. 

This course area is situated within a million acres of national forests, federally-protected wilderness areas, and other public lands. Its diverse landscapes have been featured in many motion pictures, including The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans. <Click to learn more about this course area.>


One of the least populated regions in the world, Patagonia is a semi-arid plateau that covers over 250,000 square miles in South America located mainly in Argentina but extending partially into southern Chile.

Patagonia’s unusual wildlife has attracted many scientific expeditions over hundreds of years, including those of Charles Darwin. The terrain is incredibly diverse with snow-covered volcanic peaks flanked by glaciers, ice slopes and permanent snowfields. The Patagonian steppe is one of the windiest and driest climates in South America, a sharp contrast to the western slopes of the Andes that receive some of the highest rainfall of anywhere in the world. <Click to learn more about this course area.>


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.>



At the end of your course, you will participate in a personal challenge event. This is a great time to see how much your physical fitness and endurance have improved since you began your course. This event will be a running activity. It is not a race. Your instructors set a certain route for your crew and you complete the route at a level that will challenge you the most.


North Carolina Outward Bound proudly partners with Landmark Learning to provide this certification course. Landmark Learning is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Continuing Education and Training (ACC&T), a US Department of Education nationally recognized accrediting agency.

The Wilderness First Aid (WFA + CPR) course will help you prepare for the unexpected. This fast paced, hands-on training will introduce you to caring for people who become ill or injured far from definitive medical care. Classroom lectures and demonstrations are combined with realistic scenarios where mock patients will challenge you to integrate your learning. At the end of the course, you’ll have the knowledge, skills and ability to make sound decisions in emergency situations.

After successful completion of the WFA and CPR certification, and after you complete your wilderness course, you may apply for academic credit for this certification through Landmark Learning.


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 often includes a service project. Projects range from campsite restoration and maintaining hiking trails in the wilderness to supporting the surrounding communities by assisting families in need, sharing outdoor activities with disadvantaged children or helping in local wildlife restoration centers. Service projects typically last 6-8 hours. Alert your instructor AT COURSE START if you need written verification or documentation of service project hours.


Solo typically occurs more than halfway through your course and may last between 24-72 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.  


Activities during this phase will include the following:

  • Alpine Expedition: Expect elevation shifts between 2,500 and 8,000 feet as you traverse through Nahuel Huapi National Park, the oldest and largest National Park in Argentina.
Skills: map and compass navigation, expedition planning, Leave NoTrace minimum - impact techniques, first-aid, emergency procedures and weather forecasting.
  • Mountaineering: Experience and develop snow and glacier travel skills on the flanks of the majestic Mt. Tronador.

Skills: ice climbing, glacier travel, glissading, self-rescue techniques and  advanced rope management.

Service: in-depth cultural exchange projects with local families in the region


Activities during this phase will include the following:

  • Expedition Canoeing: The Ten Thousand Islands face directly on to the Gulf of Mexico, which creates a perfect area to study weather patterns and various paddling challenges.

Skills: Paddling strokes, chart reading and navigation, equipment maintenance, currents and tides, Leave No Trace techniques and expedition planning.


Activities during this phase will include the following:

  • Backpacking: Discover some of the finest terrain for outdoor adventure in the country as you backpack through beautiful valleys and across ancient ridgelines to the 6,000-foot summits of the Appalachian Mountains. These mountains once rivaled the Himalayas in stature.

Skills: map and compass navigation, expedition planning, Leave NoTrace minimum - impact techniques, first-aid, emergency procedures and weather forecasting.

  • Rock climbing: Weather permitting, you may spend up to five days climbing. Start out bouldering then progress to more challenging climbs. Each day that you climb you learn and practice new climbing techniques.

Skills: climbing safety practices, bouldering, belaying, multi-pitch climbing, rappelling, care and use of equipment and knot-tying.

