Frequently Asked Questions

What is WWO?
Wildcat Wilderness Orientation, formerly known as Chico Bound, is a program designed to supply incoming freshman 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?
Please see the 2018 Trips web page.

Where can I sign my student up for one of the trips?
Online, in-person by visiting our office in the Bell Memorial Union or over the phone by calling (530) 898-4378. (Please note: students under 18 MUST have a parent or guardian signature before participating.)

Which trip should I sign-up for?
There are three factors to consider when deciding on which trip to register for:

  1. Which activity/activities would you like to participate in? These will be described when reviewing the trips page.
  2. What difficulty level is appropriate for you? This will also be described when reviewing the trips page.
  3. 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.

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 attempt to 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. To inquire about the loaner clothes or get an example gear list please email us at

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.

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.

Is there a limit on how many trips an incoming student can participate in?

Who can I contact for further information?
Keith Crawford, Adventure Outings Assistant Coordinator
Emily Ruble, WWO Student Manager

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. Such 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; outdoor schools which most of the current collegiate outdoor orientation programs are based on.


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