Late last year, the staff at Cape Fear Academy in Wilmington, North Carolina, asked for our help in creating a unique and meaningful 10-day, outdoor and adventure-based out-of-country expedition for a handful of its high school students.
In particular, Cape Fear’s educational leaders were looking for a diverse destination that would enable their students to immerse themselves deeply in a new culture — an adventure that would extend far beyond selfies, social media, suntan oil, and sand — and which would reinforce the school’s own values and curriculum. Known for designing and leading custom outdoor education programs for private and independent schools, we were happy to help!
The original Cape Fear Academy was established in 1868 as an independent school for boys. After closing in 1916, the school was reestablished 52 years later in 1968 with the commitment of “forging capable young adults with skills, confidence and resilience to take risks, solve problems and overcome challenges.”
So, it was with that focus in mind that the school asked us here at The National Center for Outdoor and Adventure Education (NCOAE) to custom design an expedition for nine of the school’s students, along with a chaperone from the school and three NCOAE field instructors. Their destination? Ecuador.
Our staff prepared an itinerary that incorporated the school’s objectives of instilling confidence, facing challenges, taking on informed risks, and solving problems. After all, those missives mirror the (more…)
Much like most educational institutions this past year, we find ourselves looking down the road toward new beginnings. And for us here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE), that means new wilderness courses, upgraded emergency medicine education courses, and more wilderness medicine education programs. Long before 2020 faded into the rearview, we took a fresh and hard look at what we do, why we do it, and how we can do better by you — our students and client organizations.
As we emerge from the pandemic, we’ve designed courses that offer our participants more flexibility, greater breadth of instruction, and fresh course areas that will draw you deeper into the wild and yourself.
If your desire is to help yourself to adventure, here are a few of our offerings:
Emergency Medicine Education and Wilderness Medicine Education
We have worked hard to make Emergency Medicine Education and Wilderness Medicine Education easier to access and more flexible to participate in. Our hybrid medical courses enable you to start things off in your own home. That’s because one of the largest obstacles facing our students in the past was leaving home, quitting a job, or getting time off from work, and spending their savings on accommodations and food for extended periods of time. For some people, this trifecta of changes meant they had to abandon their dream of becoming part of the medical workforce.
Here at NCOAE, we design course that exceed industry standards, which means you will be a leader in knowledge and practice. Depth of instruction is not compromised by the hybrid format. In fact, our hybrid courses will prove to be a huge win for you, as studying from home only enhances the hands-on education that occurs once you’re on-site with us for the practical portion of your training.(more…)
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.” ~ Saint Augustine
On those many occasions when schools, clubs, organizations, or companies ask us to come up with an adventure/education excursion for their group, we don’t reach into a cabinet and pull out a cookie-cutter version of a wilderness outing. Instead, we break out topographical maps, weather charts, time-tested notes from adventures past, permits for numerous routes, and we add a lot of imagination to the occasion.
The sole purpose within our Custom Programs Division is to make sure your organization experiences an adventure that meets and then exceeds your most specific objectives. And we start out by using our ears.
We carefully listen to what it is you want to achieve, and then we begin planning that experience from the ground up. No matter the size of your group, we’re here to present an experience of a lifetime for each of your organization’s guests, students, or employees.
Our objective is for our participants to come home safe and tell stories to their friends and acquaintances that sound more like fiction. Really good fiction! The only difference is you’ll have the photos to back up your stories. You dream of an experience, and we dream too! Need proof? Take a look at (more…)
Editor’s Note: Stephen Mullaney, NCOAE’s lead instructor, recently returned from our first-ever program abroad — an expedition to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. Stephen led a group of South Korean high school teens on a six-day expedition through portions of this mystical and spiritual country. Below are his reflections on what he describes as a triumphant adventure trek.
It’s five in the morning and students participating in The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education’s (NCOAE) first-ever international expedition are all still asleep in their tents. I sit on the trail in the village of Pothana and look toward the horizon. A local villager named Chimay is blowing incense my direction — to bring me luck, he says.
Off in the distance, what first appears to my sleepy eyes to be clouds reveals itself for what it truly is: a vast stretch of snow fields and rock. Time to retrain my brain and the way I see the sky. My eyes follow the snowfields up, up through the clouds, to what seems like an absurd height, finally resting on the summit itself.
Machapuchare — “the Fish Tail” as it is interpreted in English — is a sacred mountain honoring Shiva (one of the main deities of Hinduism). The mountain is off limits to climbers and only one known attempt was ever made to summit its massive peak. Those climbers (three of them in 1957) stopped just five hundred feet from the summit, not because they couldn’t go on, but out of respect for the local culture and beliefs of the native people.
Viewing Machapuchare is how I kick off my first day on the trail for NCOAE in Nepal. A holy mountain that is pristine, respected and an earthen barrier that turns back explorers out of respect and sensitivity — not fear. Details about the mountain were provided to me by a local woman, a guide named Sita. She saw me drawing a picture of the mountain in my journal and volunteered to share its history with me.
We are in Nepal where I am teaching students to be (more…)
We’re not sure who said it first but the person who coined the phrase ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ really was onto something. Whether it’s in education, hats, management, or financial services, one size doesn’t fit all, and the same goes for your employee training and teambuilding.
That’s why we’re pleased to announce the launch of Custom Programs here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education. That’s right… in addition to open enrollment teen and adult backcountry courses — and training in emergency medicine, wilderness medicine, and Leave No Trace (LNT) — NCOAE now offers custom programs to meet any of your organization’s highly specific needs.
- Want to train your entire team in the fundamentals of wilderness medicine? No problem. We’ll even run the program at your location!
- Interested in taking your executives out for a custom three-day backcountry teambuilding experience? We’ve got you covered.
- What’s that you say… you have a group of teenage girls who deserve a trip of their own? No problem… start with any of our teen adventure itineraries and tell us what you’d like keep or change, and that’s the course we’ll run for you.
See where we’re going with this?
The advantage of custom programs include (more…)