0617160602b.jpg

Backcountry Character is 4 day immersive summit for high school students. 

Where: Shawnee National Forest, southern Illinois OR Manistee National Forest, western Michigan

When: Monday, July 23 - Thursday, July 26

Over the course of 4  days and 3 nights, the group will backpack through the wilderness of a National Forest. Students will gain a multitude of skills in order to succeed as they grow into adults by facing new challenges that incite self-discovery, character building, camaraderie and pride. Aside from the challenges of spending the entire time outdoors, students will be positioned to break personal barriers with the help of the team that surrounds them. Challenges such as river crossings, fire making, cooking outdoors, wildlife safety, land navigation and shelter construction are a few of our favorite challenges.

Through these challenges the team will a be asked to work together to solve these real-life challenges. They will gain skills in decision making, delegation, leadership, how to follow and how to ask for help. Additionally the group will be exposed to the automatic adversity of the wilderness where we will have no control over the environment. This will encourage the development of a positive mindset as well as deliver focus in the face of adversity. Students will also be exposed to failure, due to the nature of the program and will need to work together to overcome the urge to quit in order to thrive as a team. 

hiking.jpg

Students will have the opportunity to meet with a Forest Service educator or wilderness manager. The purpose of this meeting is to learn in depth detail about the natural environment, build a connection to the place we are visiting and to explore career options in wildlife, biology and government. 

The program cost is $650/person and will be co-ed. An orientation session will be held before the trip to answer any questions. The cost is all inclusive: equipment, food, transport, program and staff are all included. There is a minimum of 5 students and we can accommodate as many as 10. 

Tentative Itinerary:

Day 1

6 a.m. pickup Monday, 7/23

Arrive around noon, meet with Forest Service educator, begin first hike

4-9 p.m. make camp, problem solving in the backcountry, fire, shelter, dinner

10 p.m. bed down

Day 2

7 a.m. wake up

7:30-9 a.m. breakfast, reflection, pack up for hike

9-2 p.m. lunch on the trail, exploration, river challenge

2-4 p.m. finish hike, find camp, set up like day 1

4-9 p.m. make camp, fire, shelter, dinner

10 p.m. bed down

Day 3

7 a.m. wake up

7:30-9 a.m. breakfast, reflection, pack up for hike

9-2 p.m. lunch on the trail, exploration

2-4 p.m. finish hike, find camp, set up like day 1 and 2

4-9 p.m. make camp, fire challenge, water source challenge, shelter, dinner

10 p.m. bed down

Day 4

7 a.m. wakeup

7:30-9 a.m. breakfast, final reflection, pack up for hike

9-11:30 a.m. return to van, stretch and pack up to head home

Arrive at drop off near 6 p.m.