The Rock Climbing and Caving BuckWild program will take place at Hennigh Cave, Tytoona Cave, White Rocks, and Shaffer Rock. The rock-climbing portion of the experience is located in Michaux State Forest and Central PA. Michaux State Forest is in southern PA and is the northern portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This state forest area is a gem for outdoor enthusiasts. Your group will be climbing in one of the state's premier rock-climbing areas. Mocanaqua crag is known for its 5 great walls that provide fantastic climbing in the Central PA area. You will have the opportunity to explore 2 of the many caves in Central PA. Hennigh Cave is in the heartland of the Pennsylvania Dutch (Amish) Culture. You will see how this culture lives within the mainstream American Culture. This cave was first explored and mapped in 1958. Tytoona Cave Preserve is located in limestone-rich Sinking Valley, in Blair County, PA. Each group will have 2 days of climbing and 1 day of caving. Your group will get to interact with the backpacking and rock climbing crew or the adventure race groups that will be traveling to similar locations.

View photos from this trip

Challenge Level

This is a beginner experience. No prior climbing or caving experience is needed. Participants will be introduced to beginner level caving. Each climbing area has easy to moderate to difficult climbing. You will be able to choose your challenge level. There will also be a possibility of easy hiking in Michaux State Forest. We will teach you everything you need to know for all the outdoor pursuits.


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 in to the Residence Halls, breakfast and lunch on your own
  • 12:15 p.m.: In a duffel bag, bring your packed equipment from the packing list for your specific trip to an area for storage (TBD) prior to the Weis Center meeting
  • 12:30 p.m.: Meeting with the Associate Dean, Director of Outdoor Education & Leadership, and 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-icebreaker's, equipment packing, learning about the equipment, evening activities, snacks, dinner, and the traditional Grove campout with your classmates (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 "running" - Goal: head to White Rocks and Climb. Set up camp. Enjoy fun, daily activities prepared by the Trip Leaders.

Day 3
Wake up, Climb at Shaffer Rock all day! Depart climbing to set up camp. Enjoy fun, daily activities prepared by the Trip Leaders.

Day 4
Wake up, pack up equipment, and depart camp! Head to Hennigh Cave and Tytoona Cave, explore the caves throughout the day. Set up camp. Enjoy fun, daily activities prepared by the Trip Leaders.

Day 5
Return to Cowan Retreat Center. Your trip leaders will have planned activities for the day, closure activities, dinner and music with students, faculty, and staff, until 8:00 or 9:00 pm. Return to campus by 9:30 pm. Call parents, let them know that you are safe and it was the most amazing experience in your life!

Day 6
8:00 am Breakfast is provided for BuckWilders, hopefully we will have a BuckWild completion video to share, and our leaders with help you with the New Student Orientation Schedule that will begin today at 11 a.m.!


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