Hello! My name is Daniel and I am the new Wildcat Wilderness Orientation (WWO) Student Manager. Along with planning and organizing the WWO program that will be offered in the summer of 2015, I work as a trip leader for Adventure Outings during the school year. I have led some exciting trips this semester from snow camping to caving in the Lava Tubes, to mountain biking in Whiskeytown. Aside from leading trips, my time is dedicated to schoolwork as I am studying mechanical engineering. When I do find free time I love to get outside either on one of my bicycles or doing some other invigorating activity. My other time is spent sleeping, eating, and working on WWO. Oh ya, WWO...

The outdoor orientation program offered by California State University, Chico formerly known as Chico Bound, was revamped and renovated for the Summer of 2014 and is returning once again in summer 2015! To begin this renovation, the name of Chico Bound, which had ties to one of the original structured outdoor leadership programs Outward Bound, was changed to Wildcat Wilderness Orientation. This name was chosen to better reflect the program’s goal of ‘orienting’ incoming freshman towards a healthy college lifestyle while introducing the great outdoors of Northern California to the students. The program will follow a proven outdoor curriculum that has been shown to increase the student attendees retention rates in college and improve their overall college experience in numerous ways. Students who participate in our program will come away with a better understanding of themselves, as well as skills to help them be successful in college and the rest of their lives.

The summer 2015 WWO trips will feature a 5-day sea kayaking trip on Tomales Bay, a 4-day backpacking trip to Cinder Cone volcano in Lassen Volcanic National Park, a 5-day backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park and a 5-day backpacking adventure through the Trinity Alps wilderness. All the trips will have a similar format; the few things that will vary are the type of adventure and the trip leaders. The trips will contain many team-building activities and games that will bring the students together in a way that can only be done in the outdoors. Other essential activities will provide the students with leadership skills, time-management strategies, and increased awareness of real-life responsibilities concluding with a ‘solo experience’ (A self-reflection period of over 4-hours) at the end of the trip. During the 4-hour solo experience, the students will be given a prompt encouraging them to formulate goals for the next 6-months and beyond. After the allotted alone time, each student’s goals will be collected by the leaders and returned to them after 6-months, providing them with a reference of their progress.

The next steps for WWO are getting the word out about the exciting opportunity for incoming freshmen and transfer students, and training some of our phenomenal AO staff to lead these extraordinary trips. I’m confident that WWO will once again be a huge success for Adventure Outings in the summer of 2015!