CoBank/No Barriers Warriors Frequently Asked Questions

The Expeditions

What is the CoBank/No Barriers program?

CoBank, a cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America has partnered with No Barriers to sponsor a series of four, multi-day expeditions through No Barriers Warriors as well as send a group of veterans to the No Barriers Summit. No Barriers is a nonprofit organization that empowers people of all walks of life to overcome obstacles, live a life of purpose, and give back to the world, through its ground-breaking curriculum. The Warriors program is designed specifically to serve veterans with disabilities.

Through this program, CoBank customers (cooperatives and other businesses serving rural America) are able to nominate veterans with disabilities from their communities to participate in an expedition designed to challenge their limitations and to create a network of support that can last a lifetime.

What does a No Barriers Warriors experience involve?

In the first part of the experience, participants engage in focused online modules to learn the No Barriers Life elements and connect with their Rope Team through virtual meetups. Not only do participants use this time to get to know each other, they prepare for the field portion and challenges that await them.  Once in the field, participants practice the No Barriers Life elements through various physically- and mentally-challenging activities, building camaraderie and trust. Participants ultimately connect with their team on a deeper level, reflecting on their past, fears, and barriers.  The field experiences empower participants to transform the way they perceive themselves, their barriers, and their futures. Participants establish personal goals and head home ready to work towards these new aspirations. Following the field portion, participants continue the online modules and refine their goals, create a plan of action, and hold one another accountable to complete the goals. This three-part experience serves as a catalyst for change. Veterans broaden their identity, rediscover their purpose, build connections with the No Barriers community, and master the No Barriers Life.

How many veterans will participate?

CoBank will sponsor up to 50 veterans to participate in one of the four, multi-day expeditions. They will also sponsor an additional group of veterans to attend the No Barriers Summit.

Is the program open to every branch of the service?

Yes. The program is open to veterans from all eras and branches of service, both combat wounded and training injured, with visible and invisible injuries.

What kind of disabilities can the program accommodate?

The program can accommodate veterans with a variety of physical disabilities as well as “invisible” disabilities.

When will the expeditions take place?

CoBank will sponsor four, multi-day expeditions that will take place in June and July 2020. CoBank will also sponsor several veterans to participate in the annual No Barriers Summit that will take place on September 18, 2020, in San Francisco, CA.

Where will the expeditions take place?

Moderate-level basecamp expeditions will take place at the No Barriers facility at Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. Moderate and difficult-level backcountry expeditions will take place in the Colorado backcountry.

Is there any cost to participate?

No. CoBank is underwriting all costs for participating veterans, including transportation to the expedition locations and the No Barriers Summit.

Why should I consider participating?

Each No Barriers Warriors experience is designed to challenge veterans mentally and physically in some of nature’s most incredible wilderness. This is more than a mountain vacation. No Barriers creates a space for veterans to reflect on their past, recognize where they are in the present and then look with positivity to the future. They do so in a spirit of camaraderie; where veterans with a shared background come together to encourage and inspire each other. The No Barriers experience serves as both an opportunity for growth and a catalyst for change as the veterans stretch their boundaries, innovate through adversity and step up to serve others.

What if I am not physically able to participate in an expedition?

Veterans who are nominated/referred and accepted into the program, but choose not to participate due to their disability, may be offered an opportunity to participate in the annual No Barriers Summit. The Summit is available to individuals of all ability levels.

Why is CoBank offering this program?

For generations, a disproportionate share of our armed forces have come from our rural communities. As a mission-based organization with a focus on agriculture and rural communities, CoBank wanted to partner with our customers to create a program that would allow the bank to give back to our nation’s rural veterans in a substantive way.

The Summit

What is the No Barriers Summit?

“I break barriers. They don’t break me.” The No Barriers Summit is a one-day event on September 18, 2020, in San Francisco, CA, that challenges you to find your invincible self. Whether you have a disability, face discrimination, lost a loved one, or struggle with illness, the No Barriers Summit helps you redefine what is possible. Attendees love our fully-accessible activities, world-famous speakers, and renowned performers. Join the No Barriers community — people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, who believe that what’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.

How many people participate in the Summit?

The annual Summit will host an anticipated 5,000 people from the Bay Area community,  across the USA and around the world.

Is the Summit open to non-veterans?

Yes, the Summit is open to all and, in fact, many participants bring their family with them so they can also benefit from the experience. While the event is not specifically geared towards veterans, it does offer a veteran only activities that will replicate much of the curriculum and experiences of the No Barriers Warriors expeditions in a more accessible setting.

Can family members of veterans participate in the Summit?

Yes. If you are selected to attend the Summit, you will be able to bring a caregiver/family member with you. CoBank will cover all costs for you and your caregiver. If you wish to include additional family members in the experience, you may do so at your own cost.

Nominations/Applications

I’ve been nominated by a CoBank customer, what do I do next?

Complete the CoBank/No Barriers program application. Please ensure that you apply directly through the CoBank website. No Barriers may offer other expedition programs with other sponsors, but you have been nominated specifically for the CoBank program.

If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity, fill out and submit your application as soon as possible. Nominations/applications will be considered on a first-come first-served basis and you must submit your application prior to the April 15 deadline in order to be considered.

Once you have submitted your application, you will be contacted directly by a No Barriers representative who will provide additional information and walk you through the next steps in the process.

How do I get accepted into the program?

The process begins with a phone interview. No Barriers will provide you with additional information about the expeditions to determine your interest and ability to participate. They may require additional information about your disability status. The final step in the acceptance process is a telephone evaluation by the No Barriers affiliated physician to ensure that you are physically able to participate. No Barriers is able to accommodate a wide range of disabilities. This process will help them to understand your needs and abilities and make sure expedition leaders are prepared to help you take full advantage of the experience.

Important Dates

 January 13  The nomination/application period for 2020 expeditions and the No Barriers Summit begins January 13.
 April 15  The nomination/application period closes. Veterans must submit their application prior to April 15 to be considered.
 May 15  No Barriers will complete team selection. CoBank will notify customers if their nominee is accepted and assigned to an expedition.
 June 26  The first 5-day moderate-level basecamp expedition will take place.
 July 10  The second 5-day moderate-level basecamp expedition will take place.
 July 17  The 6-day moderate-level backcountry expedition will take place.
 July 24  The 6-day difficult-level backcountry expedition will take place.
 Sept. 18  No Barriers Summit