"Working as a team in the
and having all the support of your
group made the transition
to life at UVM easier.
I had an awesome time on TREK!”
"My favorite part was just getting to know people
and getting to UVM with a group you already know and feel comfortable
with. In the hiking TREK you do everything together in the woods and I
feel like I really have a core group of friends. The experienced TREK
leaders helped us with tidbits of information we really need to know —
they are kind of like our mentors."
--Sara Groshens - Chester, VT - Hiking TREK (The Vermont Cynic: August 30, 2010)
"We slept out on the rocks one night and that was
really fun. Everyone was really nice, and I feel like I have a good
group of friends now."
--Danielle Smith - Wayland, MA - Sea Kayaking TREK (The Vermont Cynic: August 30, 2010)
"I was looking for a physical challenge as
well as some time away before school starts so it was a really nice
thing to do — it didn't feel like real life. It is a great program.
After one of the harder TREKs like hiking, where you carry 50 pounds on
your back, moving in isn't hard at all. I don't have to climb mountain,
I am just moving my stuff in."
--Peter LaMalfa - Portland, CT - Hiking TREK (The Vermont Cynic: August 30, 2010)
What is Wilderness TREK?
This extraordinary wilderness orientation program provides students the opportunity to build lasting friendships, initiate self-discovery, and explore the people and landscapes that are Vermont. For more than 30 years Wilderness TREK has been creating adventurous beginnings for student development at UVM. As a TREKKIE, you will spend six days with your future classmates, hiking the rugged footpaths of our Green Mountain Long Trail, canoeing the rivers and lakes of the Adirondacks, sea kayaking the islands and unspoiled shoreline of Lake Champlain, climbing in Vermont and the Adirondacks. Biking TREKKIES can now experience the beauty of the Champlain Valley from a bicycle. While white water kayakers travel to the lengendary "Forks" of Maine.
What Will I Learn?
Immersed in the beauty of Northern New England’s diverse wilderness environments, TREKKIES develop a number of group and independent living skills including: meal preparation, stove operation and maintenance, shelter construction, basic first-aid, navigating with map and compass, problem-solving, low impact camping ethics and cooperative learning. Traveling in small groups you will subsist on a daily diet of wondrous surroundings, engaging peers and lots of trail mix! While group travel itineraries are planned with success in mind, they are always challenging. Canoe portages, long hikes, kayak paddles and bike rides are always the special of the day. Upon completing TREK, participants are usually quick to reflect on the importance of physical conditioning prior to their TREK experience.
Who are Wilderness TREK Leaders?
Most TREK leaders began developing interest in
wilderness leadership as TREKKIES! Wilderness TREK leaders are UVM
students like you, each with diverse interests, academic pursuits, identities, and
life stories to share with their group. Most Wilderness TREK Leaders
have honed group leadership skills through participation in one of the UVM
Outing Club's leadership development programs. TREK
leaders are simply wilderness loving, adventurering, UVM Students!
TREK leaders are chosen based on demonstrated ability to create a physically and emotionally safe learning experience for TREKKIES. Leaders practice sound judgment and decision-making in support of their group and the safety of all activities. Wilderness TREK leaders are required to have American Red Cross Adult CPR and Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certifications to insure the safety of participants.
A Day in the Life of Wilderness TREK
While Wilderness TREK programs differ in focus,
daily activities are logistically similar. Days begin early with a
nutritious breakfast followed by the ritual break down of camp. Leaders
meet with TREKKIES, discuss route plans, and develop travel goals
for the day. Next they’re off into the wild blue yonder to explore.
Lunches are simple and prepared in the field. Energetic afternoons of
continued travel and teamwork culminate with arrival at the campsite.
After TREKKIES settle, unpack gear, construct their evening home and
prepare a shared meal, discussion of the day’s activity, group games or
relaxation time follows. As an orientation program, leaders will
provide structured time for TREKKIES to ask questions about student
life and experiences at UVM. No two days are ever alike on Wilderness
What Types of Trips are Available?
Picture yourself sunning on a beautiful granite
outcropping looking across Lake Champlain to the Adirondack Peaks
beyond…your brow is sweaty, arms tired, veins coursing with adrenaline
and chest filled with pride. You’re at the top of your climb, charged
with excitement, awed by the support and grateful for encouragement
shouted from Trekkies below. You begin to lower, reliving the climb
mentally. You pass the challenging points, ready to give advice to the
next climber… and on to your next climb! On Rock Climbing TREK, your
daily experience is defined by moments like these!
Whether you are an absolute beginner, have climbed in gyms or have significant “sport” or “trad” climbing experience, you will learn volumes while on Rock Climbing TREK. Your professional guide and student TREK leader climbing team, will ensure you are well versed in the basics of rock climbing safety, equipment, belay technique, climbing technique and top roped anchor systems. You will visit legendary rock climbing sites in Vermont and the Adirondacks, progressing your skills at a comfortable rate and accepting new challenges daily…returning ready for life at UVM and participation in future Outing Club climbing opportunities!
