This Basecamp BuckWild program will take place in the Grand Canyon of PA, The Pine Creek Gorge. The Pine Creek Gorge is located in Tioga State Forest located north of Bucknell in Ansonia, PA. Tioga comes from the Seneca phrase meaning "the meeting of two rivers" the Pine Creek and the Cedar Run. This state forest encompasses over 161,000 acres of beautiful forests and gorgeous vistas. The Gorge provides some of the best hiking, biking, and stargazing in the country. Astronomers from all over the globe converge on Cherry Springs State Park to view stars in the clearest skies in North America. 

Much as the Tioga State Forest represents the meeting place of two rivers, Buckwild: Unpacked will represent the coming together of a unique group of first-years, each with their own backgrounds and stories. For many incoming students, Bucknell is one of the first places they meet people with broadly different life experiences. This basecamp trip seeks to create open, authentic dialogue around topics related to diversity and difference. Participants will be encouraged to unpack and reflect on their own identities, with the goal of navigating conversation among people from varying backgrounds and experiences. The basecamp activities of the challenge course, hiking, biking, and stargazing will be intertwined with intentional dialogue around complex issues, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, social class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, spirituality, and ability. Participants will explore the way each of our individual stories and experiences can intersect and unite us as Buckwilders and Bucknellians.

Challenge Level

The exertion level is light. No experience is necessary for this basecamp trip. You do not need prior challenge course experience. The biking is flat on a rail to trail. The hiking will be basic day hiking. We will teach you everything you need to know for all the outdoor pursuits. Stargazing will be an opportunity to enjoy the dark evening stars with your peers, leaders, and hopefully faculty.


Expedition Itinerary

The experience below is only an example, trips are subject to change based on weather, local conditions, other circumstances, etc.

Day 1

  • 7 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.: Move into the Residence Halls, breakfast on your own.  Lunch will be provided at 10:45 am.  Pick up the official schedule of the day upon arrival.
  • 12:15 p.m.: Bring packed equipment for trip (from packing list) to trout auditorium for storage until the late afternoon. 
  • 12:30 p.m.: Meeting with the Student Leaders of BuckWild, the Director of Outdoor Education & Leadership, and the Associate Dean of Campus Activities BuckWild student trip leaders in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts.
  • 1:15 p.m.: Break
  • 1:30 p.m.: Meeting with the President, Provost, and Dean of Students in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts. 
  • 2:15 p.m.: Say farewell to your families
  • 2:30 p.m.: Your BuckWild Experience begins - icebreakers, prepping gear, learning about equipment, evening activities, snacks, dinner, and the traditional Grove camp out with your first-year class (you will not be sleeping in your room until the experience is completed).

Day 2

Wake up, pack up equipment, and depart campus! Hit the trail "climbing" - Goal: Head to the Bucknell Challenge Course. Engage in team building activities to build trust and have a great deal of fun with your team. Drive north to the basecamp site to set up camp. Enjoy many other fun, daily activities prepared by the Trip Leaders.

Day 3
Wake up and enjoy breakfast. Goal: Hiking 5-7 miles during the day, then stargazing in the evening with Faculty and Trip Leaders at Cherry Springs State Park. Enjoy daily facilitated activities prepared by the Trip Leaders.

Day 4
Wake up and enjoy breakfast. Goal: biking. A casual flat bike ride along the Pine Creek Gorge Rail Trail. Enjoy daily facilitated activities prepared by the Trip Leaders.

Day 5
Wake up, break down camp, and depart camp. Arrive back at Bucknell's Cowan Retreat Center. Your trip leaders will have planned activities for the day, closure activities, dinner and music with students, faculty, and staff, until 8 or 9 p.m. Return to campus by 9:30 p.m. Call parents, let them know that you are safe and it was the most amazing experience in your life!

Day 6
8 a.m. Breakfast is provided for BuckWilders and help from your BuckWild Leaders with the start of the New Orientation Program that will begin today at 11 a.m.


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