Freshman Wilderness Orientation Program Heads to Alaska

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Rachael Pocklington
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Students head to the wilds of Alaska - for orientation!

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Heralded as an “epic” experience, Tech Treks Alaska teaches students real-life skills and builds the confidence they need to persevere through the most challenging of transitions. College-bound young adults are placed in one of the biggest, most exciting and rather disorienting environments on earth â€" the wilds of Alaska. If this sounds like a metaphor for the freshman year experience at college, then you get it. And so do the instructors and students at Georgia Tech.

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  • Students flourish on Tech Treks Alaska. Students flourish on Tech Treks Alaska.
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This summer, Outdoor Recreation at Georgia Tech (ORGT) in partnership with FASET, will lead up to 10 incoming Georgia Tech freshmen on a 10-day orientation adventure that includes backpacking through the Alaskan wilderness, ice climbing on a massive glacier, fishing for silver salmon in a pristine river, and observing wildlife - all while camping in tents under star-filled skies.

There’s more to this Alaskan adventure than just roughing it in the great outdoors. Other planned activities include learning important skills like group leadership and effective judgment and decision making. Additionally, students will learn skills such as GPS (global positioning system) navigation, backcountry cooking, identifying flora and fauna, and practicing a leave-no-trace ethic to protect the arctic environment.

“Wilderness adventure orientation programs have been very popular at colleges for decades. Over the last few years, more and more universities have added these important programs,” says Matt Marcus, Georgia Tech’s Adventure Recreation Coordinator.

“This Orientation program works as a metaphor for entering college. The Alaskan wilderness is a great unknown, and learning the skills to navigate through new adventures is like starting college. Creating a new support system and making friends, finding resources to help with new challenges, and setting achievable goals are the keys to success at Georgia Tech and the keys to success in Alaska’s wilderness,” Marcus adds.

The return on investment is immediate. Students from past trips formed great friendships and still meet as a group on a regular basis - many years later into their college career! A month after the program ended, participating students had the following to say:

“I feel like I'm much better at breaking out of my shell as far as meeting and connecting with new people and by trying new experiences.”

“It really helped me mentally prepare for the move to college and having to fend for myself. I was nervous about leaving home, but after this trip I felt really confident in myself.”

“I can think of no better way to begin my college life than going to such an amazing place and meeting other incoming freshmen who like the same things I do.”

Applications will be accepted through early July. Space is limited - half of the spots are already filled! Click here for more information on this opportunity of a lifetime.

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Status
  • Created By: Rachael Pocklington
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jun 1, 2009 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:11pm