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Survival Basics

A condensed version of our Survival Essentials 2-day course, this full-day course will go over the basics of the 7 priorities of wilderness survival. From shelter building to starting your own fire to practicing with a signal mirror, students will gain practical survival skills experience. By the end of the day, you will have a solid foundation of the importance of positive mental attitude, wilderness first aid, shelter, fire craft, signaling, water, and food.

Land Navigation

Have you ever been lost in the woods? It can be a really disorienting experience. Join us in a 1-day land navigation course, where you’ll learn the basics of utilizing a map and compass to get to where you are going, and how to orient yourself if you do get lost. At the beginning of the day, we’ll pour over the topographic maps of our property, helping you learn to ready all the map features. After map reading, we’ll educate students on how to use a compass, then work on using a map and compass together. Put your skills to the test in the afternoon on an off-trail navigation challenge. You’ll leave feeling confident and ready to tackle any hike. 

Forest Bathing

Looking to decompress? Spending time in nature is the perfect way to do so. Join our nature and mindfulness instructor on a full-day immersive experience on Mountain Shepherd’s 100-acre property. As you hike around the property, the instructor will guide students in several meditative exercises, while engaging all of your senses in the natural world. You’ll leave the wilderness feeling calm, centered, and ready for your next adventure. 

Kayak Adventure

Who doesn’t love spending a day on the water? No one! Join us as we explore one of our local paddling destinations for a full-day kayak adventure. Choose between the New River, the James River, Carvins Cove Natural Reserve, or Gatewood Reservoir for a day full of splashy fun. No paddling experience? No worries! We’ll spend the first part of the day going over basic strokes and maneuvers to make everyone is ready for the water. At the end of the day, we’ll shuttle you back to Mountain Shepherd, where you can gear up for your next adventure!

Stand Up Paddleboard Adventure

Try out everyone’s new favorite paddle sport – Stand Up Paddleboarding! One of the fastest growing outdoor activities, Stand Up Paddleboarding is a super fun way to explore the natural, nautical world. We’ll take you to one of our favorite local spots and spend the day learning and exploring! First thing, we’ll go over the basics of paddling and standing up on the board, then we’ll take our picnic lunch, and take a tour of the local reservoir. By the end of the day, we know you’ll be as hooked as we are for Stand Up Paddleboarding. S’UP!

Scavenger Hunt

Spend a morning and/or an afternoon exploring Mountain Shepherd’s 100-acre property and learning about some of our favorite topics. Our first scavenger hunt explores the basics of the 7 priorities of wilderness survival. On this mile-long adventure, you’ll pass by two of Mountain Shepherd’s wilderness classrooms, while learning about the 7 priorities of wilderness survival along the way. 

Our second scavenger hunt focuses on the 7 principles of Leave No Trace. Leave No Trace is a series of principles focused on helping people be good environmental stewards, while learning proper environmental ethics. Some great information for outdoor lovers. This scavenger hunt is approximately 1.5 miles long, and has some great views along the way!

 

Climbing & Rappelling

Check out a local crag and channel your inner climber! On this full-day adventure, we’ll drive you to a local climbing spot and hike in a short distance (a little less than a mile to one of our favorite spots. Our instructors will set up a top-rope rappel, while you enjoy the amazing view of the Appalachian mountains.  After learning the basics of rappelling, you’ll get a chance to rappel down a rock face!  Once you get the bottom, take a break, and then climb back up to the top!

Self Defense Course

Learn about the basics of self defense from our veteran instructor! Our instructor, Jason, has a passion for serving and protecting others. Over the course of a few hours, he’ll teach you how to defend yourself, and be better prepared for an unwanted situation. This hands-on course will allow for time to practice your newfound skills, as well as advice on what tools are available to aid in your defense.