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    NOLS Scandinavian Sea Kayaking and Backpacking

    NOLS Scandinavian Sea Kayaking and Backpacking


    • Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
    • Destinations: Sweden
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Credit Awarded: High School, College
    • Program Length: Four Weeks
    • Start Month: June, July
    • Category: Outdoor Adventure
    • Selective: Yes
    • Gender: Coed
    • Ages: 18, 19+, 19
    • Housing: Other, Tents
    • Accreditation: Gap Year Association - Program
    • Financial Aid: Grants/Scholarships, Payment Terms
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    Explore Sweden on land and on the water while learning about Scandinavian culture. You will travel in 24-hour daylight, then paddle along coastlines dotted with small communities and historic sites. The fast-changing Arctic weather will introduce you to camping in a range of conditions, from hot sun to pouring rain. Explore the lands of the Vikings and the Sami, and grow as a leader.

    Explore beyond the Arctic Circle

    Smell the salt of the ocean as you check the wind for the day’s journey. Walk along coastal tide pools and study their ecology in the 24-hour Arctic light. Immerse yourself in the area’s history as you visit coastal communities and learn about the hunter-gatherer traditions of the indigenous Sami people. Spend your days exploring paddling or hiking to new places and your evenings savoring meals cooked on a camp stove.

    On this course, you’ll split your time between sea kayaking and backpacking—during both sections, you’ll focus on minimum-impact camping and living comfortably in the quickly-changing environment of Scandinavia. On the backpacking section, you’ll learn to navigate the Arctic tundra and peaks with and without a trail. While sea kayaking, you’ll paddle through Norway’s ocean fjords and tiny islands, starting with the basics, like paddle technique, and progressing to more advanced skills, like self-rescue.

    In addition to outdoor skills, leadership will be a key part of this course. You’ll learn about group dynamics as you live in a small community in the mountains. You’ll practice communication and decision making as you find routes through high passes and lush valleys. Paddling a sea kayak during challenging weather offers opportunities to learn tolerance for adversity. Each day you’ll fill a different leadership role, honing your personal leadership style. You’ll go home ready to be a leader in your community and continue exploring the outdoors for the rest of your life.