Wilderness TREK hiking journeys take you to some of the highest, most remote and oldest footpaths in the country, on the long trail and in the Adirondacks! Hiking groups will experience the “dog days” of summer on jaunts of up to eight miles per day, wandering through hardwood, over trickling streams and learning of the North Country’s rich, natural history along the way. With your pack on your back and a kick in your step, you’ll pull into camp ready for a hot meal, relaxation and an evening sharing tales of the day at your shelter or lean-to.
On TREK canoeing journeys you’ll paddle and explore the expansive wilderness of the Adirondack National Park, the largest East of the Mississippi! Wonders of the natural world await you at every point on the Lakes or bend in the rivers. Occasional portages require TREKKIES to carry boats and gear in teams. You’ll stop late each afternoon at campsites en route, allowing time for group cooking, discussion and relaxation. If conditions are right, moonlit paddles afford the chance to experience the secrets of nocturnal activity. Loons blaring their distinctive call or the cacophony of energetic peepers are not uncommon while canoeing on TREK!
Navigating the bays, points and islands of Lake Champlain will tune you into the beauty and serenity of open water travel. Considered to be our nation’s sixth “Great Lake” by Vermonters, it is rich in ecosystem diversity and Native American cultural history. By day, TREKKIES collectively ply their paddling and navigation skills, traveling in flotillas. Pulling into designated wilderness camp sites along the champlain sea kayak trail late each afternoon, TREKKIES will pull the hatch covers on their boats to reveal shelter makings and a delicious dinner. On your last day of TREK, all bearings will point to the shore of Burlington’s bustling waterfront and the beginning of your journey as a UVM student!
White Water Kayaking
Exploring the creeks & rivers of the Kennebec River in Maine provides students interested in whitewater kayaking, the opportunity to improve existing skills or develop basic paddling skills on moving water. Student instructors and leaders are active UVM Kayak Club leaders and are American Canoe & Kayak Club (ACA) and Swift Water rescue certified. Your group will spend days on the water and evenings camping riverside. With experienced UVM Kayak Club leaders guiding your way, WW Trekkies can expect to learn a ton about paddling kayaks, river hydrology & safety and life at UVM.
You may think of Vermont as the ski capital of the East. Did you know that Vermont is also the bike touring capital of the East? Your world will be framed by the Green Mountains to the East and Adirondacks to the West as you travel the Lake Champlain valley, nestled tightly in between. You’ll pass working dairy farms, visit traditional Vermont villages and swim in pristine lakes and rivers. Biking TREKKIES will cover roughly 30 road miles each day. In the evening you’ll make camp in Vermont State Parks, some of the most beautiful and best kept in the country. POMG (Peace of Mind Guaranteed) Bike Tours will lead the tour with UVM TREK leaders. POMG will provide professional guides, support vehicles, rental bikes if needed, and a fun environment to experience the joy of becoming a safe and experienced cyclist.
When does TREK take place?
Check-in is the morning of Saturday, August 17, 2013 at Davis Student Center
TREK finishes on Thursday, August 22, 2013, with an all-TREKre-entry picnic at the Davis Center
You will be able to stay in your residence hall room upon completion of Thursday night
Friday, August 23, 2013 is the "regular" campus move-in day for all new first-year students
How do I sign up for Wilderness TREK?
Go to the New Registration website for directions.
**The Registration Form goes live beginning at 12 noon EST on Monday May 1st, 2013**
Note: Spaces in TREK are limited and tend to fill quickly. Registration will be conducted on a first come, first served basis. We recommend you register as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment.
Cancellation Policy: Cancellations made before the registration deadline (July 2, 2013 5:00pm EST) will be fully refunded. Cancellations made between July 2, 2013 - July 18, 2013 will be refunded 50%. After July 18th, refunds are not guaranteed and only granted at the discretion of the TREK Directors and our ability to fill vacated spaces.
A limited amount of Financial Aid is available for those in need of financial assistance in order to participate. To apply, please write a short statement describing; (1) your interest in participating in TREK, and (2) an indication of your financial need. This information needs to accompany your application, due by July 2nd. You must also include a 50% deposit of your first choice TREK program. Award notification will be sent to you at the end of July.*
We also office Identity-Based Scholarships. Applications due by July 2, 2013. For more information on these scholarships, please click here. Since we have a limited number of these scholarships, we encourage student who apply for Identity-Based Scholarships to also apply for Financial Aid. Scholarship notification will be sent to you at the end of July.
Our ultimate goal is to work with ALL interested first year students to make participation in TREK a reality!
TREKKIES who are awarded Financial Aid or Scholarships may request to borrow UVM Outing Club equipment which includes backpacks, sleeping bags, and rain gear.
*Financial Aid grant amount is dependent upon specific financial need.
Contact the UVM TREK Program in the Department of Student
at (802) 656-2060 or e-mail John Abbott, Assistant Director of Student Life Outdoor Programs.
You can also e-mail Slife@uvm.edu for more information.