Advancing leadership opportunities through Wilderness Pursuits

students watching another sunset on a backpacking trip
Wilderness Pursuits actively works to provide more students with leadership training and development opportunities.

Western’s Wilderness Pursuits (WP) program does more than just guide adventures and produce outstanding profile pictures. All WP trips are student-led and the program is emerging as a major leadership development program on campus.

WP attracts trip leaders from a range of interests and academic disciplines.

“Some of the best instructors have been history, biology and business majors,” said Christie Hicks, director of WP.

Hicks wants to see the leadership component of WP expand with the increasing number of excursions, wilderness-based orientation options and free gear rentals.

Her plan is not only to create a formal WP instructor-training program in the spring but also to give students the option of taking beginner and advanced-level four credit courses of an as yet undetermined emphasis that would certify them in outdoor leadership.


“The leadership [WP instructors] are exhibiting is completely uncontrived and genuine,” Hicks added. “They are constantly making decisions that positively affect the mental, physical and emotional well-being of themselves and others.”

Programs like WP that serve the campus and community through student initiative are important examples of how Western is continuing to use its abundance of recreational opportunities to provide an unparalleled learning experience.

Story by Peter Noon

Photos provided by WP

Friday, December 9, 2016 - 1:00pm