Hello Sophomores!

UVM Outdoor Programs and UVM Living Well are thrilled to be collaborating on a new season of sophomore experiences for the 2022-2023 academic year!  We work hard to provide programs that bring students together, explore our environment and cultivate new relationships with the people and places that matter most. We call these programs SMOREs: Sophomore Mindfulness and Outdoor Reorientation Experiences!


See below for a summary of upcoming SMOREs events for the Fall of 2022.

ADVENTURE WITHIN: UVM Mindfulness and Connection Retreat
Tuesday, August 23 - Friday, August 26, 2022

Register for this four-day, three-night immersion into mindfulness, self-love, and authentic connection. Start your semester feeling more empowered to cope with the stresses of school, life, and social demands. Give yourself the time and space to have fun and make meaningful connections to carry into the school year.

What is "Adventure Within?"

"Adventure Within" is a pre-arrival experience for sophomores centering mindfulness and connection, offered by the UVM Mindfulness program. There are three main ingredients to this experience: mindfulness, open-hearted community, and fun! Whereas many adventures take you out to the wilderness, this adventure guides you to go within; to connect to yourself, to one another and to the beauty and wonder of the more-than-human world. This 4-day, 3-night mindfulness retreat takes place at Camp Common Ground surrounded by the rolling hills of Starksboro, Vermont. Participants stay in rustic but well-maintained cabins, nestled in a maple forest, with access to hot water, electricity, flush toilets and indoor showers. Wheelchair accessible lodging is also available. Meals are provided by a local catering company, which specializes in plant based whole foods using as many local organic ingredients as possible. The daily retreat schedule includes a variety of contemplative activities such as meditation, yoga, dance, wisdom talks, guided hikes and small groups to connect and dive deep with other participants. The retreat environment allows time and space to be quiet, to be social, to be still, to move, to rest and to play but most importantly to be yourself and to tune into what you need. The retreat staff and UVM mindfulness student leaders are there to guide and support you, to welcome ALL parts of you, and to create a container for authentic connection and growth that you can carry with you into the upcoming school year. No previous experience with contemplative practices is needed and all identities are celebrated and welcome!

What will I experience? 

On this retreat you will have the opportunity to:
• Slow down and settle your mind
• Gain clarity about who you are, what you want, and what brings you more alive!
• Connect with other warm, kind-hearted students 
• Learn skills to navigate stress and uncertainty
• Begin or deepen a mindfulness practice
• Have fun - dance, swim, hike, play, and relax!
Especially in these complex and uncertain times, college can be very stressful and overwelming. We want to provide you with an opportunity to come into your second year filled with connection and resilience. The foundation for this retreat is the contemplative practice of mindfulness. On this retreat you will get to explore how mindfulness can be supportive both personally and interpersonally. Essentially mindfulness is about training the mind to return to the present moment over and over again with a sense of nonjudgmental curiosity and kindness guided by an intention to reduce harm for ourselves and others. Contrary to what you might have heard, mindfulness is not about clearing your mind or getting rid of thoughts. So if you think, “I can’t meditate because my mind is always running,” no need to worry! Meditation and mindfulness are about practicing awareness and acceptance towards ourselves, our thoughts, and strong emotions – not making them go away! How each person practices mindfulness is different based on identity, life experiences, and what sparks your interest. This retreat gives you the opportunity to really dive deep and explore what mindfulness can look like for you, so that you can bring these skills and practices to your life in college and beyond.

Testimonials

“This retreat honestly feels life changing to me in many different ways. I feel that I am more me and more open and free to be me and connect with others as my true self.”

“After connecting with everyone on the retreat, I learned that there are so many people similar to me feeling the same way and that UVM can be my home.”

“I learned what meaningful connections feel like and how honesty and vulnerability can really change a conversation.”

“I really have been blown away by this trip. This was beyond what I needed and I have been able to figure myself out way more than I ever knew I could. Like wow! I was able to find mental practices and ways to cope with my anxiety and new ways for thinking about life.”

What is our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion?

