Southern Utah University’s Outdoor Engagement Center, SUU Outdoors and the Outdoor Recreation in Parks & Tourism Program have partnered to offer new students the opportunity to begin their SUU experience with an adventure to make friends while climbing, backpacking, canyoneering and exploring southern Utah.
Residence halls can wait a few more days when the great outdoors calls.
New Thunderbirds may sign up in person at the Outdoor Center, located in the Sharwan Smith Student Center, or by phone at 435-865-8704 for one of the following expeditions:
Bryce Canyon National Park
Backpack into the backcountry, participate on ranger-led hikes and participate on a service project working with Bryce Canyon’s staff.
Base camp at SUU’s Mountain Ranch, taking day trips to hike, explore and climb Dixie Mountain located in SUU’s amazing backyard.
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Backpack down the Escalante River exploring canyons and amazing cultural sites along the way.
Chart the High Ropes Course at Beaver High Adventure Base followed by backpacking and peak ascents in the Tushar Mountains.
Snow Country and Veyo
Basecamp at Veyo while climbing, bouldering and exploring caves in southern Utah.
The purpose of the SUU Wilderness Adventure program is to give new students the opportunity to transition to SUU through adventure education by making friends and gaining self-confidence in developing outdoor and leadership skills. Participants will also establish a stronger sense of place as they connect with their new natural surroundings in southern Utah.
Wilderness adventures are common in many elite schools with a proven track record for making a positive difference in a new student’s transition to college.
Ten trained student leaders, “pacesetters,” will guide up to 10 new students on each expedition offered this fall semester. In May these leaders spent five days backpacking Zion’s backcountry refining their leadership and outdoor skills. The student leaders are excited about being mentors and making a difference in the lives of new students. The Pacesetters are all upper-class volunteers who want to make a difference for new students.
As Dan McCann, a senior science education major and pacesetter for the Snow Country/Veyo trip, put it, “I hope Wilderness Adventure students on my Veyo trip will start Thunderbird Flight School and SUU with a gang of friends — friends they could have for life.”
The cost to participate in one of this fall’s Wilderness Adventure trips is $185. This price includes group outdoor equipment (tents, stoves and technical gear), transportation, leadership and food.
The Outdoor Center is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Students will be enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis. The program is open to the first 50 students who sign up.