Northland College Outdoor Orientation

Welcome to Northland’s Outdoor Orientation. Our program is made up of outdoor orientation (OO) trips and an on-campus orientation.

All new students must participate in both the on-campus portion and an OO trip as part of First-Year Experience graduation requirement. Transfer students arriving at Northland with more than 24 credits can choose to participate in either a one-day, transfer specific, on-campus orientation or take an orientation trip. Check out the transfer specific trips! Transfer students arriving with less than 24 credits are required to participate in a 5-day or 12-day OO trip. You can see this year’s orientation schedule here.

Our orientation program helps you become acclimated to Northland College, prepares you for the first day of classes, offers a great chance to meet other new students, and answer any questions you have about living at Northland.

Trip options include everything from backcountry expeditions to urban exploration. Make sure you register for your trip as soon as possible, because they fill fast and are first-come, first-served. Have some fun looking over your options and when you’re ready, you can start the registration process.

Register Now!

Session 1:

August 10-22 (12-day trip)
August 10-16 (5-day trips)
If you are a fall athlete, you should attend a session 1 trip.. Additionally, you need and want to check with your coach if you are interested in a 12-day trip.

Session 2 :

August 27-September 2 (5-day trips)
Open to all students however, students enrolled in Superior Connections must attend this session. This session also includes a trip designed especially for transfer students.

Get the Details

Check out the 10 Things you Need to Know for Orientation

Fall Athletes

Cross country, soccer, and volleyball players need to choose a trip in session 1, golf team members should check with the coach. If you are interested in taking a 12-day trip, be sure to check with your coach first.

Registration

Trips are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and are removed from the list if they are filled or canceled. After you’ve submitted your registration you’ll receive a confirmation in your Northland email (make sure to check your new email address) which will include information on which trip selection you received, a letter from your leaders, arrival dates/times, and a suggested gear list. We’ll also include a link to our gear rental form. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to call or email us!

Cost

Your trip is automatically added to your total student bill—you do not need to send any additional payment upon registering for an OO trip.

Trip Structure

Trips are student led and student designed. Leaders have completed an outdoor skills and leadership course, are CPR certified, and every trip has at least one leader trained as a Wilderness First Responder.

Trips are ranked by physical demand with a rating of novice, intermediate, or difficult. When reviewing your options look at the difficulty level and travel distances. There is no previous experience necessary on any of the trips, but please keep physical demands and trip eligibility criteria in mind.

Scheduling

If you live within one day of travel to campus, please consider Session 1. Each session consists of a welcome and move-in day where you will meet the College president, move into your room, finish any last minute paperwork, and have any questions answered. It also includes one preparation day before your OO trip leaves campus.

If attending Session 1, you will not be able to stay on campus after your session ends unless you are playing a fall sport. Northland will provide two different shuttles at the end of the 5-day and 12-day trips—one along a Duluth, Hinckley, and Twin Cities route for $40, and one along a Wausau, Stevens Point, Madison, and Chicago route for $40. If planning on using this service, you will be able to indicate your drop-off location on the trip registration form.

If attending Session 1, plan on returning to campus by September 2 at 6:30 pm, we’ll be providing a cookout for all new students . On-campus orientation begins on September 3. You’ll meet with academic advisors and participate in a variety of other orientation activities.

Why Outdoor Orientation

This program began as a concept during the 1975/76 academic year. The outdoor education and environmental studies programs initiated the first orientation in an effort to use an outdoor experience as a metaphor for orienting students to Northland.

Leader Training

OO has become a central aspect of the overall Northland experience, and remains unique among college orientation programs in that it promotes student design on every level.

Under the direction of the orientation coordinator, a yearly student coordinator is hired to oversee a Steering Committee comprised of rising student leaders, who have already worked with OO for one to two years. Together, they are responsible for program development, training, and delivery.

Students must have completed a ten-week Introduction to Outdoor Skills and Leadership course to lead an OO trip. Additional considerations include their personal trip log as well as interpersonal and technical skill proficiency.

After being hired, they spend most of the winter and spring terms working on their trip. This includes eight weeks of supplemental skills training and risk management, while they design and organize all the details.

