Welcome to Lyndon Outdoor Orientation Program!
There is something to be said for the people in history who have taken that adventurous road and lived to tell the tale. They speak of high moments, of difficulties, of the kind gestures of others, laughter in the face of a storm and the closeness of developing relationships. LOOP works hard to bring these pieces together in our own special blend of community building, personal building and adventurous fun. By going on a LOOP trip you are already signaling to us that you are willing to try something new, face adversity, get sweaty and strong with the best of us and at the end of the day laugh it all away to start again. It is a fantastic means in which to start your college career! So, roll up your sleeves and tie your boots on. Put that determined look on your face and step on out the door – we’re right behind you! It’s a great path to be on! Welcome!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Coming into college can be a daunting thing so we’ve made it a bit easier. By providing small groups led by current students, LOOP provides the groundwork for your success here at Lyndon. Get to know some students that you normally wouldn’t; ask tons of questions of your trip leader, find out about their time at Lyndon and how to make the best of it. Many of them have been LOOPers themselves!
LOOP is an extended orientation program that offers first year students:
- Small group interaction
- Community building opportunities
- Outdoor skill building
- Positive first foot forward towards their college career
All while lugging a pack around the Green Mountains or paddling the Connecticut River. We welcome students from all walks of life who are gearing up towards any major we offer here at Lyndon. All we ask is that you bring your sense of adventure, an open mind, and ready laugh. The rest we provide!
LOOP was fun! Canoeing 85 miles, WOW! Well, I pretty much got really hungry and tan. I loved the experience and all of the friends I made are fantastic! – Carole, ’16 – Vermont
It was the best experience that I have ever been a part of. You see the best and worst of people and we met so many interesting people on the trail. It was awesome! – Liz, ’13 – Connecticut
It certainly gave me a whole new experience! – Henry,’13
LOOP was a life changing experience. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it was so worth it! I feel like a stronger person and I learned I can do a lot more than I thought I could! – Kelsey, ‘14
The LOOP trip showed me that I can do anything I want to do! – Jamie, ‘15
Currently there are two types of trips that we offer for LOOP with plans to expand. These trips are designed to challenge not only your physical being, but your mental an emotional one as well. It’s not every day that people decide to up and head into the woods sometimes with nothing more than the pack on their back. Our goal for every trip is to be as self-sufficient as possible, work on leaving the places that we visit better than we found them and be respectful to those around us – we are ambassadors to Lyndon State College after all and there is no better way to leave a positive impression in people’s minds than to be as courteous and upbeat as possible!
Green Mountain Exploration –
This is, after all, the Green Mountain State and we happen to be in the thick of things around here. The Green Mountain trip starts almost at the Canadian border and heads south through 37 miles of the most amazing terrain our mountain chain has to offer. From Jay Peak to Devils Gulch, the portions of the trail we wander through is challenging and rewarding with fantastic places to camp and possibly even swim! Watch the sun ride from the top of a thirty foot fire tower! Wake up on amazing ridgelines and push through sugar bushes on your way south. This trip is fantastic!
Connecticut River Bloat Float –
Don’t be fooled by the name – it was coined by several of the last LOOPers to go on this trip. This trip starts in Canaan, Vermont and follows the wilder sections of the Connecticut River as it separates Vermont from New Hampster – ahem! I mean Hampshire! Run some quick water, see how many bald eagles come out to see you along the river, watch Osprey and Kingfishers spear lunch and dinner or just drift with the current and good conversation. This trip covers roughly 85 miles of our water border with our esteemed neighbor and we’ll see it all! Don’t let the mileage fool you, it is all downhill to the ocean!!
Cost of both trips is $350 per participant.
LOOP begins the week before Fall Kick-off which all LOOPers will still be required to go to. As well, they are to partake in SOAR before LOOP so that they are all set coming into the regular college orientation. Here’s what LOOP week looks like!
Saturday, August 17 – LOOPers arrive on campus after 10:00am
- We will be meeting behind the Wheelock Residence Hall.
- As a LOOPer you will be allowed to bring your school stuff up with you and place it in our secure storage facility on campus.
- After stashing your stuff, friends and family will be invited to a final lunch before we launch into our group development and equipment issuing portion of the day. Thanks for trusting us with your kids!
- LOOPers will be spending the night out on campus, ready for the next day and the start of the trip!
Sunday, August 18 through Friday, August 23 – LOOPers on trip having an amazing time rain or shine!
Friday, August 23 – LOOPers arrive back from trips
- LOOPers will be returning to campus on or before noon. This will allow them to:
- Get checked in by LSC Residence Hall
- Take one of the most wonderful showers they have ever had in their life…
- Move all their school gear into their rooms
- Head out to Chez Struck for an end-of-trip BBQ. Yummy!!!
Saturday, August 24 – LOOPers will join the regular Fall Kick-Off program with all other entering Freshmen – ahead of the curve, I might add!!
Sending your kids off to school can be an incredible challenge, let alone dropping them off early to head off into the wilderness!! It has been exhaustively researched that in providing a challenging adventure experience to incoming students increases connectivity, encourages new, positive behaviors in participants, teaches them about healthy risk taking, and eases them into college life. It’s also a fantastic way for them to learn through their trip leaders loads about the Lyndon community and how to avoid some of the classic pitfalls of first year students. It also begins new, common experience relationships that can be touchstones for them during low or difficult times in their first year and beyond. I still hear from many of the LOOPers from years past as they update me on their whereabouts, doings, and lives. On other web pages connected to LOOP we have tried to provide as much information as possible regarding the program and what to expect, but that doesn’t mean we’ve managed to explain it all! If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to call me, Jamie Struck, at 802.626.4870 or drop me an email at Jamie.Struck@lyndonstate.edu.
All of our trip leaders are current in Wilderness First Aid and CPR and are held to a high standard of Leave No Trace ethics, group development programming and leadership. All of our leaders are current or past LSC students who have a passion for leading people in the outdoors and many are past LOOPers. All trip leaders are required to participate in a three day training and refresher course right before LOOP so that they are dialed in to current methods and practices. Trips are designed to provide challenges for a wide range of abilities, without being overwhelming. Your child’s accurate and realistic statement of their physical abilities will help us place them appropriately in the LOOP program if they haven’t taken the time to choose from our trip selection. Many LOOPers who have thought that they couldn’t “make it” have often surprised themselves by staying on their feet, moving forward and upward to find that they indeed, have what it takes to complete their trip. It is a great talking point for us when we think about coming into college and the challenges ahead.
We do observe a no cell phone policy during the trip portion of the program. Unplugging from the electronic world will give your son or daughter the breather that they need from social media, internet interference and all other kinds of craziness that being constantly tied in provides. This means that participants will be able to concentrate on developing relationships with the people on their trip and themselves. In case of emergency and you need to contact your son or daughter, please contact Elaine Fournier at 802.626.6418 during regular business hours. Outside those hours please contact Public Safety and they will get information to the correct people.