UVM Mindfulness is committed to making this retreat welcoming and accessible to students of ALL identities. We recognize that mindfulness in the U.S. has primarily centered white, middle-upper class, thin, able-bodied, cisgender, and heterosexual individuals. Although this is changing, we know many folx who don’t hold these dominant identities might be hesitant to attend a mindfulness retreat. In order to prioritize the well-being of ALL students who attend this retreat we commit to:
• Hire a diverse group of staff to support a diverse group of students on the retreat.
• Acknowledge the suffering and harm that comes from discrimination and oppressive systems of power.
• Offer mindfulness practices that can help us to heal from the wounds of oppressive systems and feel empowered in our inherent worth and dignity.
• Intentionally foster an environment of compassion, non-judgment and celebration of difference.
• Provide trauma-informed mindfulness instruction and support.
• Acknowledge the Buddhist influence on mindfulness, while honoring the religious and/or spiritual traditions of all participants.
• Offer wheelchair accessible lodging.
• Offer lodging options for all genders.
• Prioritize learning and using everyone’s correct pronouns.
• Offer a variety of activities that work for different bodies.
• Offer modifications for movement practices so that people of all physical abilities can participate in some way.
• Use and encourage body-positive language to heal from fat-phobia.
• Serve a variety of dishes that include meat, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options (other accommodations may be possible upon request).

What will a typical day look like at the retreat? 

Below is a sample schedule. Every day will be a little different depending on the specific activities planned for that day. On this retreat there will be some periods of silence and also a lot of time to connect and talk with other participants. Periods of silence on a mindfulness retreat can help you learn to settle your mind and understand yourself more deeply. We understand that silence is not always easy for people, so there will always be someone available for questions and support.

6am Optional sunrise hike or swim
7:00 Wake up
7:30 Movement and sitting meditation
8:00 breakfast
8:30 mindful clean up and free time
9:15 morning meditation program
11:30 small groups
12:30 lunch
1:00 mindful clean up and free time
2:30 workshops ( a variety of workshops will be offered by staff and student leaders)
4:00 movement practice ( yoga, dance, hiking, etc.)
5:30 dinner
6:00 mindful clean up and free time
7:00 lovingkindness
7:30 walk
8:00 wisdom talk
8:30 small groups and snacks
9:30 sitting meditation
10:00 prep for bedtime (camp fire on last night)

What should I bring? 

Packing list
• A warm sweatshirt or fleece jacket
• Rain gear or poncho
• Sun Hat, sunglasses
• Long Pants and shorts
• T-shirts
• Undergarments
• Socks (include an extra pr.)
• PJ’s
• Sneakers or hiking shoes
• Flip flops or sandals for pond or shower
• Sunscreen
• Bug/Tick Repellant
• Toothbrush & toothpaste
• Other toiletry items
• Towel
• Water bottle
• Flashlight
• Sleeping Bag (or sheets & blankets)
• Pillow
Optional/Activity Specific:
• Bathing suit (if you want to swim in pond)
• water shoes (for pond)
• Day pack for hiking (if you want to participate in guided hikes)
Things to leave at home:
• Video games & electronics
• Cell phones (You can bring this, but we will invite you to have it off during the whole retreat)
• Candles or fuel operated lanterns
• Weapons
• Alcohol & drugs (of course please bring your prescription medication(s))
• Snacks or food (unless you have specific dietary restrictions that cannot be accommodated for. We ask for you to keep food in the communal kitchen and not in your cabin.)

What is the cost? 

We are delighted to say that we are able to keep the cost of this program low. The cost to participate is $125. If that is an economic barrier for you, we can provide financial assistance. If you'd like to apply for financial assistance, please register as normal and you will be prompted in the process.

What does arrival day look like? 

On August 23rd, you'll be able to access your residential hall and move into your room starting at 9am. You'll first go to your hall to check in, where you will receive your key to your room. You'll have until 12pm to move into your room. Registration for Adventure Within will take place from 12:30-1:30pm at the Davis Center. Lunch will not be provided on August 23rd, so please arrive to registration having already eaten. At registration, we will make sure we have all the forms we need from you and that you have everything on the packing list. At 2:00pm we will load the bus and head to the Common Ground Center. 

What does the return day look like? 

On Friday August 26th, you'll leave the Common Ground Center at 11:30 to return to campus around 12:30pm. At this point, you'll be able to get back into your room and you are free to do your own thing! You'll have access to your on campus meal plans starting at lunch on August 26th. You are welcome to be on campus and enjoy Burlington until the start of the semester.

 

SOPHOMORE SUMMER CAMP

Friday, August 26 - Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sophomore Summer Camp 2021 was a huge success! We are excited to offer this experience again in 2022. 

Start the year off with a weekend of fun with fellow Sophomores at a gorgeous summer camp on South Hero Island in the middle of Lake Champlain. Test your aim at archery, go for a swim or a paddle at the waterfront, or tie-dye a t-shirt In the evening you'll enjoy smores around the campfire with new friends!

What is "Sophomore Summer Camp?"