Trip leaders return to campus a few days before Arrival Day to complete a weekend training refresher and to wrap up final trip details. These leaders have invested many hours of hard work and creativity by the time new students arrive.

Safety

Safety is the main priority of OO. We are intentional about training our student leaders with the necessary skills to prevent, anticipate, and if needed, respond to emergencies in the field. Every trip has at least one certified Wilderness First Responder leader, this is an eighty-hour professional training course. All leaders have been trained in the activity specific to their trip (ie. canoeing, kayaking, backpacking, etc.) and all have detailed knowledge about where they are going, as well as who and how to contact someone in case of an emergency.

Leader Support

While trips are in the field, the orientation coordinator and student coordinator are on call 24 hours a day, and also have additional support staff on hand to assist with field calls of any nature. We encourage our leaders to contact us for assistance with anything.

Trip Food

A student food coordinator is hired to plan and prepare menus for all trips. Variety and quality are key components of a successful and memorable outdoor trip, and our OO menus are no exception to this. OO strives to purchase locally grown and distributed foods for our trips, including local meats, cheeses, coffee, bulk items, and fresh produce for our very own Mino Aki Garden on campus. We ensure each student is getting enough calories as well as balanced nutrition. While we can’t always accommodate specific food preferences, we do accommodate restrictions.

Equipment

Group gear, such as tents, stoves, boats, lifejackets, paddles, etc. is provided by Northland. We make every effort to provide personal equipment to those who need it, however quantities are limited. Use the gear request form to indicate equipment that you need, the earlier we receive it, the better the chance we can provide you with personal equipment. The orientation equipment coordinator will confirm your request within three weeks.

Understand the Trip Eligibility Criteria

Northland College Outdoor Orientation Essential Eligibility Criteria: these are EEC that are applicable to all methods of travel, look through them and make sure you do not have any questions or concerns.

  • Be able to manage all personal care such as dressing, going to the bathroom, eating, drinking, and maintaining personal health (not in the immediate area of a medical facility but able to access in case of an emergency) independently, as well as handle the mobility to do these tasks independently.
  • Be able to effectively communicate with the instructor and other course participants about ideas and concerns on an individual and group level.
  • Be able to independently understand and follow instructions given by instructor to successfully execute appropriate and perhaps unfamiliar techniques to avoid hazards and/or manage risks.
  • Be able to tolerate a change in diet (accommodations as needed.) If you have questions about food please ask!

View Session 1 (12-day trip)

TRIP RATING: NOVICE♥ INTERMEDIATE♣ DIFFICULT♦

August 10-22 (including arrival and prep day). All trips listed are open and available.

I Canoe. Can You Canoe, Too?♣

Canoeing / Boundary Waters Canoe Area

Do you like canoeing, camping, and being outside? We’ve got you covered! Come join Cole and Taylor on our 12-day canoe trip through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. We will explore this pristine wilderness area and explore only a few of the thousands of lakes and streams nestled in the heart of the Superior National Forest. In between canoeing we will be chilling at campsites and fostering new friendships out in the north woods. We will be covering an estimated 74 miles via canoe, with several portages from lake to lake. Little canoeing experience? Don’t worry, canoe experience is not necessary. You will be taught everything you need to know about paddling, the main requirement is that you are comfortable being outside for 12 full days. We hope to see you in August! Cost: $970

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Be able to exit a capsized canoe independently.
  • Be able to hold breath while under water and independently turn from a face down to a face up position while keeping head above water and wearing a properly fitted PFD.
  • Each participant must be able and willing to control a paddle and pull it through the water in order to propel the boat.

View Session 1 (5-day trips)

TRIP RATING: NOVICE♥ INTERMEDIATE♣ DIFFICULT♦

August 10-16 (including arrival and prep day). All trips listed are open and available.

Using Your Noggin on the Namekagon♣

Canoeing / Namekagon River

Hey Y’all! Do you think trees are neat? Like seeing the stars? Breathing in fresh air? Do you enjoy water? How about rivers? Canoeing? Always wanted to give paddling a try? Do you like having fun? Do you like beans? Are you a human being?

