Each fall, about 100 incoming first-years opt to start their Trinity College journey with a wilderness adventure through Quest, an extended pre-orientation program that takes place on the famed Appalachian Trail. Begun in 2004, Quest affords participants the opportunity to meet other Trinity students and to conquer new challenges as they transition into college. The program offers four- and 10-day treks that feature backpacking and rock-climbing, and no experience is required, with two or three student instructors—in addition to accompanying faculty and staff—providing guidance on necessary basic wilderness skills. Approximately 30 student leaders undergo training during the preceding spring, with most senior leaders building on training from previous years. Emily Schroeder ’20, an educational studies and neuroscience major who also helped to found Trinity’s women’s golf team, took part in Quest before her first year and has continued to be involved. She’s a leader, a two-year trainer of new leaders, and a student coordinator, with responsibilities for the latter role including logistics, trip planning, and oversight of student registration and enrollment. “I chose to participate in Quest because I wanted to meet students before the rush of orientation,” she says. “Quest provided me with a support network of upper-class leaders and lasting friendships with first-years who shared an unforgettable experience with me. Now I couldn’t imagine starting an academic year without Quest.”
For more information about Quest, please visit https://www.trincoll.edu/StudentLife/Events/Quest
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