Incorporating Outdoors Experiences

  • Allow students to experience and try something entirely new without fear of making mistakes or failing (no grades, no rewards/incentives outside of the experience itself).
  • Expose students to people outside their social networks with whom they can genuinely connect.
  • Are intrinsically rewarding: students can enjoy the experience itself, rather than—as is so typical in our forward-thinking, reward-based academic and extracurricular systems—as it will lead to a desired result in the future.
  • Show students, or remind them, that they can experience enjoyment and passionate engagement in college and that each day need not be a slog towards some eventual end. Returning to campus, students often seek this level of investment in their everyday lives, selecting more interesting classes, reconfiguring their social lives to evoke real connection and joy, finding activities that rejuvenate them.
  • Elicit in students a sense of place outside the campus' borders, extending their identities beyond that of an academic student and engendering a more holistic appreciation of college as a life experience, not just an intellectual one.