If you answered yes to any of the above we would love for you to embark on Alec and Ellie’s five-day trip down the Namekagon River. We will be doing an array of fun activities including paddling, playing cards, cooking a delicious variety of food over a fire, haikus, breathing in fresh air, having great conversations, and admiring the stars. The Namekagon, for the most part, is a gentle river. Beginners are welcome, and we will be sure to teach you basic canoeing and camping skills before we hit the water. We would consider this an intermediate trip because we will be going anywhere from 3-14 miles a day. Let’s rock n roll! Cost: $550

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Be able to exit a capsized canoe independently.
  • Be able to hold breath while under water and independently turn from a face down to a face up position while keeping head above water and wearing a properly fitted PFD.
  • Each participant must be able and willing to control a paddle and pull it through the water in order to propel the boat.

Shredfest 2018: Single-Track with Pack and Jack♦

Mountain biking / Forest Lodge, Chequamegon area

We like bikes. Bikes are fun. Do you like bikes? If so, you picked the right place to go to school. The Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) has constructed some of the finest single-track mountain bike trails you’ll find this side of the Mississippi. We will be staying at Forest Lodge on Lake Namekagon, and biking on the CAMBA’s Namekagon trail cluster. Following this, we will visit the natural history museum in Cable, Wisconsin, before sampling the vast trail systems there as well. As Jack Ring and Patrick Shea lead you down the trails, they will be highlighting the changes of habitat and soil types that are directly correlated to changes in the riding experience. Guest speakers will assist with the educational aspect of the trip, and swimming in Lake Namekagon will surely be a comfort to your weary shreddin’ legs. We hope to see you at the shredfest! Cost: $550

*Have your own mountain bike in good shape? Bring it! If not, we’ll provide one.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be willing to ride on roadside shoulder for portions of travel.
  • Hold a straight line while vehicles pass.
  • Learn and utilize terminology for alerting fellow cyclists to the presence of vehicles.
  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a bike helmet.
  • Be able to maintain balance while cycling in conditions such as, but not limited to, human-made trails and ascending or descending slopes. Any and all travel can occur during periods of inclement weather.

The Mad Tree Party♦

Backpacking / Superior Hiking Trail

Every day is a party when you are on the trail with us. Join Kate and Emerson as we hike along some of the most impressive terrain on the Superior Hiking Trail in Northeastern Minnesota. These slightly mad leaders will help you to appreciate nature as we travel through the Northwood’s finest wildlife habitats. We will be hiking, strolling and jaunting a total of 30 miles over some of the most dynamic landscapes in the region. Sunrise yoga, hacky sack’n, fire side stories, and comfy star lit nights will all be key features of our trip! The fleeting views of Lake Superior along these trails will leave you with a smile for miles. Cost: $550

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, rough, rugged, uneven steep and sloping terrain; rocky terrain; bushwhacking off trail through slopes covered in rocks or vegetation. Any and all travel can occur during periods of inclement weather while wearing a pack weighing no more than 35% of body weight.
  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, uneven sloping terrain; human-made trails; ascending, descending, or traversing slopes. Any and all travel can occur during periods of inclement weather while wearing a pack weighing no more than 35% of body weight.

Building Botanical Bonds♥

Hiking, Service, Foraging / Chequamegon Bay Area

Do you like islands? Do you like gardening? Do you like hands-on experiences? Do you like alpacas? Have you ever met an alpaca? Do you want to meet an alpaca? If so, come join Kayla and Abigail on our botanical adventure! Come explore the north woods with us while focusing our trip on servicing the local community with hands on learning experiences such as learning how to forage for plants and food! We’ll be adventuring around the south shore of Lake Superior, exploring farms, and discovering what the Chequamegon Bay has to offer. Come spend the warm summer days hiking our favorite trails, splashing in Lake Superior, and learning about the heart of Chequamegon Bay as we make connections with the community and forage for foods (and fun!). We will be spending time on the Red Cliff Reservation, Washburn, Bayfield, Madeline Island, the Chequamegon-Nicolet Forest, and Apostle Islands National Lakeshores! Make sure to bring your swimsuits, an appetite, and an open heart! Cost: $540

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, rough, rugged, uneven steep and sloping terrain; rocky terrain

