Cowan Basecamp

Challenge Level: Light. No prior experience needed


This BuckWild trip will keep you close to your new home but give you plenty to do! Students who choose this trip will be traveling to nearby Cowan, Pa., home of the CLIMBucknell challenge course — a student favorite. In addition to climbing, you will enjoy a week of hiking, paddling the local waterways and camping.

How to Prepare

To participate on this trip, you do not need to have experience with hiking, rock climbing, kayaking or any other outdoor activities of this nature. Trip leaders will give instructions before each activity and are willing to provide assistance. You will be very active throughout this trip, so it is a good idea to prepare beforehand by doing activities such as swimming, biking or hiking to get your body used to physical activity.  

We recommend you get lots of rest prior to the trip. Preparing to come to college, moving in and adjusting to your new home can all be very stressful. That is why it is important to arrive as refreshed as possible so you are able to fully enjoy yourself and the planned activities. In addition, we recommend drinking plenty of water before and throughout the trip, as August temperatures can bring extreme heat and humidity.

Expedition Itinerary

Day 1

7 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Move into the residence halls. Breakfast and lunch on your own.

12:15 p.m. In a duffel bag, bring your equipment from the packing list to a storage area.

12:30 p.m. Meet with the associate dean, the director of Outdoor Education & Leadership, and BuckWild student trip leaders in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts.

1:30 p.m. Family goodbyes.

1:45 p.m. Report to Malesardi Quad to meet with your BuckWild student trip leaders.

2 p.m. Families meet with the president, provost and dean of students in the Weis Center.

2:30 p.m. Families depart campus or attend a social hour in the Weis Center lobby until 3:30 p.m.

Day 2

Wake up at Cowan and enjoy breakfast. Hit the water for the day on a kayaking adventure. Enjoy fun activities prepared by the trip leaders.

Day 3 

Wake up and enjoy breakfast. Spend the day hiking the trails at R.B. Winter State Park. Enjoy some great views and fun activities prepared by the trip leaders.

Day 4

Wake up and enjoy breakfast. Take part in a day of activities at the CLIMBucknell Challenge Course at Cowan. You will have the opportunity to build your team into a cohesive unit through low ropes problem-solving activities, climbing our tower, zip-lining and high-ropes elements. Enjoy fun daily activities prepared by the trip leaders.

Day 5 

Wake up and enjoy breakfast. Challenge yourself in a fun scavenger hunt around the Cowan property. Meet and engage with Bucknell professors in the afternoon at the Cowan Forrest D. Brown Retreat Center. Enjoy food and festivities mid-evening. Go back to your residence hall to shower and sleep!

Day 6

Breakfast 8:15 a.m. in Larison Dining Hall. Your BuckWild trip leaders will talk about the New Student Orientation schedule and you’ll watch a slideshow displaying each of the BuckWild trip experiences. New Student Orientation begins a little before lunch.

Outdoor Education & Leadership


Elaine Langone Center, Ground Floor