group of students jumping with mountains in background

Outdoor Experience

Start Your Westminster Experience with the Outdoor Program

Explore the outdoors with other first-year students as you start your transition to college. Outdoor Experience is a program that occurs before New Student Orientation begins on August 14, 2021. Outdoor Experience is designed to facilitate a more positive transition to college through:

  • Building community and meaningful relationships with peers and mentors
  • Providing opportunity for reflection, processing, and intention-setting
  • Drawing parallels from the trip to college to serve as reference points
  • Connecting new students to nature and the Outdoor Program

COVID-19 Protocols

Minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in the campus community and keeping individuals healthy is among the Outdoor Program’s top priorities for Outdoor Experience 2021. The COVID-19 risk management plan is based on Westminster College and CDC recommendations. Email for more information on the COVID-19 risk management plan.

What Participants Have to Say

“A highlight for me was bonding with everyone and learning that it was a safe space” A.H. – 2020 Participant

“I was able to live slowly, be close to community, and to nature.” A.G. – 2020 participant

“I learned a lot about Westminster from the leaders, got a cool introduction to Utah and activities to do here, and I got to meet amazing people.” L.H. – 2019 participant

“All of the new experiences helped me build more character and confidence in myself.” S.P. – 2019 participant

2021 Trip Options

All 2021 trips will take place in Utah’s stunning Uinta Mountains and are for incoming first-year students only. No experience is necessary, and the Outdoor Program can provide any equipment you need to borrow. If the trip fee is a barrier to your participation, inquire about the Participation Fund at

Registration for all trips opens May 1, 2021 at 9 a.m.

Arriving on Campus

Outdoor Experience participants can fully move in and spend the night in their residence hall on August 8. Staff will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to help get participants checked in. If you need to check in outside of this time frame on August 8, email to let the Outdoor Program know so that you can be accommodated. There will be no check-in for the Outdoor Experience on August 9.

When you get to campus, come to the Outdoor Program in the Eccles Health, Wellness, and Athletic Center. There is an exterior entrance to the Outdoor Program on the northwest corner of the building. If you do not already have your student ID, you will do that first. Then, you will get your keys from the Outdoor Program, and a staff member will take you to your residence hall.


There is no official programming on August 8. Those who arrive are on their own for food and activities that day, but the Outdoor Program can give ideas for some things to do.

The Outdoor Program will provide airport shuttles periodically throughout the day on August 8. If you need a shuttle, email your flight number and arrival time to The program will respond with instructions on how and when to find the shuttle at the airport. If your flight is delayed or getting your bags takes a while, don’t worry, you can catch the next shuttle. If possible, call the Outdoor Program at 801.832.2861 to notify the staff about delays.

Trip Departure

Outdoor Experience starts at 9 a.m. on August 9. Come to the Outdoor Program (exterior entrance on the northwest corner of the Health, Wellness, and Athletic Center) with all of your trip gear packed and ready to go. You’ll leave your gear there and head over to the welcome and breakfast. Trips will divide into groups, meet, and take care of equipment needs. If you are borrowing equipment from the Outdoor Program, this is when you’ll get the gear. All trips will load up and depart around 12 p.m. Box lunches will be provided as you depart.



Refunds are based on when you cancel your trip:

  • Before July 10: Full refund
  • After July 10 but before July 24: 50% refund. The 50% that the Outdoor Program keeps will be available to apply towards future Outdoor Program trips.
  • After July 24: No refund. 50% of the trip fee will be available to apply towards future Outdoor Program trips.


If a participant needs to leave the trip for a policy violation either on or off campus, that participant is responsible for the cost of evacuation. If a participant needs to be evacuated for other reasons, responsibility for the cost of evacuation will be assigned on a case-by-case basis depending on location, logistics, and cost.

Each trip has emergency communication that can be used to access help should it be needed. Most trips will be out of cellular phone coverage and will not receive incoming messages or calls.