Journey, a freshman wilderness pre-orientation program was developed in 1999. The program is designed to introduce freshmen resident students to the wealth of outdoor opportunities in the Roanoke Valley and surrounding areas. Additionally, students meet other incoming freshmen, make new friends, become familiar with the Outdoor Adventures program and OA staff members.
OA staff members lead and facilitate the daily activities. Student/Counselors who are also OA student guides help facilitate activities and provide guidance and supervision throughout Journey, both during the day and evening. The Student/Counselors are also an excellent resource for participants on various topics including the transition to Roanoke College.
Journey is held the week prior to new student orientation. Students check in on Sunday and attend an orientation session and participate in a ropes course with OA staff members. The real outdoor activities begin on Monday when participants spend the morning bouldering at the first Virginia State Park to permit and endorse rock climbing: Grayson Highlands State Park. Later that afternoon, the backpacking and camping component of Journey begins. Participants spend two days (Mon. afternoon – Wed. morning) backpacking on the famous Appalachian Trail in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. After returning to campus on Wednesday, participants will be transported to the Lower New River in West Virginia to camp for the night. Thursday will be filled with an exciting white water rafting trip on the Lower New River. On Friday, participants will go mountain biking in Damascus on the scenic Virginia Creeper Trail. Friday night will conclude the Journey program with a short slideshow and presentation for parents.
For more information about the Journey program: Bryan Ryberg, Director of Journey, (540) 375-5219, firstname.lastname@example.org.