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Building Communities of Confident, Compassionate, and Responsible Leaders

Outdoor Leadership Seminar Earlham College Jan. 3-12, 2009

(765) 983-1327

Prepared by: Edric Lysne Group Programs 450 N Syndicate St. Suite 145 St. Paul, MN 55104 (612) 790-7873

September 22, 2008


Earlham Wilderness Program, will participate in a 5-day winter program,
dogsledding in the Boundary Waters area of Minnesota, Jan 5-9, 2009. The primary focus of this program will be:  Outdoor Adventure  Communication  Wilderness Skills  Confidence  Leadership  Team-Building

Outward Bound’s group programs are predicated on the belief that an individual, a team and an organization are capable of transcending virtually any of the challenges that stand between them and the fulfillment of their highest aspirations. We make use of challenging activities, in spectacular wilderness settings, which are well within the capabilities of participants. Strength and endurance are less important than openness and commitment. We work closely with you to tailor the activities and discussions to address issues important to your group. The heart of any Outward Bound experience is learning through authentic challenge. Participants embark on an adventure in an unfamiliar environment, engage in activities which are safe, challenging, rewarding, and fun, and are asked to stretch beyond their pre-conceived limits in order to succeed as a team. Such adventures impel people into interaction at the level of fundamental human values: honesty, integrity, dignity, responsibility, trust, self-determination, and a readiness for service.

Using discussions and opportunities to reflect on their experiences, we tie the wilderness activities to the pursuit of individual and group excellence, illuminating how the support and collaboration needed to meet the challenge of Outward Bound can positively impact participants’ interactions with others in their school and home environments. Outward Bound also cultivates environmental stewardship and a service ethic. Because of our commitment to a high quality educational experience and for safety reasons we do not allow the use of alcohol or tobacco products on our courses.

Outward Bound Wilderness
America’s Premier Provider of Experiential Leadership and Team Development


We utilize challenging activities in the wilderness because the unfamiliar stimulates dramatic learning. The activities are a means to an end, the vehicle illuminating qualities of value to both individuals and groups. We recommend the following activities for the Earlham College program: Dogsledding and Cross Country Skiing: Your group will navigate a route over frozen lakes and rivers, and travel the overland portage trails between them. On a one-week course they can expect to spend at least 4-5 nights sleeping under the stars. They will develop skills in backcountry skiing, winter camping, managing and mushing the dogs, and controlling the sled. Group members will take turns mushing the sled during the course, and everyone will care for and manage the dogs on a daily basis. Mushing is not a passenger sport; it is hard and rewarding work. Students generally spend at least one day driving the team for each week of course length. Each type of terrain they encounter will require different skills and group organization. On level, smooth terrain, most group members will ski ahead as one or two group members handle the sled and dog team. Skiers scout for obstacles, break a path through the snow and return as necessary to help maneuver the sled. On rough areas, the whole group will help to push, pull, and turn the sled. When traveling on lake ice, navigation and ice-reading become the main focus. Winter Camping: With our training, students discover that they can live comfortably in cold temperatures. They will learn how to work with their own body heat to stay warm, how to eat foods that keep them warm, and how to regulate their body temperature using clothing layers and exercise. Setting up camp: Setting up a snug winter camp takes time, energy, and teamwork. In the late afternoon, students will look for a sheltered bay with good firewood. As they set up camp, the group will divide duties caring for the dogs, setting up tarp shelters, and locating, sawing and splitting wood for the evening fire. If the weather is cold, snowy or windy, the group will set up the wall tent and its interior wood stove. They will learn how to cook a warm, hearty dinner over an outdoor fire or the stove, using staple foods like rice and pasta, meat and vegetables. At various points in these activities, participants will certainly encounter some hardships and challenges. These experiences will not only push them physically, but also emotionally and socially. They will provide valuable opportunities for them to discover strengths and potential, and also to learn tools that will help them better cope with difficult situations. The trust and camaraderie that develops among participants is the key to the group’s success and an integral part of the Outward Bound program. Through each of their shared adventures participants will learn to accept and respect one another’s differences, minimize each other’s shortcomings and maximize each other’s strengths. Each member of the group will discover that he/she can make a valuable contribution to what becomes a smoothly functioning team, capable of feats that would be unthinkable for an individual. Through miles of travel, through snow, sparse sunshine, wind and cold, participants become each other’s friends and heroes.

Outward Bound Wilderness
America’s Premier Provider of Experiential Leadership and Team Development


This is a general outline of a dogsledding expedition. Please keep in mind that it may change depending on group dynamics, weather and other unforeseeable events. January 3 PM Students arrive at EC, stay in Meetinghouse. Duffle shuffle and pack out January 4 7AM Depart Earlham and travel to Madison, WI January 5 7AM Depart Madison, WI and travel to Ely, MN 8 PM Arrive at Homeplace, sleep at basecamp January 6 meet instructors, breakfast, overview of Course Plan, discussion/questions/expectations for the course, Gear issue, teambuilding activity, safety and first aid talk, Intro. to dogsledding – meet the dogs, Intro. to Cross-country ski skills, Pack up Begin expedition into Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Winter camping skills – cooking, campsite selection, set up and management January 7-8 Continue expedition, Navigation and orienteering, Basic winter ecology, Basic winter weather patterns and ice reading, Begin solo experience (optional) January 9 Solo debrief, “Push Day” January 10 Travel back to basecamp early Sauna and dip in the river, Stay in basecamp cabin Gear de-issue and clean up, Banquet and graduation January 11 7 AM Depart in morning, travel back to Madison, WI January 12 7 AM Depart and travel back to Richmond, IN 5 PM Clean-up, de-issue, off-program

Outward Bound Wilderness
America’s Premier Provider of Experiential Leadership and Team Development

5 * Itinerary subject to change

Outward Bound Wilderness
America’s Premier Provider of Experiential Leadership and Team Development


Our Ely basecamp, known as Homeplace, is located approximately ten miles South of Ely. From our dining hall you can look out at the Kawishiwi River which is on the edge of a million acres of navigable waterways known as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. In summer and fall, many courses depart right from our docks and paddle for days enjoying the wildlife and other canoers. In winter, when the lakes are frozen and the snow is deep, our 50 sled dogs are ready to pull you over this incredible winter wonderland that is rarely used by others. Housing consists of tent cabins in the summer and cabins in the winter. Our goal is to get you into the wilderness, so depending on your itinerary you may or may not spend time sleeping inside. Trail meals consist of a variety of dried and dehydrated foods ordered from excellent sources that provide us with a wide variety of meals and good eating. In camp, meals are served in our dining hall and cooked by our dedicated cooking staff.

Outward Bound Wilderness
America’s Premier Provider of Experiential Leadership and Team Development

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