Freshman Wilderness Experience

Are you a freshman who enjoys the outdoors, and wants to try backpacking or canoeing for college credit? Welcome to the Freshman Wilderness Experience (FWE), a week-long summer backpacking or canoeing trip, coupled with a one-credit class in the fall, only offered to incoming BGSU freshmen. Students participating in these programs show nearly a 40% increase in satisfaction with campus life and over a 30% increase in freshmen retention compared to non-participating students.

With the combination of the Outdoor Program trip leaders and a BGSU faculty member, the knowledge gained from this program can go beyond the normal classroom.

Students participating in the Freshman Wilderness Experience expeditions can expect to learn:

  • Basic backpacking or canoeing and camping skills
  • Wilderness survival skills
  • Bowling Green State University traditions and history
  • About the resources of Bowling Green State University
  • Diverse cultures and ideas
  • Intellectual, personal, social and critical thinking skills that assist in future semesters at BGSU and beyond
  • Self-reliance and self-confidence through challenging outdoor and classroom experiences
  • To form friendships with fellow first-year students before the semester even begins

Participants

Freshman Wilderness Experience is an orientation program in which only incoming freshmen may enroll. Though the program is open to anyone and previous outdoor experience is not necessary, it is recommended that one be in good physical condition to participate.

College Credit

Freshman Wilderness Experience couples a week-long expedition with two upperclassmen and a BGSU faculty member. These individuals facilitate outdoor learning skills in the field. When students return to BGSU they meet with a class regularly to cover the remainder of the BGSU 1910 course curriculum. Enrolling in this program registers students in a BGSU 1910 Freshman Wilderness Experience based class that is worth 1 academic credit.

2017 Sessions

Backpacking Trip | July 26 - August 2
Canoeing Trip | July 26 - August 2

Program Costs

Because the Freshman Wilderness Experience program is a modified form of a BGSU 1910 class, the tuition cost remains the same as for any one-credit first-year class.

In addition, there is a $380 fee paid to the Outdoor Program to cover costs related to facilitating the backpacking or canoeing expedition. This fee is separate from the standard tuition and must be paid no later than three weeks prior to the expedition's departure. This cost covers transportation, staffing, lodging, all equipment, and dinners during the expedition. A non-refundable $150 deposit is required up front to reserve a spot.

*Session dates and program costs are subject to change.

All payments are non-refundable.

Registration

Download and complete the registration packet below to register for one of the 2016 Freshman Wilderness Experience sessions. Mail or fax the completed, signed packet to the Outdoor Program office or email a scanned copy to the Outdoor Program.

Registration Packet (PDF)

Contact Thad Long or call 419.372.7479 with questions regarding the submission process.

Additional Questions?

Complete the form below for questions that are not addressed on this web site. A member of the Outdoor Program staff will be in touch as soon as possible.  

*Indicates required field

Information Request Form