  • Whitewater Canoeing: Weather permitting, you may spend up to five days canoeing on the French Broad or Tuckaseegee Rivers. Occasionally we may also use the Chattooga, New and Nantahala Rivers. You will be using tandem (two person) canoes. It will be necessary for you and your crewmates to perform a rapid swim assessment; as well as a flip and swim (or canoe capsize) assessment in the river. This activity is closely monitored by your instructors and river specialists. It is critical for us to determine your whitewater paddling comfort as you and your crew maneuver challenging rapids. Even if you are a non-swimmer or weak swimmer, you will still participate in this safety assessment. All students will be wearing safety helmets and personal floatation devices (PFDs) during the assessment. Helmets and personal floatation devices (PFDs) are required apparel anytime students are on the water.

Skills: Basic water safety and rescue techniques; identification and use of paddling equipment; how to work with your paddling partner to successfully negotiate class II and III rapids; advanced skills including flat water and whitewater paddling strokes and maneuvers.

  • Crew-Led expedition:Put your new skills to the test as you and your cremates plan and lead your own expedition.
Background Reading

Here are some books that we encourage you to read as you start planning for your course:

Technical Skills

  • Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills by Don Graydon and Kurt Hanson
  • The Outward Bound Wilderness First-Aid Handbook by Jeff Isaac
  • Leave No Trace: A Practical Guide to the New Wilderness Ethic by Annette McGivney
  • Knots & Ropes for Climbers by Duane Raleigh and Mike Clelland
  • The Outward Bound Backpacker's Handbook by Glenn Randall
  • The Outward Bound Map & Compass Handbook by Glenn Randall

Florida Everglades Culture/History/Natural Environment

  • Liquid Land by Ted Levin
  • Ten Thousand Islands by Randy Wayne Wright
  • The Swamp by Michael Grunwald
  • Stolen Water by W. Hodding Carter

Patagonia Culture/History/Natural Environment

  • Patagonia: Images of a Wild Land by David Neilson
  • The Last Cowboys at the End of the World: The Story of the Gauchos of Patagonia by Nick Reding
  • Patagonia: The Last Wilderness by Axel Bos and Daniel Rivademar
Tuition & Payment
Please refer to your Applicant Portal to confirm your balance and make payment. 
If you are unsure of your balance due, please call 1-800-878-5258 or email [email protected]

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. 


During course, you will use several different types of shelters: tarps, tents or megamids. You will also be given a ground sheet and a foam pad to place under your sleeping bag.

International Travel Services - Letter

Dear Students and Families,

This letter is to introduce you to international travel services and medical benefits that are included when you enroll in an Outward Bound course with program components outside the United States.

As part of our commitment to students participating in course-related foreign travel, Outward Bound has invested in global medical and security assistance through a group membership with On Call International.

Member services and related benefits that are included with your enrollment:

  • Pre-trip preparation and health planning
  • Assistance with and coverage for emergency evacuations
  • Assistance with and coverage for medical care and coordination
  • Assistance with and coverage for response to crime or security situations

Not included under this membership:

  • Coverage for international travel before course start or after course end
  • Motivational early departure or expulsion
  • Tuition reimbursement for early departure for any reason

As a member of our Outward Bound group you have access to pre-trip medical, security, and personal safety advice and services. Examples include up to date advice on: recommended vaccinations, food and water safety, and security risks.

While on course outside the US, should health issues arise, or in the unlikely event of serious injury, illness or a security crisis during your course, On Call International provides expertise and resources to help us select the best options to manage the situation. For example, if you lose your medication, need to see a doctor, get pick-pocketed and lose your passport, or have an incident resulting in illness or injury, you and your Outward Bound instructors would work with On Call International to determine the best course of action. The On Call International network of medical and professional service teams operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, all over the world.

Please take a few minutes to read the attached summary of services and benefits to ensure these are adequate for your individual needs. The Travel Insurance Plan includes a robust menu of benefits that are listed in the summary. This benefit package covers the majority of options one would find when purchasing travel insurance as an individual.

