Overland SUMMER CAMPS FOR 4TH - 12TH GRADERS Family Login


OUTSIDE magazine chooses Best Places to Work 2014: Overland makes the list

Overland has been selected as one of OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work 2014. Each year, OUTSIDE recognizes the top 100 companies in the United States that help their employees strike the ideal balance between work and play. These companies encourage employees to lead an active lifestyle, are eco-conscious and prioritize giving back to the community. The entire list of winners appears online at www.outsideonline.com/dreamjobs. Last year, Overland made OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work 2013.


The A-ha Moment by Andy Pass

A three-time Overlander Andy Pass wrote an essay about his 2014 American Challenge trip. Before riding cross-country,  Andy went on Nova Scotia & Acadia in 2012 and the Pacific Coast in 2013.

It was 11 am, and it was already 105 degrees in the Mojave Desert. We had been cycling since 6 am and had two more hours to go. The conditions were tougher than any we had seen. But I wasn’t thinking of quitting. Not with only two days left. Not after five and a half weeks and 3,100 miles already behind me. I was thinking about seeing my family and friends. I could picture them yelling at the top of their lungs to welcome us at Santa Monica Pier. I was also thinking about what an incredible trip I was about to complete, and how much it meant to me to be reaching a goal that I had set for myself so many months ago.

This was my third summer participating in bicycle trips around America and Canada. I rode over 3,000 miles in six weeks. My trip this year started in Charleston, South Carolina, and ended in California. I enjoyed seeing the country from the seat of a two-wheeled vehicle. On the trips, our group of 12 kids from different parts of the country starts bonding as soon as we see each other in the baggage claim and remains close until the last day when tears and hugs are shared.

With the exception of thunder and lightning, we biked in any weather, all day long. The pace was demanding, averaging 80 miles a day. The rain was our shower – and when we didn’t feel a drop for weeks, we biked even faster to block out the stench.

Since this was a family away from home, we experienced high and low moments throughout the trip. The low moments were somehow the best of all, because that’s when we learned to solve problems together. When we had a bad day, we became even closer, cheering and helping each other through the tough times. I learned to put the group before myself and gained immeasurable confidence and utter determination to push through most any challenge. Some days were really tough, and if we hadn’t all learned to work as a team we wouldn’t have made it.

There were many incredible moments, too. We took in the world around us from a point of view that only bike riders can experience. On the descent from Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado, we admired the amazing blue sky, fluffy clouds and plentiful trees in the background. My jaw dropped as we rode down. It felt like a dream. Journeying down the elevation with people I love was a perfect experience that led us to this high point of the trip.

I do these trips to find the “A-ha” moment. I love the sense of accomplishment when I see the summit of a hill, after hating the anticipation of climbing it. It can take me two hours of cycling straight uphill to reach the top. Many members of my group had breakdowns as we struggled to continue peddling. As much as I hate a climb, there is no better feeling than seeing the mountain peak looming closer in my sight.

Every day I needed different amounts of mental strength. Sometimes, something as small as a letter from a family member was all I needed to stay motivated. Other times the motivation came from me. When I became fatigued, I focused on keeping my goals, large or small, in mind. I learned that I can set a goal and complete it, even if it is as challenging as riding my bike through the Mojave Desert.

Andy celebrating with his leaders Jackson and Annika in the Pacific Ocean

Andy with his leaders Jackson and Annika

Apply Now for 2015 Summer


Thank you for a terrific 2014 summer!

After a fun-filled break during which Overland year-round staff traveled to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Maine, Michigan, Colorado and California, we are back in the office and are busy planning our trips for 2015. Please give us a call at 413.458.9672 with any questions. If you’re ready to apply, simply fill out our online application.