Philosophy of Porcupines♣

Backpacking / Porcupine Mountains

Have you ever wondered how many waterfalls are located in the Porcupine Mountains? Pondered what exactly wilderness is or had the urge to sketch a sunrise over Lake Superior? If so, come join Jake and Rowan on a base camp adventure in the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We will be doing day hikes to lots of different lakes, waterfalls and scenic locations within the mountains, spending time creating art inspired by the beauty around us, and thinking deeply on philosophy related to wilderness, nature and what it means to be starting a new chapter in life. Cost: $550

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, rough, rugged, uneven steep and sloping terrain; rocky terrain; bushwhacking off trail through slopes covered in rocks or vegetation. Any and all travel can occur during periods of inclement weather while wearing a pack weighing no more than 35% of body weight.
  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, uneven sloping terrain; human-made trails; ascending, descending, or traversing slopes. Any and all travel can occur during periods of inclement weather while wearing a pack weighing no more than 35% of body weight.

The Most Excellent OO Trip♥

Hiking, exploring, relaxing / Chequamegon Bay Area

Come one, come y’all to The Most Excellent OO Trip of them all, with Kyra, Alyssa, and Thomas. During this trip we will be doing a little bit of everything. Don’t worry, we won’t run you off your feet, but we will make you work. On day one we’ll be heading towards Bayfield to do some light trail maintenance, then we will spend some time around the town for the rest of the day. On day two, we’ll be making a trip to the Apostle Islands to do some exploring, hiking, having some fun and relaxing! The rest of the week, we’ll be hanging out around the Chequamegon Bay doing some hiking and eating some good food. Be sure to bring your swimsuit for some swimming! The most important thing on this trip is to have fun! We’re planning on having lots of it, so be sure to get ready! We’ll see y’all out there. Happy Trails! Cost: $620

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, rough, rugged, uneven steep and sloping terrain; rocky terrain.

FLUBB “Forest Lodge U Best Believe”♥

Canoeing, hiking / Forest Lodge, Lake Namekagon

Wubba FLUBB FLUBB, friends! Do you like lounging and lodging? Do you like canoeing and hiking? Do want to paint and play board games? What about cooking and campfires? Well you are in luck, because all of those things and more will be at Forest Lodge, U Best Believe. The Forest Lodge estate is located on the pristine Lake Namekagon, where we will stay in a large cabin. Forest Lodge will have indoor amenities and facilities, making it the perfect place for cozy comfort. Join JD, Angel, and Kyle for a casual time of fun and fervor! Cost: $440

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Be able to exit a capsized canoe independently.
  • Be able to hold breath while under water and independently turn from a face down to a face up position while keeping head above water and wearing a properly fitted PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Each participant must be able and willing to control a paddle and pull it through the water in order to propel the boat.
  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, rough, rugged, uneven steep and sloping terrain; rocky terrain.

View Session 2 (5-day trips)

TRIP RATING: NOVICE♥ INTERMEDIATE♣ DIFFICULT♦

Aug 27-Sept 2 (including arrival and prep day). All trips listed are open and available.

AmaSEAing SEAnic SEA Kayaking♣

Sea Kayaking / Apostle Island National Lakeshore

How much did the pirate pay for his piercings?  A buck-an-ear!

If this has caught your eye, we wrecken you’re someone who is trying to break the rowtation and venture out into the Apostle Islands, known for its collection of historic lighthouses, sandstone sea caves, old-growth remnant forests, and natural animal habitats, there is no debait that the islands are craySEA! Better schooner than later, we anchorage you to join us on AmaSEAing SEAnic SEA Kayaking! (We can’t think of any more boat puns. Canoe?) Cost: $560

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Be able to exit a capsized kayak independently.
  • Be able to re-enter a kayak following a deep water capsize independently or with the assistance of one other participant.
  • Be able to hold breath while under water and independently turn from a face down to a face up position while keeping head above water and wearing a properly fitted PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Each participant must be able and willing to control a paddle and pull it through the water in order to propel the boat.

Specular Reflections♣

Canoeing / Namekagon River

Come and make a splash with Anna and Brandi on the Namekagon River! You may even meet Rob Boss! If you enjoy experiencing the outdoors, writing pristine poems, creating nature art, and hanging out by the river, this is the trip for you. We have the most s’mores. Spend the mornings and early afternoons with easy paddling, and the afternoons and evenings relaxing, making new connections, and reflecting on life and water. Feminists, vegetarians, and metacognitionists alike will love our trip (and our vegan s’mores)! Cost: $560

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Be able to exit a capsized canoe independently.
  • Be able to hold breath while under water and independently turn from a face down to a face up position while keeping head above water and wearing a properly fitted PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Each participant must be able and willing to control a paddle and pull it through the water in order to propel the boat.

