Outdoor Experience Enhanced Experiences for 2018-2019

As interest in the Outdoor Experience Learning Community (OELC) continues to rise, and as more students will be engaged in learning communities in the upcoming academic year, OELC is excited to offer two unique enhanced experiences or “deeper dives” into different facets of outdoor experience. Each experience is proposed to take place in the small residence halls (Slade Hall and Redstone Hall) to encourage community development among the individuals in the residence.

Local Landscapes: Explore the Space Around You (Slade Hall)

UVM is situated in one of the most outdoors-friendly cities in the country. Though we are surrounded by amazing mountains, there is so much to do without even leaving Chittenden County or even the city limits. The bike path skirts the waterfront and winds its way up rolling hills out of the Champlain Basin, passing through farmland and forest on the way. Access to the waterfront is hardly a mile walk down the hill from UVM, with access to watersports like sea kayaking, sailing, paddleboarding, canoeing, kite surfing, etc. The Intervale provides a plethora of farming opportunities, bike/walking/running trails, fishing along the Winooski and, when the snow falls, incredible tracks cut for cross-country skiing. Our urban parks (Centennial Woods, Oakledge Park, Red Rocks) provide miles of trails to walk slow and bird watch, enjoy the falling leaves, wait for the ephemerals in spring, or set up a hammock and rest in the breeze.

The Local Landscapes enhanced experience recognizes that we have all we needright here. You don't need to leave the city limits to find a connection to nature. Transformative outdoor experiences are available in our own backyard. Students are encouraged to find their favorite “nook” in the Burlington community, learn it, explore it, cultivate it, share it. From urban gardening to city biking to identifying wildlife, members of the community will explore individual passions and look for opportunities to engage with the greater Burlington community and draw them into these experiences.

Students will build upon the experiential learning opportunities gained in the the fall with a one-credit class in the spring semester.

Adventure Mentorship/Adventurship (Redstone)

An adventure is an unusual or exciting experience or activity. By its very definition, an adventure is often something new, or at least something we don’t do every day. It’s out of the ordinary. Doing something out of the ordinary requires some level of risk, and often the riskiest part is admitting we don’t know how and that we need help.

Adventure Mentorship acknowledges the barriers of not knowing that come with a new adventure. It encourages people with passions to share those passions on a one-on-one or small-group basis with others who want to have a new adventure, but don’t know where to start.

In the Adventure Mentorship enhanced experiences, small groups dive deeply into outdoor passions with the goal of not only mastering a craft/skill but mastering the art of teaching that skill. Using experiential learning methods to ask questions about what we can really glean from experiences, mentors will learn how best to bring others into their passions and actively invite others to along to learn side by side.

Skills and activities explored in this community will be based on what members would like to share and what they would like to learn. No skill is too big or too small: knot-tying, orienteering, tracking, fly fishing, backcountry skiing, backpacking—you know it, you share it.

Students will build upon the experiential learning opportunities gained in the the fall with a one-credit class in the spring semester.

OE/WE Dual Citizenship

This new collaborative designed by Wellness Environment (WE) and Outdoor Experience (OE) offers first-year students in OE the opportunity to enroll in dual citizenship in WE and be part of a connected neighborhood of students located in the same residential area. In addition to OE benefits, dual citizens have exclusive access to all WE programs based around the four pillars of wellness; and can also join the WE research study earning incentives (WE Coin).

To be eligible to join this dual citizen program you are required to:

  1. Take both the Vermont Outdoor Experience one-credit first-year seminar and the three-credit Healthy Brains, Healthy Bodies course.
  2. Agree to sign and abide by the terms of the OE Community Expectations and the WE code.

There will be time dedicated to course registration during June Orientation. If you are interested in joining the OE/WE Dual Citizenship Program, please inform your academic advisor and discuss your options when you come to campus in June. It will be important to assess your courseload and any financial implications if you end up exceeding 18 credit hours.