Please note that Outward Bound’s International Travel Program and related services and benefits, only applies to Outward Bound (“school sponsored”) courses and activities, travel related to a sponsored course or activity, and travel (directly) between the international course or activity location and the US. This program will not apply to any international travel you might choose that is unrelated to the Outward Bound sponsored course or activity. If you plan to extend your plans beyond your Outward Bound experience, we recommend you purchase separate travel insurance for any international travel planned outside of your Outward Bound course and sponsored activities.

We are pleased to be able to provide this level of service and benefits to our students and their families participating in International Outward Bound courses. If, after reviewing this letter and the summary, you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your course advisor, or refer to the website of On Call International , and enter the Outward Bound group ID 100109CPPD19.

Kind regards,

Student Services Department

North Carolina Outward Bound School

Sample Course Itinerary
This is only a SAMPLE itinerary only. Adjustments will be made due to weather, programming area availability and group dynamics.

Ongoing: Initiatives, workshops and activities all aimed at developing skills in the areas of personal growth, leadership, teamwork, and communication.

Phase I - Patagonia - Approximately 23 days

  • 10-12 days alpine backpacking
  • 5-6 days mountaineering
  • 1-2 days service
  • 1-2 days solo
  • 1-2 days transition/travel/town

Phase II - Florida - Approximately 18 days

  • 11-13 days canoeing
  • 1 days service
  • 1-2 days solo
  • 1-2 days transition/travel days

Phase III - North Carolina Mountains - Approximately 32 days

  • 10-13 days backpacking
  • 5 days rock climbing and rappelling
  • 5 days whitewater canoeing
  • 2.5 days WFA+CPR Training
  • 2-3 days solo
  • 1-2 days service
  • 1⁄2 day personal challenge event (7 - 15 mile run)
  • 2-3 days transition/travel/town
International Travel Services and Insurance Benefits Summary & FAQs
 Eligibility: Outward Bound students, staff, trustees, board members, donors and dependents with a current passport or student visa, who are temporarily traveling or residing outside of their home country of regular residence, as part of a sponsored Outward Bound course or activity.

 On Call International FAQs

What is On Call International?

On Call International (On Call) is one of the world’s leading medical and security assistance companies. Your complimentary membership is included when you enroll in an Outward Bound course with international components. The plan entitles you to a host of pre-trip and international travel assistance resources.

What are some of On Call International’s services?

A 24/7 Assistance Center for immediate access to worldwide medical, security, travel and emergency assistance.

Along with a robust list of pre-trip services, On Call provides medical evacuation and repatriation coordination; political and natural disaster evacuation coordination; including coordination of payment of overseas medical bills (where Guarantee of Payments are accepted)  as benefits through HDI Global Specialty SE, UK Branch.

Transportation of a family member to join a hospitalized student (if they are hospitalized more than 3 days), accommodation while visiting a hospitalized student, return of dependent children, and return of a traveling companion are also services coordinated through On Call International.

Who do I contact if I have pre-trip medical or security questions?

By dialing the 24-hr Assistance Center or by sending an email to [email protected], members have access to pre-trip medical, security, personal safety and travel advice and services. Examples include up to date advice on: recommended vaccinations, food and water safety, and security risks.

Outward Bound students and their families should visit the On Call International online portal to familiarize themselves with all the services that On Call offers, both pre-trip and while abroad.

Please go to and at the prompt for the Group ID website login, enter Outward Bound’s Group ID number: 100109CPPD19

If you have a medical or security related question or emergency during your course, the Outward Bound staff overseeing the course activities will coordinate contact with On Call International on your behalf.

Who do I contact if I need assistance when I’m on a course outside of my home Country?

Any contact related to initial coordination of services will be made by the Outward Bound staff overseeing the course activities. In the unlikely event that you are separated from the course and are alone and in need of assistance, you will have contact numbers for local staff and services as well as the 24-hour On Call International Global Response Center contact information 1-603-952-2669.

Do I get an individual insurance card?

No, you will not receive an individual On Call International insurance card. The Outward Bound staff overseeing your course will provide you with a briefing of expectations in the event of an emergency.

Travel and Medical Insurance Plan Benefits FAQs

What is covered under the International Travel and Medical Insurance Plan?

