“There was something about living out of a 50 pound backpack for two weeks, with no objective other than hiking and fellowship...that was extremely peaceful to me.”
Backpacking | North CarolinaIn this section, you will travel through beautiful rugged mountains while learning to live comfortably in the backcountry, using only what you can carry on your back. The backpacking section offers one of the best environments to connect with Christ, surrounded by His creation. You will learn the basics of outdoor skill in this section, including cooking, map reading, staying warm, LNT principles and more.
“My semester at OLD School was truly a gift from God, and I cannot believe that I was given the opportunity to experience all that I have.”
Whitewater Guide Training | North CarolinaThe Southern Appalachian area is a whitewater mecca! You will run the rapids and learn to confidently guide on some of the most popular river sections in the Southeast. You’ll learn how to read the water, guide your boat, and make quick decisions in class II‐III and possibly class IV rapids.
“This was an outdoor program, but more than that it was discipleship program. I have never been poured into as much as I was on this semester.”
Swiftwater Rescue Training | North CarolinaYou will practice and master the skills necessary to handle whitewater emergencies, as you earn a national certification as a Whitewater Rescue Technician through the ACA. This is a water-based section with lots of scenarios and skills!
“During my semester, my definition of Christian community changed as I really learned about living within the body of Christ.”
Rock Climbing | North CarolinaPisgah National Forest is famous for its big granite walls and diverse climbs. During this section, you will become comfortable with the height, challenge, and adventure of multi-pitch climbing. We’ll set up a base camp and have fun on lots of good climbs around us!
“I learned how to sacrifice for others and accept when someone was sacrificing for me...working together as a group for the glory of God was the most amazing experience.”
Caving | Georgia & AlabamaThe world underground is completely unlike any other. You’ll move through a maze of formations as you are pushed by the unique challenges of life and travel in the caves. These are some of the best caves in the world! You may have the opportunity to learn the skills to rappel into and ascend out of caves as well. This caving section will culminate in a solo experience for OLD School students.
“Over the semester we learned things from God's love to a fear of God, Biblical community to silence and solitude, good leadership skills to how to stand in a lightning storm.”
Primitive Skills & Survival | AlabamaIn this section, you will learn the skills needed to operate without the convenience of modern gear. You’ll experiment with the skills of fire making, shelter building, food gathering and preparation, and more.
“I think I’m beginning to understand what it really means to have Christian community.”
Wilderness First Responder | North CarolinaThe WFR course is the industry standard wilderness medicine course for any backcountry leader, river guide, mountain guide, or camping staff. This course is a comprehensive and in-depth look at the standards and skills it takes to deal with medical emergencies in remote situations when supplies may be limited. The WFR course is offered through SOLO Wilderness Medicine and is transferable to almost any college or university as 3-4 hours of college credit. SOLO is a leader in wilderness medical training.
“Words can barely describe the works that Christ did in all of our lives this past semester... it’s such a unique way to experience God and real Biblical community.”
Sea Kayaking | FloridaFor this section, we will travel through the swamps and islands of the beautiful Everglades National Park. You’ll explore the inland swamps and coastal islands, learn ocean navigation, paddling skills, tidal patterns and more while experiencing this unique and fascinating area. This section also allows for plenty of time to enjoy the warm Gulf waters and beaches.
“The OLD School semester... challenged me in many ways that I had never imagined, and helped mold me into the man I am still becoming.”