Outdoor Education invites you to be a
part of Wilderness Adventure 2004!
students are welcome to participate in Wilderness Adventure. No previous
outdoor experience is needed.
Adventure is an ideal way to begin your Colgate experience. The hundreds of
incoming students who have gone on WA trips since its inception 15 years ago
can attest that being a part of WA not only eases the transition into
college life, but also endures as a unique and memorable part of the Colgate
Adventure takes place during the month of August prior to on-campus
orientation. Two sessions of WA trips are offered:
Session I: Sunday, August 8 – Sunday, August 15
Session II: Thursday, August 19 – Thursday, August 26
Is Wilderness Adventure?
Wilderness Adventure is an
opportunity to join other incoming students on a weeklong camping trip in
the Adirondacks. Groups of 6-8 first-year
students and two Outdoor Education staff carry their own food and gear while
hiking or canoeing through the Adirondack wilderness in upstate NY.
Groups work together to
accomplish daily tasks of backcountry living, becoming a self-sufficient
community over the course of the week. Days may be challenging but
rewarding as connections to the natural world and friendships are made. All
trips are substance free.
Benefits of Wilderness Adventure:
safety awareness and self-responsibility in the woods
* Gain a sense of personal accomplishment
* Build friendships in a supportive and substance-free community
* Learn basic skills of backcountry travel and living
* Practice Leave No Trace skills to reduce impact on the land
* Learn about the natural and cultural history of the Adirondacks
* Develop a Sense of Place – a connection to the land
Where Do WA Trips Go?
Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis
according to the
on the completed
registration form. Space on trips for each session is limited.
To register, read the following information and complete the enclosed
registration form. Return the registration form with a $100 nonrefundable
deposit as soon as possible, postmarked no later than Friday June 11.
Due to travel logistics, students living further than a day’s drive from
campus will be given priority for Session II. Trip assignments will be made
based on availability of spots for each session and will be sent by June 21.
Wilderness Adventure begins on
the Colgate campus at the Outdoor Education Base Camp. On arrival day
(Session I: August 8; Session II: August 19), you should check-in between
2-2:15pm and organized activities will begin at 2:30pm.
Please note: students may not move into or store belongings in dorm rooms
before August 26.
You will meet your group and
trip leaders, organize the gear, and have dinner before heading to the
Beattie Reserve, located 3 miles from campus, where you will camp for the
night. The next morning your group will eat breakfast, load the van and set
out for the Adirondacks for the next five nights’ trip.
Upon returning from the Adirondacks, all groups will meet at the Beattie
Reserve for dinner, a closing campfire, and a final night of camping. The
next morning groups will return to the Outdoor Education Base Camp to clean
and check-in gear. Participants will be ready for pick-up on departure day
(Session I: August 15; Session II: August 26) by 9am.
Is A Typical Day On A WA Trip?
Traveling on marked trails,
your group will move between 4-12 miles each day (depending on the level of
the trip), stopping for trail breaks along the way. You will set-up camp at
designated campsites that typically have outhouses but no other modern
facilities. Wilderness Adventure trips are not “guided” excursions in which
the leaders do everything for you – everyone is expected to contribute in a
group effort. Your leaders will teach you the skills needed to travel
safely in the backcountry, such as how to pack your backpack, read the map,
and take care of blisters. By the second night, your group will be cooking
meals on the camp stove on its own. Typical backcountry cuisine includes
pasta, veggie stir-fry, bagels, oatmeal, and the ever-coveted “gorp” trail
mix. Depending on the weather, you may sleep in a tent, Adirondack-style
lean-to (three-sided log structure with a roof), or under the stars.
The Adirondack climate is extremely variable – you may be hiking in shorts
and a t-shirt one day and long underwear and a wool hat the next! Depending
on the group’s route, you may be traveling up and over Adirondack peaks or
hiking along rivers and camping alongside lakes and ponds. Whatever the
route, you surely will be struck by the beauty of the Adirondacks and the
support of your group.
What Gear Do I Need?
In your backpack you will
carry personal clothing and gear, as well as a portion of the group food and
group gear (e.g. tent, stove, pot, etc.). All group gear is provided.