Sustainable Star Gazers Reflections♣

Canoeing / St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers

What’s better than chilling in the woods with a paddle in your hand? Come on a journey with Caroline and Wyatt through Wisconsin pine forests along the St. Croix River. You will paddle some small rapids and meet beautiful wildlife along the way. Night paddling and star gazing, journaling, and making friends are a few of the experiences you will find yourself living. This trip will set the scene for your Northland College experience, and give you plenty of insight into the unique culture that surrounds the wonderful community you will experience here on Lake Superior. Cost: $560

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Be able to exit a capsized canoe independently.
  • Be able to hold breath while under water and independently turn from a face down to a face up position while keeping head above water and wearing a properly fitted PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Each participant must be able and willing to control a paddle and pull it through the water in order to propel the boat.

Come Sail Away♥

Sailing / Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Come join Lauren, Sam, and Captain Brontë for five days of sailing around the Apostle Islands! Learn the ropes on the Abbey Road, a 52’ schooner, as we sail through the pristine waters of Lake Superior. No experience is necessary—but a good book, the right attitude, and a bottle of sunblock definitely are! We’ll visit some of the Apostle Islands’ most iconic places—the Devil’s Island lighthouse and sandstone sea caves, Stockton Island’s Julian Bay, and Big Bay of Madeline Island—and learn a few pieces of natural and human history along the way. You can also expect to play some cribbage, walk the plank, and watch the stars. Join us on the kind of odyssey only the lake can deliver! Cost: $600

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be able to move around the cockpit as necessary to shift weight and secure self so the boat will handle properly and/or avoid hazards on-board.
  • Be able to exit a capsized boat, fend for self while in the water away from the boat, and exit out of the water to shore, and grab onto another boat or rope as necessary for rescue purposes.
  • When landing or casting off shore, move through water near the shore with a rocky bottom in rough water conditions.
  • Be able to enter a boat from a standing or floating position while in the water with or without assistance.

Sketching & Stretching on the SHT♦

Backpacking / Superior Hiking Trail

Welcome to the Stretchin’ and Sketchin’ on the SHT! This trip will be full of long days hiking on the Superior Hiking Trail, with time to do some yoga and art along the way! We will begin our trip at the Lutsen Mountain Recreational Area on the north shore of Lake Superior, and backpack towards Grand Marais, covering close to 30 miles in 4 days! An average day will be anywhere from 5-10 miles of hiking. The last day we will be spending some time in Grand Marais to skip some rocks, eat some ice cream, and hangout at Artist Point! So, grab your hiking boots and come join Jane and Will for Stretchin’ and Sketchin’ on the SHT! Cost: $580

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, rough, rugged, uneven steep and sloping terrain; rocky terrain; bushwhacking off trail through slopes covered in rocks or vegetation. Any and all travel can occur during periods of inclement weather while wearing a pack weighing no more than 35% of body weight.
  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, uneven sloping terrain; human-made trails; ascending, descending, or traversing slopes. Any and all travel can occur during periods of inclement weather while wearing a pack weighing no more than 35% of body weight.

Great Views in Climbing Shoes♣

Climbing / North Shore

Whether you have ever rock climbed before or not, Macy and Kate would like to invite you to our 5-day camping, climbing, and creative OO trip! We will be base camping in Tettegouche State Park on Minnesota’s north shore and climbing on the cliffs overlooking Lake Superior! If you like rocks, lakes, charcoal, watercolors, waterfalls, and food then this is the trip for you! Expect great views, sore muscles, new friends, and an epic introduction into the world of Midwest rock climbing and to Northland College. CLIMB ON! Cost: $610

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a helmet and harness.
  • After being taught by an instructor, be able to communication necessary climbing signals; this may include hand signals, spoken signals, or a rope tug system.
  • After learning, be able and willing to provide a reliable belay to another climber during roped climbing. To do so a student must be able to reliably manipulate a climbing rope through a belay device.

