Pacific Northwest | Whitewater Paddling | Teen Leadership Expedition

Discover Oregon’s waterways, as you explore the wilderness on a summer adventure!

Questions? Call NCOAE Support (910) 399-8090


At the National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE), we know adventure. Immerse yourself in outdoor adventure, while learning the technical skills to travel & explore remote destinations in the wild Pacific Northwest!

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7 days

Course Information

Adventure First

During this 7-day Pacific Northwest - Whitewater Paddling Adventure, you’ll explore the wild Deschutes River.

Explore the wild and scenic Deschutes River, which runs clear and cold as it flows to the Columbia.  Paddle through exciting rapids & explore canyons, filled with sage brush, soaring osprey, and incredible basalt rock formations. The Deschutes River Canyon provides habitat for approximately 300 different species of wildlife, including birds, mink, mule deer and many reptiles and mammals.

Take a journey up to the breathtaking Pacific Northwest and experience the awe of whitewater rafting through Oregon in this river adventure program. This 7-day overnight teen camping excursion aims to build lifelong leadership traits through character development. The summer teen adventure program features survival skills developed through activities such as camping, hiking and whitewater paddling.

During your expedition, you will have the opportunity to sharpen your paddling skills, as you travel along the river. Learn wilderness camping skills, backcountry navigation, Leave No Trace ethics, and more as you discover Oregon’s backcountry.

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  • Duration: 7 days
  • Minimum Age: 13
  • Tuition: $1,635.00
  • Credit Hours: 0.5

Education Always

  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Awareness certification
  • Expedition planning and logistics
  • River Kayaking skills
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Remote wilderness camp craft, including map & compass, stove use, and backcountry cooking.
  • Itinerary
  • FAQs
  • Credits
  • Outcomes
  • Downloads

Itinerary Highlights

  • NCOAE core curriculum
  • LNT Awareness training
  • Gain experience in expedition planning, wilderness risk management, environmental studies, backcountry navigation, outdoor leadership, and more!

Why Take This Course

  • Develop Kayaking skills
  • Whitewater Raft on the Deschutes River
  • Advance your knowledge of environmental science and outdoor leadership  — while discovering Oregon’s wild, beautiful places
  • Acquire the skills needed to travel in remote, pristine destinations around the world!

Where You’ll Be

  • Deschutes River
  • Cascade Mountains
  • Central Oregon
What is the 7-day Pacific Northwest - Teen Whitewater Paddling Adventure?

Experience a multi-day wilderness adventure during which you’ll participate in whitewater rafting, kayaking and camping activities – while learning how to travel in the backcountry.

You’ll explore the Deschutes River and surrounding Cascade Mountains as you practice the basics of camp setup, map & compass use, kayaking, backcountry cooking, and other outdoor skills.

How far will I be travelling?

You and your group will travel more than 20 miles down cool mountain streams and hike to cascading waterfalls, while practicing kayaking, rafting, and camping skills needed to explore rugged, remote areas around the world!

Where will we be staying?

We’ll be living in tents and enjoying our evenings in different areas most nights, identifying the stars and sharing highlights of our learning.

Who should take this course?

This course is best suited to those who want to challenge themselves and learn new skills in the outdoors!

Is the 7-day course offered in other locations or on different dates?

We offer this course in a variety of locations and during different periods throughout the summer to accommodate the destination and schedule that works best for you. You can also explore the Pacific Northwest and North Carolina on other multi-day teen expeditions!

What do I need to do to physically prepare for this course?

You do not need to be an “Ironman” to participate in this course. That said, you will be required to paddle your own boat, with your own gear and some group gear.

What is the average group size and instructor/student ratio?

Each group has two or three instructors and eight to 12 students. We maintain an instructor-to-student ratio of no less than one instructor for every six students.

What are the minimum and average ages of participants?

Students enrolled in this course are 13-14 years old.

What gear and equipment do I need?

NCOAE provides all necessary group gear and food, but you will want, or be required, to bring certain items for yourself. We encourage you to contact NCOAE with all of your gear questions as early as possible. Start planning now by viewing the pack list.

Beyond my tuition, what will I need to pay for in Oregon?

Your tuition with NCOAE covers all major costs related to your room, board, and lodging, except when specified in the itinerary. Students should bring a small amount of spending money for personal items; such as souvenirs, extra snacks, and gifts.

What kind of food will I be eating?

Since we will be carrying all of our food in our boats, we’ll be eating many of the items that begin in their dehydrated forms; extra water weight is not something we want to carry. Expect meat, vegetables, fruits, grains, and even fresh baked bread and pizza! Of course, you’ll be making them all from scratch — learning to cook backcountry gourmet on the trail.

Academic Credit

Learning achieved through NCOAE’s 7-day Teen Leadership Expedition may be eligible for high school credits through Blueprint Education, an accredited distance learning school for grades seven through 12 with a mission of inspiring students to make better choices and be champions of their own learning.

Academic Course Hours and Credits

The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) curriculum maintains and exceeds U.S. high school standards for seat-time. Students may be eligible for the following high school credits:

  • Physical Education: Achieved through learning and showing proficiency in mountaineering, rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, surfing, standup paddle boarding, alpine, and/or backpacking activities.
  • Outdoor Leadership: Achieved through learning and showing proficiency in interpersonal development, small group dynamics, critical thinking, and decision making.
  • Environmental Studies: Achieved through learning about and showing proficiency in water conservation, astronomy, environmental sustainability, Leave No Trace (LNT), cycle of rain clouds, and oceanography.

Acquire new skills on this 7-day Teen Leadership Expedition, while traveling through a unique variety of environmental settings, as you paddle, camp, explore mountains and rivers, and encounter remote flora, fauna, and landscapes.

Where do you want to go (physically, mentally, socially, academic, etc.)?

This course will prepare you with the self-reliance and skill necessary to travel in remote locations. You will learn effectual communication skills, understand the importance of making positive personal choices for your life, and help you understand how to become an influential member of your community.

How will NCOAE help you get there?

The 7-day Teen Leadership Expedition is the affordable adventure option if you are seeking extraordinary outdoor skill development, including: wilderness risk management, kayaking, rafting, backcountry cooking and living, and expedition planning.

Best of all, you’ll advance your opportunities to travel in the wilderness, and to affect positive changes in the world.

Upcoming Dates / Reserve Your Spot

This 7-day Pacific Northwest - Teen Leadership Adventure is only offered through NCOAE.

Available Dates
July 06 — July 12, 2022