Frequently Asked Questions, August Wilderness | Earlham College

Frequently Asked Questions

Mike Neimoyer, Outdoor and Environmental Education assistant, exploring Petra, Jordan.

The dates are July 30 - August 18, 2016. 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:

Short answer: confirm your enrollment in August Wilderness by paying the $200 deposit.

Applications are received on a rolling basis, and positions are filled first-come, first-served. 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 may be placed on their second choice. While every effort is made to place students in their first choice program, 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 (less your deposit and any scholarship awards) will be placed on your account 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.

If you decide to withdraw from August Wilderness prior to July 1, your deposit will transfer to your general Earlham account to be used for any EC-related expense you desire.

We offer need-based scholarships to all qualified students. The award is calculated through the financial aid office using your FAFSA and, at its maximum, can account for a 50% reduction in program tuition. August Wilderness scholarships do not affect a student's financial package from the College.

The deadline for financial aid is May 15 each year. Award announcements will be mailed out approximately two weeks after the deadline. 

For the safety of all participants involved, students and faculty alike, all off-campus programs require that participants be current on all vaccinations. There are no exceptions granted, and no waivers allowed for August Wilderness. If you have not had vaccinations, you will need to start.

All of our student instructors have been hired based on criteria of leadership (backcountry and frontcountry), experience, judgment, 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 judgment in safety-related situations. Additionally, all instructor 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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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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Richmond, Indiana
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