Choose Your Own Adventure♥

Sampler / Northern Wisconsin

Have you ever had so many interests that you can’t plan a trip? US TOO! That’s why we’ve planned the equivalent of four trips worth of activities and we need some decisive trippers to help us edit our schedule to be a fun and chill five-day trip! Cary, Chandler, and Erica, three laid back leaders who have a passion for frisbees, hammocks, and food have planned activities, such as sunset stand up paddle boarding and a day of beach touring, but want to tailor the rest of the trip to your desires. So sign up and Choose Your Own Adventure! Cost: $630

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Be able to exit a capsized kayak independently.
  • Be able to re-enter a kayak following a deep water capsize independently or with the assistance of one other participant.
  • Be able to hold breath while under water and independently turn from a face down to a face up position while keeping head above water and wearing a properly fitted PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Each participant must be able and willing to control a paddle and pull it through the water in order to propel the boat.
  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a bike helmet.
  • Be able to maintain balance while cycling in conditions such as, but not limited to, human-made trails and ascending or descending slopes. Any and all travel can occur during periods of inclement weather.

Traditional Skills Revival Basecamp♣

Backpacking, primitive skills / Sylvania Wilderness

In search of: new Northlanders proficient in underwater basket weaving. If you need to find refuge and learn how to fend for yourself in the wild, join us on our traditional skills kick back in the Sylvania Wilderness Area. We will be backpacking a total of two miles in and out of our basecamp, stationed along Mountain Lake. We plan on gradually building debris shelters and engaging in a range of group activates: whittling, bow drill fires, knot tying, making cordage, foraging, and day hikes! If you have a portable musical instrument and a fishing pole (and a BYO Michigan fishing license) feel free to bring these items on our trip! All skill levels are welcome! Come join Northland’s most groovy and quirky trip leaders in the Lake Superior watershed, Ashley and Clara! Cost: $570

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, rough, rugged, uneven steep and sloping terrain; rocky terrain; bushwhacking off trail through slopes covered in rocks or vegetation. Any and all travel can occur during periods of inclement weather while wearing a pack weighing no more than 35% of body weight.
  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, uneven sloping terrain; human-made trails; ascending, descending, or traversing slopes. Any and all travel can occur during periods of inclement weather while wearing a pack weighing no more than 35% of body weight.

The Lake Effect♥

Hiking, biking, kayaking / Chequamegon Bay

Do you love to bike, hike, kayak, and swim all at the same time?! Us too! Or maybe it’s better to take it day by day, adventure by adventure, and enjoy the places and people around us. Come hike scenic trails leading to refreshing waterfalls, tour a local farm, forage for food in the beautiful north woods, kayak the sea caves of the Apostle Islands, bike around Madeline Island, and jump in the clear blue water of Lake Superior! Join Clay and Jeni on a five-day adventure as we embrace a little piece of the south shore that we like to call the Lake Effect. Cost: $580

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Be able to exit a capsized kayak independently.
  • Be able to re-enter a kayak following a deep water capsize independently or with the assistance of one other participant.
  • Be able to hold breath while under water and independently turn from a face down to a face up position while keeping head above water and wearing a properly fitted PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Each participant must be able and willing to control a paddle and pull it through the water in order to propel the boat.
  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a bike helmet.
  • Be able to maintain balance while cycling in conditions such as, but not limited to, human-made trails and ascending or descending slopes. Any and all travel can occur during periods of inclement weather.
  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, rough, rugged, uneven steep and sloping terrain; rocky terrain.

Cabin & Crafts♥

Crafts, canoeing / Forest Lodge

Hello, friends! If you are looking for a crafty time spent exploring the wonderful woods of Forest Lodge, then look no further. On this front-country trip we will be crafting our way through the day and coming back to a comfy cabin to sleep in. We will be water-coloring on the water, painting in the pines, sketching the sunrise, photographing the ferns and whittling some wood. Forest lodge is connected to a series of hiking trails and is seated on the shore of Lake Namekagon, both of which we will explore to get a taste of paddling and hiking in the North country. Come enjoy Rowan and Drew on a laid back adventure filled with creativity and campfires. Hope to see you there! Cost: $400

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Be able to exit a capsized canoe independently.
  • Be able to hold breath while under water and independently turn from a face down to a face up position while keeping head above water and wearing a properly fitted PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Each participant must be able and willing to control a paddle and pull it through the water in order to propel the boat.

