What does adventure have to do with success in academics and in life?
Everything—if you ask Nick Bearden, the owner of Know No Boundaries, a new educational consulting firm on Hilton Head Island. Bearden founded his company in 2013 in Euharlee, Georgia while he was operating a float shop on the Etowah River. He wanted to bring adventure to the educational system and provide meaningful outdoor learning experiences to students. His company was licensed in the Town of Hilton Head Island in 2018.
Know No Boundaries’ mission is to create meaningful and sustainable experiential and adventure-based growth programs for the Lowcountry’s diverse community, while also advocating for and pursuing the means to make them affordable and accessible to all.
“Our programs are designed to be full of adventures and to be both culturally appropriate and historically accurate,” Bearden said.
The company ensures that all KNB programs align with and exceed South Carolina curriculum standards.
Locally, Bearden partners with Outside Brands, to offer schools and other groups adventure-based learning experiences that immerse participants in the Lowcountry’s nature, history, and culture.
KNB educational programs are developed specifically for each group and, where needed, include accommodations for students’ Individual Education Plans (IEP). Bearden meets with teachers to discuss the educational needs of their students and create learning objectives for each program. The primary focus is on supporting self-discovery via cooperative problem solving in unconventional situations outdoors. Program options include full-immersion on Page Island or with the Mitchelville Preservation Project. At each location, participants learn and have fun through adventure initiatives, educational games, teambuilding, leadership activities, nature-based leisure and recreational time.
What do the Programs Look Like
Each Know No Bounds educational program is individually crafted for a specific group of students. For the full-immersion program, the group boats to Page Islands, where participants learn about the unique ecosystem found on Lowcountry hammock islands. Students also learn about environmental stewardship by “leaving no trace,” and review the island’s safety rules.
Students warm up with ice breakers, then confront a challenge: they are “stranded” on one island and must work together to build a sustainable raft that will successfully traverse two of their group members to safety.
Some groups hike through the maritime marsh, others split into teams and compete in a kayak relay. Others play an original version of capture-the-flag that includes local history and cultural knowledge.
The Mitchelville Experience offers middle school and high school educational and adventure options including the Mitchelville History Hike. In the 1860s, Mitchelville became the first self-governed town for freed men in the U.S. Students break into groups and compete to gather the most accurate and detailed story of the developments of Mitchelville... in the fastest time. This program will include everything from learning about the Gullah maritime ways to seeing a full-Harriet Tubman Reenactment presented by the Mitchelville Preservation Project. Executive Director Ahmad Ward often addresses student groups. After a break, the students head to the beach for team building and leadership development activities, Lowcountry Living skill challenges, beach exploration and nature education, or rec and leisure options. These new programming and school field trip opportunities will be available through Mitchelville Preservation Project this fall and will officially launch as a community service in January.