Sophomore Summer Camp is a fun-filled early arrival experience for Sophomores only! Taking place the weekend before the start of the semester, we've rented out an entire camp on South Hero in Lake Champlain for you and your fellow sophomores to relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect before beginning year two. Sophomore Summer Camp will have something for everyone, and plenty of options for you to choose from! Activities such as archery, ax throwing,  art & crafts, canoeing, swimming, board games, intramural sports, mindfulness, and sailing are all on the menu. Evenings will be spent with additional activities like campfires, connective conversations, and maybe even capture the flag! Meals from dinner on Friday through brunch on Sunday will be served at camp. 

What should I bring? 

Packing list

  • A warm sweatshirt or fleece jacket
  • Rain gear or poncho
  • Sun Hat, sunglasses
  • Long Pants and shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Undergarments
  • Socks (include an extra pr.)
  • PJ’s
  • Sneakers or hiking shoes
  • Flip flops or sandals for pond or shower
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Repellant
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Other toiletry items
  • Towel
  • Water bottle
  • Flashlight
  • Sleeping Bag (or sheets & blankets)
  • Pillow

Optional/Activity Specific:

  • Bathing suit (if you want to swim in pond)
  • Water shoes/sandals (recommended for lake)
  • Something to tie-dye!
  • Musical instrument or talent to share :) 

Things to leave at home:

  • Video games & electronics
  • Cell phones (You can bring this, but we will invite you to have it off during the whole retreat)
  • Candles or fuel operated lanterns
  • Weapons
  • Alcohol & drugs (of course please bring your prescription medication(s))
  • Snacks or food (unless you have specific dietary restrictions that cannot be accommodated for. We ask for you to keep food in the communal kitchen and not in your cabin.)

What is the cost? 

We are delighted to say that we are able to keep the cost of this program low. The cost to participate is $125. If this is an economic barrier for you to participate, we may be able to provide financial assistance in the form a fee reduction or waiver Pre-register using the link above and be sure to indicate a request for financial assistance.

What does arrival day look like? 

On Friday August 26th, you'll be able to access your residential hall and move into your room starting at 8am. You'll first go to your hall for check-in where you will receive your key to your room. You'll have until 2pm to move into your room. Registration for Sophomore Summer Camp will take place from 1pm-2:30pm at the Davis Center. Lunch will not be provided on this day, so please arrive to registration having already eaten. At this time, we will make sure we have all the forms we need from you and that you have everything on the packing list. By 2:30pm we will load the bus and head to camp by 3:00pm.

What does the return day look like? 

On Sunday August 28th, you'll leave the South Hero Island after brunch to return to campus around 1:00pm. At this point, you'll be able to get back into your room and you are free to do your own thing! You'll have access to your on-campus meal plans starting at lunch on August 28th.

FALL WEEKEND EXCURSIONS

Friday, October 14th - Sunday, October 16th, 2022

Join us Fall Weekend for a round of sophomore exclusive outdoor adventure excursions in the midst of peak fall color.  Grab a paddle, head out on a hike, or learn a new outdoor pursuit!  Meet new classmates and prioritize space for community-building, mindfulness, and exploration.
The program begins on Thursday Oct 13th after classes to meet trip leaders and fellow participants, check gear, and prepare for departure.  Excursions leave campus on Friday morning Oct 14th and return on Sunday Oct 16th.  No previous wilderness experience necessary!
Registration information and trip details to follow; see below for an overview of previous itineraries:

Adirondack Canoe – Experience the best of New York’s Adirondack State Park by canoe.  Whether you are a new or experienced paddler, there is no better way to explore this pristine wilderness.  Previous itineraries have explored the Saranac Lakes, Long Lake/Raquette River corridor, and the Fish Creek Ponds canoeing area.  Group size: 6-10 participants
Long Trail Backpack – Lace up those boots and hit the trail!  Cross rugged terrain to find the best views in northern Vermont.  Itineraries are planned to accommodate different levels of fitness and experience.  Group size: 4-8 participants
Lake Champlain Sea Kayak – Cross iconic Lake Champlain to discover hidden bays and camp on remote islands.  Group size: 6-8
Bolton Rock Climbing – Base camp at top-rated Little River State Park while learning to rock climb at premier crags in Bolton.  This trip is guided by our partners at Petra Cliffs Climbing Center in Burlington.  Group size: 6
Local Base Camp – Can’t choose a single pursuit?  Mix it up daily with a base camp adventure.  You might go day hiking, rock climbing, paddling, mountain biking, or even engage in a day of outdoor community service with one of our community