Participants are responsible for personal clothing and equipment such as
long underwear, rain gear, wool hat, hiking boots, etc. Some items,
including backpacks, sleeping bags and pads, flashlights, and water bottles
may be rented from Outdoor Education. A more detailed gear list and rental
form will be sent with the trip assignment packet.
Who Are the Trip Leaders?
Two upper-class students who
are members of the Outdoor Education staff lead each Wilderness Adventure
trip group. All staff have completed an extensive six-month training
program that focuses on risk management, leadership, teaching, and technical
outdoor skills. Staff are also certified in CPR and WFR, a 72-hour
Wilderness First Responder course.
What Will I Learn On A WA Trip?
For over a century people have gone
to the Adirondack Park to explore and enjoy its forests and waterways.
Wilderness Adventure provides you with an opportunity to join in this
tradition and to experience firsthand this unique landscape. You will learn
about land history – natural and cultural history – of the Adirondacks, and
participate in discussions about human interactions with the land. In
addition, your trip leaders will teach the backcountry basics – skills
needed for backcountry travel including Leave No Trace practices. You will
also have the opportunity to talk about life at Colgate.
How Do I Get Ready for Wilderness Adventure?
During the summer, you will
receive two mailings containing information about Wilderness Adventure: the
first mailing contains a gear list, information on Leave No Trace camping,
and forms to be returned; the second mailing contains required readings. In
preparation, you will be reading a pamphlet on the history of the
Adirondacks and a packet of writings. While in the field, groups will
discuss how the writings relate to gaining a “sense of place” in the
Adirondacks as well as other wild areas. In addition to preparing mentally
for the trip, you will need to prepare physically. Days on the trail can be
long and challenging. We recommend that you do some type of physical
activity (e.g. hiking, jogging, swimming, biking) on a regular basis – 3-4
times per week – during the month before your trip.
How Much Does It Cost?
The fee for Wilderness
Adventure is $400, which covers the cost of all meals, transportation, group
gear and leader wages for the trip. Additional costs may include travel to
and from campus, additional meals/lodging and any personal clothing and/or
gear (i.e. long underwear, hiking boots, sleeping bag) that must be
purchased or rented. A $100 non-refundable deposit is due with your
completed application. Should you decide to cancel after receiving a trip
assignment, your $100 deposit will not be refunded. If there are no spaces
available, your deposit will be returned. Partial to full scholarships
based on financial need are available. Recipients are determined through
consultation with the Office of Financial Aid.
How Do I Choose A WA Trip?
On the application form, you
are asked to rank the trip options in order of preference.
Backpacking/Canoeing combination trips spend two consecutive days
backpacking followed by three consecutive days canoeing, or vice versa.
Canoeing trips involve paddling on flatwater lakes and rivers and portaging
– carrying the canoes and gear over land between waterways.
Level 1: no
previous outdoor experience is needed
You will be traveling 3-6
miles per day over flat and hilly terrain, arriving at camp by early
afternoon with time to relax before dinner. Camp is moved every other day
with rest days in between. Layover days are spent either exploring
surrounding areas on a dayhike which may involve summitting a peak, or
relaxing in camp with time to swim.
Level 2: moderate
level of fitness OR previous outdoor experience required
You will be traveling 5-10 miles per day over terrain that is hilly and
sometimes steep, arriving at camp by late afternoon. Days can be long and
challenging but there are plenty of trail breaks along the way. Camp is
moved every day with one layover day that is spent either exploring
surrounding areas on a dayhike, which may involve summitting a peak, or
relaxing in camp with time to swim.
Level 2+: high level of fitness required and previous outdoor experience
recommended but not required
You will travel 8-12+ miles over steep to very steep terrain, hiking over
two of the Adirondack High Peaks with a full peak. Days are long and
challenging and the group may not arrive at camp until dinnertime or later,
but there are plenty of trail breaks along the way. Camp is moved every day
with one layover day that is spent either exploring surrounding areas on a
dayhike, which may involve summitting a peak, or relaxing in camp with time
If you have
any questions, please contact Molly or Josh Baker by phone at (315) 228-7323
or by email:
WILDERNESS ADVENTURE ‘00