On this course, you’ll explore the rugged interior of New Zealand’s South Island, a land of mountains, waterfalls, rivers, tundra, and forests. Start your mornings savoring breakfast you made yourself on a camp stove. Spend your days climbing high ridges and exploring lush valleys as you focus on building skills in navigation and peer leadership with your group. Learn about the area’s natural history as you spy native tui birds and other wildlife found only in New Zealand. Settle into your tent at night ready to continue exploring tomorrow. Your course will start with the basics of backpacking and living well in the outdoors, like minimum-impact camping and setting up your tent. Then, you’ll move to more advanced skills like first aid and navigating off-trail.
In addition to outdoor skills, leadership will be a key focus of this course. The challenges of climbing a high pass are a chance to practice tolerance for adversity. Living in a small community becomes an opportunity to learn about communication and group dynamics. Deciding what to do about an unexpected obstacle is a chance to develop skills in judgment and decision making. While living in the wilderness, you’ll practice different leadership roles each day, and these experiences will help you focus and develop your own leadership style. By the end of this course, you’ll be ready to explore the wilderness and be a leader in any setting.