Professional Development Through Travel

What if, you could..

  • Create a leadership adventure around the model of the reality TV show, Amazing Race.
  • Learn outdoor survival skills that directly transfer to your professional career.
  • Create time and space for fresh thoughts on future strategic plans.
  • Learn and apply innovative communication and leadership techniques in a controlled risk scenario without financial consequences.
  • Rebuild relationships.
  • Relax and enjoy the company of your colleagues in a safe, challenging environment.

Enter Leadership Adventures and Expeditions by The McCarthy Project.

By using the outdoors and strategically-planned challenge projects, we have created a one of a kind conference room or experience for learning, creativity, as well as, testing yourself and your colleagues. The expeditions can be matched to business outcomes and goals such as; strategic planning, team and board development, how to find connectivity with people, to name a few.

Each trip is designed for each participant to better understand themselves, their individual strengths and weaknesses, to learn how to live in the moment and to gain a deeper understanding of other people. Furthermore, how to take risks within complex projects outside of their comfort zone.

For pricing and availability, contact Stephen McCarthy at 612-741-0982 or

What’s Included
• The equipment needed for the trip. Lodging, if applicable.
• The McCarthy Project guides
• All meals, and all guide fees

What’s Not Included
• Transportation to and from location
• Personal gear and clothing
• Alcoholic beverages
• Gratuities for guides, if used

The following are links to our leadership trips:
Our Philosophy
Custom Adventures
Executive Leadership Adventures
Expedition Races
Leadership Adventure for Families, Small Groups and Corporations
Leadership and Communication Consulting

Customized Young Alumni Trips

Our back country adventures could be your ticket to disconnect to reconnect.  To enjoy the company of fellow alumni.  To tell stories past, present, and future around the campfire.  To enjoy the challenges of life outside the boundaries of convenience.  You will navigate the challenges of the trail, as well as, field based educational and learning projects that can be directly transferred to life. Furthermore, you will have a chance to see northern Minnesota and enhance your understanding of yourself and others.

Trip Design and Fees:

We realize that each client has a different set of expectations and we can design a trip to meet those goals and expectations. Custom tours can be 1 day, 3 day, and 7 day events to meet specific time frames and budgets.

Call Stephen at 612-741-0982 for more information.

Approximate Trip Fees:

North Country Leadership Adventure, June 2015 , $2000.00
Midwest Leadership Adventure, August 2015, $1000.00
Boundary Waters Canoe Area with Lodging, July 2015, $1000.00
Boundary Waters Canoe Area with outdoor lodging, July 2015, $900.00
Burle River Fishing and Backpacking, August 2015, $900.00

All trips mentioned above are 7 day trips.

North Country Leadership Adventures

Test your leadership skills by exploring Minnesota and Wisconsin North Country. This 7 day back country backpacking adventure is designed for individuals, families, and classmates. You will navigate the challenges of the trail, as well as, field based learning projects around leadership and communication concepts that can be applied to every aspect of life.


Ancient lava flows, deep gorges, and spectacular waterfalls make Copper Falls one of Wisconsin’s most scenic parks. Log buildings built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s add to the park’s charm. There is plenty to do; hiking, bicycling, picnicking, fishing, and swimming. The North Country National Scenic Trail passes through Copper Falls State Park.

The Flambeau River is a wonderful place to spend the day canoeing and fishing. Musky, sturgeon, trout, walleye, bass and panfish can be caught from the river as well as the lakes in the forest.

The 60,000-acre Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is home to more than 87 miles of recreational trails, hundreds of waterfalls, 21 miles of pristine beaches, and many free-running rivers for fishing.

The Brule River is one of the best known rivers east of the Mississippi for Canoeing and Fishing. For over one hundred years, it has been known as an exceptional trout stream. The Brule River contains resident brook, brown and rainbow trout. Lake brown and rainbow (steelhead) trout along with Coho and Chinook salmon migrate up the Brule annually from Lake Superior.

Interstate State Park is a geological wonderland of potholes/kettles, these massive glacier rock formations came about from thousands of years of glacial ice and rock pushing through the landscape drilling polished holes into the bedrock. While at Interstate campers will have a opportunity to learn about top rope rock climbing, with some of the climbs reaching upwards to 80 feet.

Details for Leadership Adventure

Dates: August 2015
Duration: 7 days
Location: Copper Falls State Park Mellon, WI
Activity: Backpacking, Climbing
Gear: All gear provided outside of personal items
Cost: $1000.00 per person
Deposit: Non-refundable $500.00 due with application by March 30, 2015
Remaining Balance $500.00 due with all paperwork by May 31, 2015
Additional information:
Overall map of course, equipment needed by participant, travel and logistics during trip. See Trip Itinerary

Expedition Race Across the Land of 10,000 Lakes

Exploring the outdoors and race the clock to complete tasks. The McCarthy Project will customize a trip to meet your expectations. This 1, 3, or 7 day back country backpacking adventure is designed to challenge each persons ability to feel the adrenaline rush of competition while working with others. You will navigate the challenges of the trail, as well as, field-based experiences. You will have a chance to see the outdoors and enhance your understanding of yourself and others. This expedition will challenge your understanding of leadership, the role of communicating, conflict resolution, the influence of risk, and strategic planning.