Can I Get Uhh…Sampler Platter♥

Hiking, crafting, horseback riding, canoeing / Forest Lodge

Hey you! Yes you! Are you an incoming freshman who’s feeling nature, but not really ready to pitch a tent in the woods for five days? Are you unsure of what activities you want to do on your OO trip? Then come join Katie, Taylor, and Sara on our five-day adventure at the whimsical and historic Forest Lodge! We’ll be hiking, crafting, horseback riding, swimming, canoeing, and more. It’s basically like an adult version of summer camp with a much more rad cabin. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready for a fun filled week that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on your freshman year of college! Cost: $550

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Be able to exit a capsized canoe independently.
  • Be able to hold breath while under water and independently turn from a face down to a face up position while keeping head above water and wearing a properly fitted PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Each participant must be able and willing to control a paddle and pull it through the water in order to propel the boat.
  • (If participating in horseback riding) Be able to sit upright for an extended period of time with legs stretched out while on a moving animal.

Superior Connections♥

Voyageur canoeing / Madeline Island

Bonjour incoming Superior Connection students! Come with us on a journey through the beautiful and timeless waters of Lake Superior as we kick off an amazing year of learning and friendship within your cohort of fellow Superior Connection students! Just like the voyageurs during the fur trade, we will be paddling along island shores in two thirty-foot canoes named the Monte and The Medicine Horse. We will be exploring areas of Lake Superior that capture the essence of the lake and introduce you to the beginnings of the Superior Connection curriculum through adventure, exploration, and learning. Cost: $420

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Be able to exit a capsized canoe independently.
  • Be able to hold breath while under water and independently turn from a face down to a face up position while keeping head above water and wearing a properly fitted PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Each participant must be able and willing to control a paddle and pull it through the water in order to propel the boat.

View Session 2 (transfer students)

TRIP RATING: NOVICE♥ INTERMEDIATE♣ DIFFICULT♦

Aug 27-Sept 2 (including arrival and prep day). All trips listed are open and available.

#TBD Transfer Bay Tour♣

Backpacking / Chequamegon Bay Area

Come one come all to the Transfer Bay Tour! On this transfer-student trip we will be touring around the Chequamegon Bay from Bayfield back to Northland’s campus. Join bay-masters Tara and Tommy for what will likely be the best tour of your lifetime. We will be strolling around Bayfield, Washburn, and Ashland as we backpack back to campus. On our tour we will hit different landmarks along the way, from a Northland professor’s art studio, to Friendly Valley Beach, to the Ashland Ore Dock. You won’t want to miss these five days of total immersion into your new north woods home! Cost: $550

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, rough, rugged, uneven steep and sloping terrain; rocky terrain; bushwhacking off trail through slopes covered in rocks or vegetation. Any and all travel can occur during periods of inclement weather while wearing a pack weighing no more than 35% of body weight.
  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, uneven sloping terrain; human-made trails; ascending, descending, or traversing slopes. Any and all travel can occur during periods of inclement weather while wearing a pack weighing no more than 35% of body weight.

The Works♥

Canoeing / Lake Owen

Are there just so many good choices available that you’d like to try a bit of everything? Then The Works trip with Evie and Gena is for you! We aim to provide a well-rounded, low-medium intensity, fun filled experience! We will be canoeing, fishing, foraging, hiking, snorkeling, swimming, relaxing, camping, and getting to know each other at beautiful Lake Owen in the Chequamegon National Forest. Cost: $550

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be able and willing to wear basic protective equipment including a PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Be able to exit a capsized canoe independently.
  • Be able to hold breath while under water and independently turn from a face down to a face up position while keeping head above water and wearing a properly fitted PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Each participant must be able and willing to control a paddle and pull it through the water in order to propel the boat.
  • Travel conditions may include, but are not limited to, rough, rugged, uneven steep and sloping terrain; rocky terrain.

September 4 On-campus Orientation

If you choose not to participate in an OO trip, please select this option on the trip registration form.

