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


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

Spotlight: Field Studies Patagonia

In October of 2013, Overland Logistics Coordinators Evan Doyle and Tom Crocker scouted our Field Studies Patagonia trip. Recently, Tom Costley sat down to talk with them about their travels and the highlights of Field Studies Patagonia.

Tom Costley: Who should sign up for Field Studies Patagonia?

Evan Doyle: Active students who are excited to explore a new place and experience a new culture should sign up for this trip. Although there is no Spanish language requirement, students who have an interest in the Spanish language will also find this trip attractive. The group will have the unique opportunity to see the best of Patagonia on Overland’s Field Studies Patagonia. Students will work alongside community leaders and with local organizations as well as get a chance to see some of the most beautiful landscapes of the area on foot as they explore the iconic Fitz Roy range near El ChaltĂ©n.

Tom Crocker: Students who are interested in seeing one of the most beautiful and pristine places in the entire world should sign up for Field Studies Patagonia. Students who are interested in getting outside for day hikes, serving and interacting with local people from Patagonia and experiencing one of the most up and coming tourist destinations in the world.

Perito Moreno Glacier

Perito Moreno Glacier

Tom Costley:  What are three of the trip’s highlights?

Evan Doyle and Tom Crocker: 

1. Seeing, hiking and volunteering with the Glacier National Park rangers in the Fitz Roy range near El Chaltén
2. Exploring Torres del Paine National Park in Chile
3. Experiencing the Perito Moreno Glacier up close as you take a boat tour around the glacier’s terminus (the end of a glacier at any given point in time).



Tom Costley:  What is the hiking like?

Evan Doyle: The hiking is accessible and of intermediate difficulty. All hikes are day hikes, and we’ll take plenty of breaks along the trail. There is no overnight camping. The hiking is not at high elevations (you will not exceed 5,000 feet in elevation) and allows the group to experience the glaciers and lakes at the bases of peaks within the Fitz Roy and Cordillera del Paine ranges.

TCrock and Evan Laguna Capri cropped & compressed

Evan and Tom at Laguna Capri in El Chaltén

Tom Crocker: Groups have a chance of encountering snow as July in Patagonia coincides with winter in the  Southern Hemisphere. Winters tend to be relatively mild in Patagonia—temperatures rise to the low 40s during the day, when it is typical to have abundant sunshine and few winds. The group won’t be camping at all—they’ll be staying at heated accommodations with beds and hot water every night.

Tom Costley: Although Field Studies Patagonia is not a language trip, there will be times that students will have the opportunity to practice their Spanish. Tom and Evan, can you give an example of a time that your students spoke Spanish outside of the classroom on your Overland trips?

Evan Doyle: As a leader on Field Studies Peru, my students had plenty of opportunities to practice Spanish. During the first week of the trip, we worked at a primary school in Cusco where students taught English to first through fifth graders. During the second week of the trip, we worked with an after-school program in Cusco, where students used their Spanish in managing after-school activities for underprivileged children. Similarly, on Field Studies Patagonia, students will have the opportunity to work with local organizations and schools and can put their Spanish to use in these settings.

Tom Crocker: As a leader on Language & Exploration Spain, students had ample time to practice their language skills. There were the obvious moments when they would all practice Spanish—interacting with our guide at the Picasso Museum or while conducting a scavenger hunt through Sagrada Familia. Then there were the more spontaneous moments: chatting with a produce vendor at the Mercado de la Boqueria market, the train conductor checking tickets on our journey from Barcelona to Madrid or with a film production team who was shooting a movie on the street right outside our apartment. On all Overland trips, leaders give students the opportunity to develop their Spanish. It’s a subtle guiding hand—the leaders are always within earshot to clarify any misunderstandings the students may have had during their discussion.

Tom Costley: In October of 2013, you scouted Field Studies Patagonia. What was the highlight of your trip?

Evan on trail (lake in background) compressed

Evan hiking La Loma del Pliegue Tumbado

Evan Doyle: For me, it was the sunny, blue bird day we had hiking La Loma del Pliegue Tumbado, which the group will do as a challenge hike on Field Studies Patagonia. We made our way up on the trail through rolling meadows and a forested area before breaking out above tree line to a beautiful rocky overlook where we were afforded stunning views of the surrounding Fitz Roy Range. We hiked over snow for the last half of the hike above tree line which was a ton of fun. We also got to see some Patagonian wildlife in the wooded section of the hike, including a giant Magellanic Patagonian woodpecker.



Evan with the director of the northern sector of Glacier National Park

Evan with the director of the northern sector of Glacier National Park

Tom Crocker: I think the highlight of our trip was the day we walked into the Glacier National Park Ranger Station in El ChaltĂ©n, Argentina, wearing Overland t-shirts and were immediately identified as the people who had sent an email inquiring about service opportunities with the park service. The excitement we saw on the rangers’ faces when we showed them the Overland catalog was inspiring. We had multiple chances to talk with the director of the northern sector of Glacier National Park while we were in El Chalten about opportunities for our groups this upcoming July, and he couldn’t have been more enthralled by the opportunity their rangers would have in working with a group of teenagers from the United States. It is always fun to make these connections with individuals who will provide such great opportunities for our groups. Argentines are proud of their national parks, and it is clear that they will happily share their passion for the great outdoors with our students in July.

A Note from Samantha Pearl (AC 2013) to American Challenge Students

Samantha Pearl and Sophie Burns

Sophie and Samantha in Santa Monica

Dear Future ACers,

First of all, congrats on signing up for the American Challenge! You are in for some of the best six weeks of your life.

I did the American Challenge in 2013. My friend, Sophie Burns, did the trip in 2012 and, through her ride, raised money for World Bicycle Relief. I thought this was such an incredible idea that I knew I wanted to fundraise for my ride as well.

I chose to raise money for Charity: Water, an organization that builds wells in countries without access to clean water. I was struck by the profound and direct impact that each and every dollar has. Water seems like something so simple and basic, yet one in eight people in the world do not have access to safe water. 100% of the money I raised was used to build clean water projects, and I received photos and GPS coordinates of exactly where my project money went in Rwanda.

Hilary, Samantha and Chase

Samantha with her leaders Hilary and Chase

If you’re interested in fundraising, it doesn’t matter what charity you choose, so long as it means something to you.

When I began raising money, I set up a page through the charity:water website. Many organizations let you do this directly through their site, but there are also outside sites that let you set up a donation page for any charity you want. I then sent out many emails to friends and relatives explaining what I was doing and asking them to sponsor my ride by donating. The response was absolutely incredible—people were impressed with what I was doing and very excited to be able to participate. (Be prepared to have your sanity questioned when they see how far you are biking.) I updated everyone who donated on my fundraising progress before I left, and I followed up when I returned with pictures and a thank you note. I also reached out to my local paper and bike shop, which helped spread the word as well.

I absolutely loved raising money because, during some of the hardest days or moments of the trip, I had an extra sense of motivation. The ride was about something more than myself, or even my group.

Long story short: this trip will have an unbelievable impact on your life. If you decide to raise money for a cause that you are passionate about, you will be able to impact the lives of others as well, and there is really no better feeling than that—except maybe running into the Pacific. You’ll know what I mean in August.

Best of luck!
Samantha Pearl, AC1 2013

AC1 Group Photo

Samantha’s group celebrating in the Pacific


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