Enrollment Update from Director Tom Costley: Thursday, May 8, 2014

We still have spots left for girls and boys on a number of trips. Please take a look at availability below:

  • Is your 8th-11th grade son interested in cultural engagement, outdoor exploration and service? Consider Field Studies Costa Rica (Sunday, June 22 to Friday, July 11 for 8th-10th grade boys); Field Studies Peru (Friday, June 27 to Friday, July 25 for 9th & 10th grade boys) and Field Studies Thailand (Thursday, June 26 to Friday, July 25 for 9th-11th grade boys)
  • Do you have a daughter in 7th-10th grade who is interested in developing her leadership skills while exploring the Maine Coast or the Yukon Territory? Check out Maine Coast Leadership (Sunday, June 22 to Friday, July 4 for your 7th, 8th or 9th grade daughter) and Yukon Leadership (Sunday, June 22 to Friday, July 11 for your 8th, 9th or 10th grade daughter)

Please give us a call at 413.458.9672 with any questions. If you’re ready to apply, simply fill out our online application.




Enrollment Update from Director Tom Costley: Tuesday, April 8, 2014

We still have spots left for boys and girls on a number of trips. Please take a look at availability below:


High Sierra Explorer

  • Do you have a 8th, 9th or 10th grade daughter who is interested in a challenging hiking trip out West? Check out High Sierra Explorer (June 22nd-July 11th) or Yukon Leadership (June 22nd-July 11th).
  • Do you have a 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th grade son or daughter who wants to improve his or her writing and enjoy afternoon exploration in the beautiful Berkshires? Consider the Summer Writing Program.
  • Is your 9th, 10th or 11th grade son hoping to serve a community this summer? Check out New England Service or Gulf Coast Service.
  • Does your 7th, 8th or 9th grade daughter want to bike from Boston to Bar Harbor and along the rocky coast of Acadia National Park? Look at New England Coast (July 13th-August 1st).

Please give us a call at 413.458.9672 with any questions. If you’re ready to apply, simply fill out our online application.

Enrollment Update from Director Tom Costley: Monday, March 24, 2014

Yukon Leadership 2

Yukon Leadership

We still have spots left for boys and girls on a number of trips. Please take a look at availability below:

Please give us a call at 413.458.9672 with any questions. If you’re ready to apply, simply fill out our online application.

Spotlight: Yukon Leadership

In October of 2013 Logistics Coordinators Hannah Lafleur and Nate Eberly scouted our Yukon Leadership trip. Recently, Tom Costley sat down with Hannah to talk about the trip.

Tom Costley: Who should sign up for Yukon Leadership?

Hannah Lafleur: Yukon Leadership is a great trip for adventurous students who are excited about learning backcountry skills and exploring one of the last expanses of wilderness in the world. Whether you are new to backpacking and want to try it out for the first time or you’ve done some backpacking before and want to take your outdoor skills to the next level, this trip provides an opportunity to hike and live in a dramatic and stunning landscape. If you’re interested in developing your own leadership style and getting real practice leading a group, this is also a perfect fit as you will dig into Overland’s leadership curriculum with your dynamic, experienced Overland leaders. It is also the only Overland trip that goes canoeing—you’ll embark on a canoe expedition in one of the premier wilderness canoeing destinations in the world.

Yukon pic1compressedTom Costley: What are the highlights of Yukon Leadership?

Hannah Lafleur: From the town of Whitehorse, we’ll start out with an introductory three-day backcountry hike in Kluane National Park. Keep an eye out for elk, caribou, grizzly bears, eagles and porcupines who call this landscape home. After restocking and refreshing for a day, we’ll head out on a wilderness waterway for five full days of canoeing with local guides. Beginning with basic canoe strokes, we’ll be instructed in maneuvers from flat water up to class II moving water. At night, we’ll cook delicious meals over a campfire and enjoy the music of the river as it lulls us to sleep. A visit to a sled dog kennel will give us a new perspective on leading a team—and a glimpse of this unique northern culture. Our trip will culminate in a five-day backcountry hike, where students will apply their newfound skills and confidence by working closely with another student to co-lead the group. At trip’s end, we’ll say goodbye to the glacier-strewn peaks of Kluane and the unbridled rivers of the Yukon, but we’ll take home the incredible new friendships we’ve built and the leadership skills we’ve learned.

Yukon Leadership 2Tom Costley: Describe the Yukon’s landscape.

