Marlboro College

NewsPress Release: 8/14/02Woods Trips Set to Offer Something For Everyone

Photo of Kayaks and students on South PondMARLBORO, VERMONT –Who would have thought helping others, backpacking, acting, working on a farm, forestry, canoeing, meditating, and sea kayaking would be something you would do in your first week away at college?

At Marlboro College, 60 percent of the incoming class (59 students) will start out their college careers this way.

On Aug. 23, incoming freshmen will arrive early to school to participate in a number of five to eight day Woods Trips they signed up for to help make the transition back into the school year, make social connections, or simply to help others.

Here’s a look at trip opportunities for the incoming class of 2006:

Helping Others will mean a week of work on various service projects designed to help others. Students will set up house locally for the duration of the week. On a typical day participants will spend the morning working on a project in the local community.

The Farm trip will consist of new students joining resident upperclassmen as they bring in the harvest from the school’s first summer of organic farming on campus. An average of three to five hours per day will be spent on the farm as students close the summer season and set up cold frames and plant the fall crops. Housing will be at a base camp with a “Yurt” for shelter and showers available nearby.

Theater Movement Mélange will be an opportunity for dance, movement and theater experiences spread across the length of the green Mountain State. Each day will bring a balance of interactive experience and a sampling of the arts communities in Vermont. Various theatrical mechanisms will be employed to nurture the creative spirit of the troupe.

Forest Skills Seminar will be an opportunity for students to rekindle the lost skills of living close to the land. The group will base camp at a brook side location in the mountains. As the week progresses, participants will learn to build comfortable shelters from the forest, make fire with a bow and drill and to identify the various food and medicinal sources available to use locally.

Backpacking will include an exploration of Northern Vermont’s high country on foot. The first day will be focused on learning proper packing, backcountry techniques, as well as group exercises. The following days will involve travel of a section of the Long Trail in Northern Vermont and setting up camp along the way. The final day will likely include a climb up Mt. Belvedere. If the group so chooses, time will be allotted to explore area sites, take in views, and take advantage of any swimming opportunities along the way.

Canoeing group members will spend the week camping and traveling via canoe down one of the many rivers here in the region. The group will finish the week with a one-day whitewater raft trip on the Fife brook Section of the Deerfield River in the Berkshires.

Sea Kayaking will offer a sea bound exploration of the coast of Maine. This expedition is also open to all returning students. Introductory skills will be taught on South Pond in Marlboro by BCU certified instructors prior to an extended trip to this North American jewel and playground.

Image of several kayaks with students receiving instruction from Linda Rice

Rites & Rituals of Passage annual retreat has provided scores of students with an in-depth transition from their lives at home into this passage to a new place. Participants travel by canoe to the remote reaches of “Somerset” in the Green Mountain National Forest. Once there, the group establishes a base camp for the rest of the week. Use of group discussion, reflective observation and ritual are then employed to develop clarity on transitions. Participants will close their sharing after a 48-hour solitary retreat with a traditional “sweat lodge” experience. This group has returned each year with a unique and silent bond, which is evident throughout the year.

Photo of Linda Rice draining a kayak

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