Frequently Asked Questions

July 30 - August 18, 2016 (not yet confirmed). The cost ($1,850) covers tuition, food, transportation, all group equipment, and instruction. Three credits are earned (CIL 110) toward overall graduation requirements (however, no general education/distribution requirements are met).

Absolutely not! In fact the vast majority of students who participate in August Wilderness have little to no experience on a trip of this type. We design the route and activities to ensure that everyone can feel successful on the program.  However, we do ask that students adopt some kind of exercise regime in the months leading up to the trip, though it doesn't need to be super instense!  Those who arrive in good physical condition tend to feel more comfortable with the trip's physical aspects more quickly.

Some suggestions for helpful exercises:

Applications are received on a rolling basis. Positions are filled first-come, first-served so the earlier you turn in your application and deposit the better the chance of being placed on your first choice program. Occasionally, students are wait-listed on their first choice and placed on their second choice. While every effort is made to place students, heavy enrollment can leave late applicants without a position on either program.

All common group gear (backpacks, cooking equipment, tents, sleeping bags, etc.) is provided by the program. Students need only provide their own clothing and personal camping supplies (MTN equipmentWTR equipment).  

Registration will take place on Saturday, July 30, from 9:30-11:00 a.m. EDT (New York Time). During the registration time, there will be instructors and administrators present for introductions and last-minute questions with parents.  Students will have time to place items for the rest of the semester in storage at that time as well. An opening ceremony in the campus Meetinghouse commences at 11:30 am that parents and friends are welcome to attend. Students are "on course" at lunch-time (approximately 12 noon).
Arrival -day _2014


We will offer a shuttle service to campus from the Dayton airport only. Shuttle times vary but are typically run from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday. We do not recommend flying in on arrival day due to the risk of a flight cancellation prohibiting a student from making the trip. We have a special group rate at the Quaker Hill Conference Center (765/962-5741) for students arriving on Friday and will shuttle them to campus on Saturday for Arrival Day.

You can. Students will have the opportunity to store a reasonable amount of their belongings upon arrival. The program will end on the day before New Student Week begins (Friday) and students will have time to retrieve their items, move into their dorm rooms, and settle in the day before the other new students arrive.  Parents may also come to campus upon the program's return to Earlham and bring their student's items then.

While students may have their cell phones on registration day, we ask that students not take cell phones (or tablets, e-readers, etc.) with them on course for several reasons. First, they detract from the intention and atmosphere of the trip.  We encourage students to be inclusive, participating, and present, not on phones or screens.  Second, they will not work in most of the areas we will be traveling through. Finally, staff members will have satellite phones with them in the case of emergency.

Gear _cleanStudents will return to Indiana on the evening of August 17 and will camp on a farm near campus. The following morning (Thurs., Aug. 18) students will arrive back on campus and will complete a gear clean-up and program wrap-up. A final closing ceremony will be held at approximately 11:30 am on the Heart at the center of campus (family and friends are invited).  After the closing ceremony, students are free to go settle into their rooms and begin their college journey on campus! Friday is the start of New Student Orientation, for which all new students will be present.

Mountain _vanrideGroups on all courses will travel by 12-passenger van to course areas. We will use the travel time to get to know each other and experience the subtle changes in terrain and vegetation while camping at state parks along the way (and, inevitably, nap).  Instructors are certified to drive these vans and follow a strict driving protocol.

The 20-day program breaks down to approximately three travel days to and from the activity site, two logistics days at the beginning and end, and 13 days on trail. Usually, students take showers at the conclusion of the program. During the 13-day wilderness component, "bird baths" in lakes and streams keep you reasonably clean (you really don't notice it while in the backcountry).

The bill for the program charges (minus deposit and scholarship awards) will be mailed out in July/August as part of your Earlham monthly statement. Trip cancellations must be received in writing to the August Wilderness office. There will be NO REFUNDS for the course fee after July 1 each year. Deposits are non-refundable after June 1st each year.

We offer need-based scholarships to all qualified students. The award is calculated through the financial aid office and, at its maximum, can account for a 50% reduction in program tuition. The deadline for financial aid is June 1 each year. Award announcements will be mailed out approximately 2 weeks after the deadline. Scholarships do not affect a student's financial package from the College.

All of our student instructors have been hired based on criteria of leadership (backcountry and frontcountry), experience, judgement, character, and completion of instructor trainings.  Instructors will have completed Outdoor Trip Leadership, the Advanced Field Practicum, and a Wilderness First Responder course (facilitated by SOLO Wilderness Medicine School, a leader in wilderness medicine education), in addition to other supplementary backcountry experiences and trainings.  While faculty instructors are not required to have WFR training, many are certified and have other life experiences that contribute to their judgement in safety-related situations.  Additionally, all intructor teams carry emergency communication devices that allow them to reach out-of-field emergency contacts and emergency services in the area.  (These devices cannot be used to put parents in contact with their child during the trip.)

Have more August Wilderness questions?  Email or call (765) 983-1893

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