"Call of the Wild" Adventure Expedition
8 Day Course - Ages 13 to 16

Public and Private School Groups

Multi Sport Outdoor Activities - Leadership & Service - River Trips
Alpine Backpacking - Service Project

This course is like a springboard.  It launches you into a full load of outdoor based sports and activities such as backpacking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, spelunking, camping, cooking and much more.  The course may be just what you are looking for -- if you are ready for hands-on learning, and want to travel to this beautiful, and mysterious region of Washington.  Your instructors have a passion for crafting dynamic learning experiences so you can quickly put your new found skills into action.

This course meets in Hood River, Oregon. Portland airport pick-up can be arranged.  Our trip will begin in the remarkable Columbia River Scenic Gorge and enroute to Trout Lake, Washington.  Our home is in the heart of the Cascade Mountains and the setting here is dramatic with the 12,276 ft. extinct volcano, Mt. Adams, looming over the valley.  Once at the Cascadia base camp, you will meet exciting, like-minded students and your course instructors for the next eight days.  After a delicious welcome dinner, your summer school course, which is unlike any other, begins.

You will learn and experience popular outdoor pursuits including: backpacking, minimal impact camping, backcountry cooking, kayaking, and whitewater rafting.  The last leg of the course takes us to a scenic river where we will embark on a multi-day river trip paddling our expedition kayaks from one river camp to the next.

Throughout the course you’ll make close bonds with fellow students while learning leadership, practicing teamwork and diving into an environmental service project along the way.  At the end of the eight days you’ll be filled with new skills you can apply the rest of your life -- and have a bunch of new friends!


  • Travel to Portland, Oregon and the Cascade Mountain Range.
  • Backpack through alpine meadows, alongside glaciers and waterfalls to a high country camp located high above timberline on Mt. Adams.
  • Take kayaking classes and learn paddle strokes and safe river running practices.
  • Become familiar with specialized equipment, ropes and safety gear.
  • Explore the beauty and remoteness of Washington's “high desert” country.
  • Discover and practice new abilities related to leadership and teamwork.
  • Embark on a whitewater raft trip through the wild and scenic White Salmon River Gorge.
  • Roll up your sleeves and help implement a service learning project to protect and preserve the environment.
  • Take a multi-day, self-supported float trip into a beautiful river gorge only accessible by water.  Live, camp, cook in the wild.  Apply your newly acquired paddling skills.
  • Savor an epic eight days… This course will be a life-changer!


Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Yakama Nation Lands, Mt. Adams Wilderness Area, Trout Lake Natural Area Preserve, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Cascade Mountain Range, The Klickitat River, White Salmon Wild and Scenic River.


  • Students need to demonstrate good character and maturity.
  • For students who will finish grades 6-8 in June 2013.

Topics Covered Include:

Leadership traits, community credo, teamwork; service project planning; first aid and emergency procedures; minimal impact camping; outdoor cookery; kayak paddling; hydrotopography; river safety and rescue; backpacking; backcountry camping; safety and backcountry care; knots; whitewater raft paddling; snowfield glissading; flora and fauna, natural awareness, ecological life systems; mountain building processes.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day One   Meet fellow students and instructors at Portland International Airport; drive through the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area.  Low ropes challenge course will get us warmed up before setting out to a mysterious lava tube. Wearing helmets and headl amps we'll descend into and explore a remarkable underground cavern.  Welcome dinner and orientation; Overnight at Trout Lake, Washington base camp.

Day Two to Four  Pack your kayak for a multi-day river trip featuring side canyon hikes, swimming and fun water activities.  You’ll perfect your camp cookery skills and camp deep inside a remote wilderness river gorge.  Enjoy your luck fishing and learn to paddle expedition kayaks carrying all your gear from one river camp to the next.You can progress at your own pace and challenge yourself with various optional river features.  Besides getting introduced to this new sport you will be awed by the stunning views of the deep river canyon. In the evening, our "guest speaker" introduces celestial bodies such as planets, stars, and galaxies with a star scout and laser beams.

Day Five to Seven  With backpacks strapped on we’ll set off hiking along the cliff edges of Hell Roaring Canyon as we make our way up Mt. Adams. We’ll ascend trails to our camp, high above timberline, for fantasic views of the Cascades. We’ll  glissade the snow fields, traverse below dramatic glaciers, and keep our eye out for wild Mountain Goats. For the next couple of days, receive hands-on learning opportunities and become proficient wilderness backpackers. On day seven depart the high country and meet up with a backcountry ranger.  Working together we’ll assist with a service project in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest or Yakama Tribal Lands to protect and preserve critical habitat.

Day Eight  Our final activity day takes us to the famous White Salmon River where we will experience an action packed whitewater raft trip. Professional guides will coach everyone on how to paddle and navigate Class IV rapids.  A final celebration lunch awaits us with awards and course completion certificates before returning home.

Registration Information

Course Dates:  Call for your date
Tuition: Call for details on costs.
Tuition Includes: All accommodations; transportation and meals; instruction; pre and post course preparation/communication; permits and entry fees; equipment and gear; Portland Airport meet and greet upon request. 
Not Included:
Air transportation to Portland, Oregon; travel insurance; Washington Sales Tax; pocket cash for items of a personal nature (souvenirs, hats, shirts, toiletries, etc).
Start and End Location
:  Hood River, Oregon, USA

Important Notice:  Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive in Hood River, Oregon for your course. This may require departing your hometown or country one or more days in advance and possibly traveling on an overnight flight.  Please consult our admissions office for air travel recommendations.

We look forward to having you join us on this course – an experience of a lifetime!  
Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

To Enroll:  Call 503-673-2023

Upon enrollment a complete confirmation packet will be sent to you.

The first step toward enjoying a course with CASCADIA is to Contact Us!

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