The insurance plan covers medical expenses, including hospital room and board, inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures, emergency outpatient care, labs and x-rays, inpatient and outpatient mental health, physician office visits and prescription drugs if in connection with a covered injury or illness. See policy summary below for a full list of benefits and limits.

The insurance plan also covers all costs related to services provided by or coordinated by On Call International as listed in the summary below.

Insurance Plan Design:

The insurance plan provides benefits (through HDI Global Security SE, UK Branch) for the reasonable and customary charges incurred by a participant for a covered accident or sickness up to a $500,000 maximum per person per occurrence. Coverage will be provided for each benefit or service as listed in the summary below.


Covered / Not Covered

Limits Per Insured Person

Medical Evacuation and/or Repatriation



Repatriation of Remains or Burial



Security Evacuation



Emergency Reunion


$20,000 when hospitalized for more than 3 days

Emergency Assistance



Medical Expenses and Hospitalisation



Deductible: All Cause / Co-Insurance


0 / 100%

Emergency Pain relieving Dental Treatment


100% of customary charges up to $3,000 for accidental injury and $500 for pain relief

Prescribed Medicines by a doctor or specialist


Maximum of 60 days per subscription

Prescription Drugs


100% of covered expense up to max limit



Serious Complications up to 26 weeks of pregnancy

Outpatient treatment by a doctor or specialist


100 % of Customary Charges

Treatment by physiotherapists and chiropractors as prescribed by an authorized physician


100% of customary charges if in connection with covered injury/illness

Pre-existing condition Clause


Up to a maximum of $50,000 per lifetime

Ambulance transportation


100% of customary charges if in connection with covered injury/illness

Mental Health Disorder


Treated as any medical condition

Personal Accident Accidental death, loss of sight, loss of limb(s), permanent total disablement 


$25,000, no aggregate

Personal Liability Physical injury and property damage



Emergency Bail Bond



Catastrophe Coverage


100% of customary costs up to $1,000

Search and Rescue


100% of customary costs up to $10,000

Loss of Personal Belongings


Up to $1,000, Max $100 per article

Loss of checked in Luggage



Luggage Delay



Lost Documents, Equipment or Money



Trip Interruption


$10,000 per person per occurrence

Travel Delay


$100 a day; Max 5 days





Bereavement Reunion



Return Home due to Felonious Assault



Emergency Reunion due to Felonious Assault



Pre-Trip Cancellation



Chaperone Replacement

Not Covered


Return of Dependent Children



Hazardous Activities


 For all Outward Bound sponsored activities

Adventure Activities and Sports


 For all Outward Bound sponsored activities

Winter Sports


 For all Outward Bound sponsored activities


Who do I contact if I have questions about the policy, benefits or how the plan works?

On Call International
Call collect from anywhere in the world:    
 +1 603-952-2669
Call toll free from US or Canada
[email protected]

Claims Processing FAQs

Will I receive an insurance card?

No, you will not receive a separate insurance ID card. On Call International will simply confirm eligibility through Outward Bound after a claim is received.

If I receive a bill for services I received, what should I do?

When outside of the US, you, or Outward Bound on your behalf, may be asked to pay for medical care first and then need to seek reimbursement. If Outward Bound has paid on your behalf, they will submit bills directly to the Claims Administrator. If you have paid for covered services directly, you must submit the claim directly to On Call International. An On Call claim form must be completed in order to receive reimbursement for medical expenses. Please note, All Inpatient Hospital treatments or care, Surgery or Surgical Procedure, computerized tomography (CAT Scan) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Emergency Medical Evacuations and Repatriations, Repatriation of Remains and Burial, Emergency Reunions and Trip Interruption must be pre-authorized by On Call International and these are not reimburseable benefits.

Is any other information needed to pay a claim?

If the treatment you received was a result of an accident, you might receive a letter asking you for information about the accident, e.g., if it was the result of a car accident, from playing sports, etc. Your claim cannot be processed without this information, so please respond to the letter promptly.