Our first-year student adventures help with the transition to the University of Idaho. These trips offer the chance to build strong bonds with fellow students before the first day of class even starts, right here in the state of Idaho. Our experienced trip leaders can answer most questions you have about what being a Vandal is like while having the trip of a lifetime!
Make sure you register for your trip as soon as possible, because they fill fast. Look over your options and when you're ready you can start the registration process.
Registration opens March 26, 2021.
June 26 - July 1 - Explore the Rapid River drainage near the Seven Devils mountain range in Idaho for six days. Enjoy camping next to gentle streams and hiking through this gem in Central Idaho.
July 17 - 22 - Explore the Mallard-Larkins Pioneer Area in North Idaho for six days while summiting rugged peaks and relaxing next to the remote alpine lakes.
Need to Know
- Studies have shown that students who participate in the first-year experience wilderness bases orientation program have a higher rate of first-year retention into their second year.
- Students are more likely to go into leadership roles and have a deeper sense of community within their university.
- Students will start their first day of classes having more friends. (The average student in the nation has 2 people they consider friends on the first day at the university. A student who has gone through a trip like this starts with an average of 10).
All our trips are led by current students or recent graduates at the University of Idaho. They have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to be a successful student and offer invaluable insight.
All trips have staff with Wilderness First-Responder certification (a wilderness based first-aid course), CPR, and are experienced leaders in the outdoors.
No previous experience is necessary for our trips, but you must meet our essential eligibility criteria. If you have any concerns about the physical demands of a trip, please give us a call and we can answer your questions.
Our trips are self sufficient. Together we cook all of our own food, pack all our own gear, set-up camp, and row our own boats/walk the miles. This offers a great opportunity to work as a team, builds bonds with fellow first-year students, develop communication skills, and learn to work as a team. These skills transfer directly to community living in the dorms/Greek Life and into the classroom.
During the trips our staff will lead students through activities to help build confidence, leadership skills, communication skills, and show what it takes to be successful as a Vandal.
Rafting Trip: $550
Backpacking Trip: $450
Once your application has been accepted, we will email you with the steps to process your payment. You can pay with cash, check, credit card, or bill your student account. Your registration is not considered complete until we have your payment.
Due to Covid-19, we will be waiving the $50 cancellation processing fee. If you have to cancel for whatever reason, please let us know as soon as possible. At this moment, no refund will be issued for cancellations after the closing registration date.
All group gear is provided by the Outdoor Program, except personal clothing and toiletries. This includes cooking equipment, dishes, tents, paddles, etc. If you need a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, or a backpack, please indicate so on your registration form. There is no charge to you, we just need to know.
Rafting Equipment List (PDF)
All food is provided on our trips. If you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know as soon as possible. We can work with most dietary restrictions or allergies, but need to know beforehand.
We pick our own fresh vegetables from the Soil Stewards Farm, the student-run farm at the University of Idaho, the first-day.
We work with Vandal Meats, on campus to provide any meat for the trip.
Every meal is planned to provide the calories and nutritional needs to be successful in the field, plus it tastes awesome!
All meals are cooked and cleaned with help of participants to build camaraderie, teamwork, and enjoy the fun of cooking your own food.
The University of Idaho Outdoor Program has been operating since 1973.
All our leaders have wilderness first-aid and CPR training.
All leaders who drive have taken driver training and have passed a driver record check.
All leaders pass a background check before they are hired.
All leaders have been trained in the specific activity that they lead.
All trips have a first-aid kit, activity specific rescue gear, and satellite communication in case of an emergency.
Must be an incoming full-time registered undergraduate student at the University of Idaho for Fall 2021
Vandal Ventures has limited spots, so register once you know what you would like to do. After you have submitted your application and payment, you will receive and email from the University of Idaho Outdoor Program confirming your spot. Make sure to send the risk waiver and health form back (we need to know about any food allergies or preferences) as soon as possible.
The application process will open in the spring for summer of 2021.
Questions? Contact Sandra at 208-885-6810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.