Meet your trip leaders

I Canoe. Can You Canoe, Too?

(Session 1 / 12 day)
Canoeing / Boundary Waters Canoe Area
Leaders: Cole and Taylor

Using Your Noggin on the Namekagon

(Session 1 / 5 day)
Canoeing / Namekagon River
Leaders: Alec and Ellie

Shredfest 2018: Single-Track with Pack and Jack

(Session 1 / 5 day)
Mountain biking / Forest Lodge, Chequamegon area
Leaders: Jack and Patrick

The Mad Tree Party

(Session 1 / 5 day)
Backpacking / Superior Hiking Trail
Leaders: Kate and Emerson

Building Botanical Bonds

(Session 1 / 5 day)
Hiking, Service, Foraging / Chequamegon Bay
Leaders: Kayla and Abigail

Philosophy of Porcupines

(Session 1 / 5 day)
Backpacking / Porcupine Mountains
Leaders: Jake and Rowan

The Most Excellent OO Trip

(Session 1 / 5 day)
Hiking, exploring, relaxing / Chequamegon Bay
Leaders: Kyra, Alyssa, and Thomas

FLUBB “Forest Lodge U Best Believe”

(Session 1 / 5 day)
Canoeing, hiking / Forest Lodge, Lake Namekagon
Leaders: JD, Angel, and Kyle

AmaSEAing SEAnic SEA Kayaking

(Session 2 / 5 day)
Sea Kayaking / Apostle Island National Lakeshore
Leaders: Jen and Gaige

Specular Reflections

(Session 2 / 5 day)
Canoeing / Namekagon River
Leaders: Anna and Brandi

Sustainable Star Gazers Reflections

(Session 2 / 5 day)
Canoeing / St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers
Leaders: Caroline and Wyatt

Come Sail Away

(Session 2 / 5 day)
Sailing / Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Leaders: Lauren and Sam

Sketching & Stretching on the SHT

(Session 2 / 5 day)
Backpacking / Superior Hiking Trail
Leaders: Jane and Will

Great Views in Climbing Shoes

(Session 2 / 5 day)
Climbing / North Shore
Leaders: Macy and Kate

Choose Your Own Adventure

(Session 2 / 5 day)
Sampler / Northern Wisconsin
Leaders: Cary, Chandler, and Erica

Traditional Skills Revival Basecamp

(Session 2 / 5 day)
Backpacking, primitive skills / Sylvania Wilderness
Leaders: Ashley and Clara

The Lake Effect

(Session 2 / 5 day)
Hiking, biking, kayaking / Chequamegon Bay
Leaders: Clay and Jeni

Cabin & Crafts

(Session 2 / 5 day)
Crafts, canoeing / Forest Lodge
Leaders: Rowan and Drew

Can I Get Uhh…Sampler Platter

(Session 2 / 5 day)
Hiking, crafting, horseback riding, canoeing / Forest Lodge
Leaders: Katie, Taylor, and Sara

Superior Connections

(Session 2 / 5 day)
Voyageur canoeing / Madeline Island
Leaders: TBD

#TBD Transfer Bay Tour

(Session 2 / 5 day)
Backpacking / Chequamegon Bay
Leaders: Tara and Tommy

The Works

(Session 2 / 5 day)
Canoeing / Lake Owen
Leaders: Evie and Gena

Check out Trip Photos

Learn about Trip Sustainability

Sustainability is an important aspect of the Northland College community. Outdoor orientation staff and student leaders make sustainability a core value when planning and implementing our trips. We continually strive to put Northland’s outdoor orientation on the front line of sustainability in wilderness travel.

Most OO trips are held within ninety miles of the Northland campus, taking advantage of our amazing local natural resources and reducing our transportation-based carbon footprint. Those that travel beyond this radius incorporate intentional practices to reduce or offset the impact of the greater transportation.

All of the fresh fruits and vegetables eaten on the trips are grown in the Northland community garden or produced locally in the Chequamegon Bay area. As much as possible, we try to purchase other food products locally.

Contact us

orientation@northland.edu
715-682-1846
Lucas Will, Orientation Coordinator
Clair Emmons, Outdoor Orientation Student Co-coordinator
Gabe Thornton, Outdoor Orientation Student Co-coordinator