Brock BaseCamp takes student orientation to the great outdoors

As registration opens for the third season of BaseCamp, the outdoor orientation summer program has become a household name around Brock University.

The program offers incoming first-year students a chance to learn the fundamentals of rock climbing at Milton’s Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area, paddle through the wilderness of Algonquin Park, or backpack the Ganaraska Trail.

“Brock is one of the few universities in Canada to offer this type of experience,” says Tim O’Connell, BaseCamp faculty co-ordinator and associate professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies. “We’re excited about the growth of the program as students and parents are becoming aware of the value this program offers new university students.”

Trips are designed to focus on a dynamic range of outdoor experiences to aid in relationship building, student orientation and preparing students for long-term success at university, regardless of their program of study.

“We’ve received wonderful feedback from students who have gone on a BaseCamp trip as well as from their parents,” says O’Connell.

“We realize that for many students the scariest aspects about starting university are not knowing anyone or what to expect living away from home for the first time,” he says. “The BaseCamp program is designed to address both these issues.”

Current students and recent alumni also lead all of the BaseCamp trips.

“Our student leaders are able to provide the insider perspective that the faculty and staff at Brock aren’t able to do,” says O’Connell. “This is one of the main strengths of BaseCamp, and is something that most first year students don’t have access to unless they come on one of our trips.”

The trips show students how to work together on projects, and learn how to be successful while transitioning to university life.

“When we began our trip, I realized that it wasn’t going to be about familiarity,” says Elizabeth Shrive, a student studying mathematics who participated in last summer’s canoe trip.

“BaseCamp taught me to test my limits, and made me realize how much strength I really have,” she says. “It was the perfect experience to prepare myself for the unknown.”

This year, Brock BaseCamp has expanded the program and dropped prices to better accommodate students.

For more info about the Brock BaseCamp Summer Adventures, including videos and pictures from past trips, please visit: brocku.ca/basecamp

Posted on April 26, 2012

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