Hannah Lafleur:  Tom Clynes describes it beautifully in his article “Yukon: Canada’s Wild West” in National Geographic.  He writes: “Larger than California but with only 37,000 inhabitants, the Yukon drives an immense wedge between Alaska and the bulk of Canada. From its north coast on the Beaufort Sea, it stretches to the south and southeast, taking in tremendous expanses of lake-dotted tundra, forests, mountains, wetlands, and river systems. Walled off by some of Canada’s highest peaks and largest glaciers, the territory is almost completely unsettled, its sparse population scattered over a few small communities and the capital, Whitehorse. It is also rich in wildlife, an Arctic Serengeti whose extreme seasonal shifts beckon vast herds of caribou and other animals into motion.”

Tom Costley: What was a highlight from your October scouting trip?

yukon new boots lakeHannah Lafleur: Nate and I hiked pretty much every day of our scouting trip—we covered a lot of ground on foot. About a week into our trip, we departed for a hike along the east shore of the A’ay Chu River, and I can honestly say I was awestruck all day. We were hiking down a valley framed by snow-covered peaks, the sky was so blue I felt like I could reach up and touch it, and the sun was reflecting golden light off of every surface. We hiked south towards the Kaskawalsh Glacier, and we encountered such varied terrain: alluvial fans, glacial tarns, expansive riverbed and glacial moraines that looked like the surface of the moon. We stopped by a crystal-clear lake and enjoyed chili and hot chocolate for lunch—in that moment there was nowhere else in the world I wanted to be. All I could think was—what a perfect place for an Overland group.

Tom Costley: What leadership training will students receive on this trip?

Hannah Lafleur:  On every Overland trip, students inherently develop critical soft skills through the group experience—learning skills such as awareness, selflessness, teamwork and motivation. In addition, Overland’s leadership courses will cover backcountry skills, facilitation and leadership skills, and apply them all in real-life situations. For example, on Yukon Leadership our group will focus on backcountry skills like river crossings and topographic map navigation. We may spend an afternoon learning about the different leadership styles. Each student will have a chance to co-lead with another student under the careful supervision of Overland leaders. The trip is designed to provide students with the skills to be a successful outdoor leader, as well as give them the opportunity to put these skills to work in a comfortable environment.

You will learn from your experienced leaders, your professional canoe guides and even from your peers. You’ll also get to hear about what leadership means on a different kind of team—a team of sled dogs training for the Yukon Quest. This range of informal lessons, activities and reflection will provide you with a solid background for becoming a leader, both in the great Canadian wilderness and in your life at home.

Tom Costley: What is the canoe expedition like?Yukon pic3 compressed

Hannah Lafleur: The day before our canoe trip starts, we’ll meet our experienced guides, purchase provisions and learn how to pack river duffels and food barrels. During a campfire at our guide’s base area, we’ll go over the route for the next few days. In the morning, we’ll drive to North Wind Lake where we’ll put in and spend our first night on the lake shore. We’ll begin to learn the craft of canoe tripping, including basic strokes for flat water and techniques for cooking over a camp fire. From North Wind Lake, we’ll enter the Upper Rancheria River, which is small at first and travels slowly—a perfect opportunity to hone our paddle strokes. This section of river meanders through open willowy meadows and passes over beaver dams through a series of small lakes with excellent Arctic grayling fishing. After camping on a bluff overlooking the river, the next day will see us through several lakes to the most exciting portion of our trip. Here we will get a chance to use our skills to navigate the class II rapids. If conditions are right, we may run the rapids a few times portaging back to the top with empty canoes so students can practice their skills. From here, we’ll continue down river, passing through Daughney Lake. By the end of the fourth day, we’ll have reached the far end of Daughney Lake, only a short distance upriver from our take-out. On our last morning, we will awake to an early breakfast and finish paddling down river to the Alaska Highway, where we’ll load up our gear and drive back to the outfitter’s base by early evening.  In addition to a whole new perspective on the Yukon landscape, we’ll have gained an entirely new set of skills.

Yukon Nate hiking pic2 compressed

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