Yes—if you love adventure, the outdoors, and trying new and exciting things. You don't need previous wilderness experience to participate. All that's required is a willingness to try new things, a positive outlook, and good physical health.
The Calvin Wilderness Orientation program is a collaboration between the Student Life Division and the Kinesiology Department of Calvin College.
Each trip is directed by a full time faculty/staff member of Calvin College. Along with full time staff, up to 3 highly trained and certified upper class or graduate students will act as trip instructors/leaders. These leaders are selected for their
All staff members are highly trained in, either general wilderness skills, and the specific activities that they are leading/instructing.Staff have taken a ten day wilderness medicine course through the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS/WMI), being certified as Wilderness First Responders. All rock climbing sites are supervised by an individual who is a certified Top Rope Site Manager/Guide with the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA).Paddle instructors have completed an American Canoe Association (ACA) open water/coastal sea kayaking course.
PER 138 Wilderness Pursuits Exemption
All students attending a wilderness trip will receive an exemption from one of three Heath and Fitness core requirements. Each trip is directed and instructed by a full-time faculty/staff member who specializes in Outdoor Recreation and Education. Along with gaining comprehensive skills in back country travel and living, students will gain specific skill sets in the focused outdoor pursuits around which the trip is built. As a part of the Calvin Core curriculum, students will also spend time discussing and journaling on:
All locations have been selected based on the unmatched natural beauty, memorable setting, historic significance, environmental appropriateness for the specific outdoor pursuit, and ability to offer a challenging, but not overwhelming wilderness-based experience.
Accommodations range from rustic cabins to a tent in the great outdoors. Tents are provided.
Trip-specific packing lists will be provided prior to your trip. Extensive gear is not required for Wilderness Orientation.
All meals during the trip are included—except for the two meals during travel days. You are encouraged to bring $25 for those meals.
Note: We will mail you additional forms to complete once you have been accepted into the program.
Dates and schedules vary depending on which trip you choose.
A few things to note about registration:
If you have not completed your orientation e-enroll registration, please register for your trip when you complete that form. If you have already completed your e-enroll registration, please print this application, complete, and email, fax or mail it back to us.Wilderness Application Form
Student Development Office
1765 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546-4404
If you need to make changes to your Orientation registration, fill out the Orientation Changes web form.
Experiential Orientation Costs:
The Experiential Orientation fee ($485 for the North Channel Sea Kayaking trip, $475 for the Lake Superior trip, $599 for the Rocky Mountain trip, $450 for all other trips) will be charged to your student account. If you cancel before May 30, a $100 fee will be applied to your account. After May 30, all trips are non-refundable.