Outdoor adventures welcome new students to Gettysburg College

From kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay to helping the homeless in Washington, D.C., off-campus adventures introduce first-year students to the wide range of leadership opportunities available at Gettysburg College.

Each August, dozens of first-year and transfer students take part in Ascent, a pre-orientation program that gives participants an opportunity to bond with classmates while learning life-lessons about leadership and self-discovery.

For example, when Hilary Golas '06 arrived at Gettysburg, she had never gone camping and couldn't imagine why anyone would want to. "I was scared of spiders and bugs, and I hated anything gross," she said. "I was a stranger in the woods."

Nonetheless, through Ascent and other experiences at Gettysburg, Golas became an old hand in the wilderness. Her transformation from tenderfoot to trail boss was "the most important thing that happened to me in college," Golas said. "After I went on Ascent, I felt more at ease when I got back to school. I learned a lot about myself, and that there's no harm in trying something new. I left with a good group of friends and a better sense of what Gettysburg was all about." You can read her story here.

Ascent trips are led by students from the Center for Public Service (CPS) and the Office of Experiential Education/Gettysburg Recreational Adventure Board. These students undergo more than 350 hours annually in training and refine their skills while leading programs throughout the year from Alaska to Nicaragua. You can learn about this year's Ascent trips here.

Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences. With a student body of approximately 2,600, it is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. The college was founded in 1832.

Posted Aug. 5, 2008

Posted: Tue, 5 Aug 2008

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