Potential Attractions

Tettegouche State Park began as a logging area that ended up becoming a State Park. Because of this park’s history of logging, there are many different kinds of vegetation to see. From tall cedar, birch, and various other trees, to moss and lichen that had grown due to the logging and burning of the area, there is a wide variety of vegetation. In addition, Tettegouche State Park offers amazing views of multiple waterfalls throughout the park. You will be able to fish in the Baptism River, which flows within the park out to Lake Superior.

Interstate State Park is a geological wonderland of potholes/kettles, these massive glacier rock formations came about from thousands of years of glacial ice and rock pushing through the landscape drilling polished holes into the bedrock. While at Interstate, you will have a opportunity to learn about top rope rock climbing, with some of the climbs reaching upwards to 80 feet.

Details for Expedition Races

Dates: To be determined
Duration: 1, 3 or 7 days
Location: To be determined, mostly North America
Activity: Backpacking, Climbing, Walking, Trekking, Canoeing, skills to match skill and fitness level of participants
Gear: To be determined
Cost: To be determined
Deposit: To be determined
Additional information:
Overall map of course, equipment needed by participant, travel and logistics during trip. See Trip Itinerary

Convergence of the Outdoors and Business

Over the last 30 years, the trend of expedition or adventure trips has exploded. The notion that we of the late 20th and early 21st century are the first ones to develop a way in which the outdoors and business converge is a misnomer. Check out the following interesting facts about the world of outdoors. With that said, the one thing that has not changed is that whatever type of trip that meets your liking the results are always the same; the feeling of accomplishment, a better understanding of yourself and your colleques, and a readiness to tackle the next challenge. Here are a few highlights from from that last 150 years or so.

From the Smithsonian, we hear about the inventor of the modern day concept called “vacation”


Vanderbuilt Cabin in the Adirondacks built in the late 1800’s.

“One of the little-known turning points in the history of American travel occurred in the spring of 1869, when a handsome young preacher from Boston named William H.H. Murray published one of the first guidebooks to a wilderness area. In describing the Adirondack Mountains—a 9,000-square-mile expanse of lakes, forests and rivers in upstate New York—Murray broached the then-outrageous idea that an excursion into raw nature could actually be pleasurable. Before that date, most Americans considered the country’s primeval landscapes only as obstacles to be conquered. But Murray’s self-help opus, Adventures in the Wilderness; or, Camp-Life in the Adirondacks, suggested that hiking, canoeing and fishing in unsullied nature were the ultimate health tonic for harried city dwellers whose constitutions were weakened by the demands of civilized life.


The Camping Trips by Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, John Burroghs, and Harry Firestone.

This radical notion had gained currency among Europeans since the Romantic age, but America was still building its leisured classes and the idea had not yet caught on with the general public. In 1869, after the horrors of the Civil War and amid the country’s rapid industrialization, Murray’s book became a surprise best seller. Readers were enthralled by his vision of a pure, Edenic world in the Adirondacks, where hundreds of forest-swathed lakes were gleaming “like gems…amid the folds of emerald-colored velvet.” Murray argued that American cities were disease-ridden and filled with pressures that created “an intense, unnatural and often fatal tension” in their unhappy denizens. The wilderness, by contrast, restored both the spirit and body. “No axe has sounded along its mountainsides, or echoed across its peaceful waters,” Murray enthused, so “the spruce, hemlock, balsam and pine…yield upon the air, and especially at night, all their curative qualities.” What’s more, Murray pointed out, a new train line that had opened the year before meant this magical world was only 36 hours’ travel from New York City or Boston. The vision struck a deep chord, and his book ran into ten editions within four months.”  Full article

And while some trips are made to be luxury getaways or vacations in the country, not all meet this belief.  The Vegabond Camping Trips circa 1020’s by some of the titans of industry where basic outdoor camping with tents. Full article on


Photo of 1963 American Mt. Everest Expedition at Seattle World’s Fair

Lastly, the advent of the adrenaline or the expedition trip.  One of the most documented is Mt. Everest.  From the first documented attempt in the early 1900’s to the first successful climb by a United States Expedition in 1963, the concept of the outdoors can be used to find self-mastery or personal development was firmly planted in the culture of American business.   More information




Are You a Good Leader Or A Wise Leader?

The following is an excerpt from the paper, “Leadership, Group Dynamics & Personality: Exploring the concept of team leadership with PCM”

A good leader knows what to do. A wise leader knows how to do it.
The importance of leaders adapting their communication and actions to the largest possible number of perceptual frames of reference cannot be denied. Leadership is mostly behavioral and behaviors are the key to influence. Establishing trust and getting people to cooperate requires the leader to behave in different ways that fit with changing circumstances according to the stages of group development and the variety of personalities in their team, as well as the changing nature of the environment. PCM offers both a description of the behaviors and measurement of each of the personality type floors, so that leaders can gain insights and have a psychometric inventory to assess the amount of energy available to us for each of them. For the complete publication, click Leadership Group Dynamics.

Mastery of Self and Your Surroundings

Stephen McCarthy of The McCarthy Project will cover the weekly news and Erwan Le Corre of MovNat will join us to discuss the world of physical education, human development and freedom of thought. The concept of mastery of self and your surroundings will create the foundation of the show and provide a platform for a great discussion on the world of human development.

To listen to the show.

1.  Erwan’s Story and Philosophy

2.  Thoughts on freedom from the existing reality of self and the mastery of self.

Erwan started MovNat to open the world thought on the freedom that can be created through human movement. And to provide a unique approach to the development of efficient movement. He has traveled the world researching and developing his philosophy of physical, mental and spiritual development.