Frequently Asked Questions
What is WWO?
Wildcat Wilderness Orientation, formerly known as Chico Bound, is a program designed to supply incoming students with a healthy, meaningful transition into the college lifestyle while in the outdoor environment. Numerous studies have shown that students who attend an outdoor orientation such as WWO, have higher retention rates at their respective institution and graduate with a higher quality college experience than those who did not participate. This program strives for students to foster relationships with other incoming students, generate more self-confidence and self-reliance, and ultimately learn how to make the most of their college experience.
When are the trips?
Summer 2020 WWO trips are cancelled due to COVID-19.
Please see WWO Trips page for trip dates and details. (Link will be available when trips are published for the upcoming summer.)
Where can I sign my student up for one of the trips?
Online or in-person by visiting our office in the Bell Memorial Union.
My student is under 18. How do I register them online?
Parents of students under 18: students under 18 MUST have a parent or guardian signature before participating.
For online registration, a parent must create an account in Fusion and then add their student to their family in Fusion. Students under 18 will not be able to register on their own.
Anyone who does not have a Chico State ID number (including parents) must create a Fusion account. After creating an account, an email will be sent to them, and they must click on the link to activate the account.
Which trip should I sign-up for?
There are three factors to consider when deciding on which trip to register for:
- Which activity/activities would you like to participate in? These will be described when reviewing the trips page.
- What difficulty level is appropriate for you? This will also be described when reviewing the trips page.
- When is your Summer Orientation session? If you do not currently live close to Chico it makes sense to choose the trip that has dates close to your on-campus orientation. However, this is not required and you can sign-up for any trip you’d like assuming there is space available.
Does WWO replace the Summer Orientation session I have been told I have to attend?
No. WWO simply supplements the very important information you will learn at you Summer O session.
Are there pre-trip meetings for WWO trips?
No. We only require pre-trip meetings for Adventure Outings trips, those are the trips that take place during the school year. All WWO information will be communicated via email.
However, if you are on campus and want to meet in-person, feel free to contact us and we’ll try our best to set up a meeting time.
Are scholarships available?
Yes! Click this link for more information and to apply. (Link to WWO Scholarship form will be published right before trips go live.)
When will I get further details about my trip, such as meeting time and location, return time and location, etc.?
You will receive details 1-2 months prior to your trip if you are registered at that point. We will also call each participant to check-in the week of their trip. Additionally, you can visit the trips page, select the trip you are registered for, and view the Registration and Info Packet linked in the More Information section.
Can parents or friends go on overnight trips?
Parents cannot go on WWO trips. This program aims to encourage students to bond with their peers; building new relationships and making friends are objectives for WWO trips.
What additional costs are associated with WWO trips?
You may incur the following additional costs:
- Travel and lodging expenses before and after your trip will need to be covered by the participant. This will vary greatly depending on where you are traveling from.
- Outdoor clothing and footwear, as well as some small personal gear (headlamps, water bottles, bowl, spoon, etc.) may need to be purchased. Many people will already own items they can use for their trip and we do have some “loaner clothes” that participants can use on their trips.
What lodging options are available before/after my trip?
Please view our housing information page.
How do I know what to bring on the trip?
We will email you a detailed trip information letter and gear list 4 weeks prior to your trip. Also, gear lists for each trip will be available online.
Am I allowed to bring my technology on the trip?
During the trip, students are not permitted to carry cell phones, even just to use as cameras, or their own satellite phones or trackers. We limit the use of personal technology because we believe in the value of time spent away from the constant connectivity of daily life. All instructors carry communication technology they can use in the event of an emergency.
Cameras are welcome on course as long as they are not part of a cellular phone. Consider purchasing a waterproof bag or box for your camera, film, batteries, and memory cards. A zip lock bag works well too. We also suggest disposable waterproof cameras.
Do you cancel trips if you do not have enough students sign-up?
Yes, we do cancel trips that have too few sign-ups. The trip will go when we meet our minimum number of participant sign-ups, but it all depends on how many students sign-up and when the cutoff date is. We usually give two weeks prior to the departure of the trip before we will cancel the trip.
What can I do to be physically prepared to attend WWO?
Physical fitness is a key component on trips. Please click the following link for suggestions on how to prepare for extended backcountry trips: https://blog.nols.edu/2016/01/29/fitness-guidelines-to-get-expedition-ready
Who can I contact for further information?
Scott Yoder, Adventure Outings Program Coordinator
Is there research that discusses the effectiveness of wilderness orientation trips?
Yes, lots! Here is one example. The first Outdoor Orientation program was started at Dartmouth in 1935 and over the years lots of data has been collected. All the research produced data that linked positive outcomes with the outdoor orientation programs. Benefits for students include higher retention rates after the first year of study, increased self-confidence, a better understanding of personal strengths and weaknesses increased self-awareness, and an overall easier transition into college.
Also, here is a link to a study regarding the successes of Outward Bound and NOLS. These are outdoor schools which most of the current collegiate outdoor orientation programs are based on.