...A small liberal arts college in located on a couple thousand acres of land in the foothills of the Rocky mountains. A Great Books curriculum. Orthodox Catholic. Friendly to the traditional Latin Mass. Outdoors integrated into student life, including a 21-day camping/wilderness training expedition for freshman orientation.A 21-day wilderness training expedition for freshman orientation? I do not even remember my college orientation. Perhaps, I attended a couple seminars and a mixer?
Surely one would be hard pressed to find a freshman orientation program more unique than that offered by WCC:
Shortly after arriving in the town of Lander, our first-time Wyoming Catholic College students embark on a truly unique and exciting outdoor adventure: a three-week backpacking trek into the Wind River Mountains known as the WCC Fall Wilderness Orientation.Of course, earlier this month, this neat writeup became reality for this year's incoming Freshman class (who in fact have just completed their wilderness training).
This program, designed by the College in conjunction with the National Outdoor Leadership Program (NOLS), an internationally-recognized leader in wilderness education, is a key component in the College’s educational vision. Its objective: to send our incoming freshmen out into the beautiful Wind River Mountains (Lander’s own branch of the Rockies), immersing them in the beauty and power of God’s Creation.
Under the watchful eyes of a pair of NOLS instructors and a chaplain, they spend these three weeks (and nearly 80 miles) trekking through the wilderness, learning to navigate the countryside, to plan out and execute each day’s activities, and mastering a host of other “backwoods” skills: fishing, practicing a number of wilderness medicine scenarios, learning the principles of Leave No Trace camping, as well as focusing on leadership training and group dynamics. Together, they face and overcome challenges, connect with the beauty and wonder of creation, and are given ample time to reflect on and digest their experiences. By the time they return, they have the knowledge and skills necessary for planning and leading their own adventures throughout their four years...Continued
WCC posted the following update to its website earlier this week:
Bright and early Wednesday morning, the four groups of Wyoming Catholic College freshmen returned safely home to Rocky Mountain NOLS in Lander. A bit dirty after their three weeks in the Wind River Mountains, the thirty-eight youngsters crowded out of the NOLS buses, eager to be reunited with their fellow classmates. Members of the sophomore and junior classes were also present to give the returning adventurers a warm WCC welcome. After a short time of mingling and reconnecting, the students broke out into their individual groups and began the process of de-issuing.
After first emptying their backpacks of all their “group gear” – cooking stoves, fuel bottles, first aid kits, maps, and the like – they returned whatever “personal gear” they may have rented from NOLS or WCC. Then, after cleaning up any remaining debris from the de-issue bays at NOLS Rocky Mountain, they headed off to the shower rooms for the first warm shower they’d had in the past twenty-one days.
After lunch, they trekked a few blocks through town to NOLS Headquarters for their final debriefing. Then, it was off to City Park for an outdoor Mass and celebratory barbeque. NOLS and WCC faculty and staff also joined the group. Tired but triumphant, the Class of 2013 returned at last to their rooms, having taken their first thrilling steps on this exciting adventure that is Wyoming Catholic College. (August 27, 2009)