Project Wild will not be accepting applications for Summer 2017. The program will return Summer 2018.
Despite not organizing a trip during the 2017 summer, we are excited to meet you all at the Student Activities Fair during 1st Big Week
Welcome to Project WILD (Wilderness Initiatives for Learning at Duke)! Despite not organizing a trip during the 2017 summer, we are excited to meet you all at the Student Activities Fair during First Big Week. PWILD was started in 1974 (Happy 42nd to us!) by a group of students who noticed a “need at Duke for a program that would improve some of the impersonal and stifling aspects of university life.” And here we are, 42 years later still going back to the same forest and maintaining many of the same traditions that have been around since the beginning of the program.
So what is PWILD? The pre-orientation trip in August is two weeks long; this year's dates are August 9th-August 23rd. The first couple days take place on campus and involve some acclimation to Duke, a low ropes course, and getting to know your fellow freshman and PWILD staff. Once you are split up into crews, the trip can begin! On the trail, participants backpack for eleven days through the beautiful Pisgah National Forest in the Appalachian Mountains. In addition to the backpacking element, each crew gets a day for rock climbing! You’ll hike up mountains, swim through waterfalls, and spend tons of time getting to know your crew of other freshmen like you! Over these two weeks, you will get to know your crew fairly well, and will likely form some of your most lasting relationships at Duke on the trip (if you can get along with people after no one showers for two weeks then you naturally all end up as friends).
So I have to be an über-competent and experienced backpacker right? NOT AT ALL! Absolutely no backpacking experience is necessary for the trip! You don’t even have to have been camping or outside for an extended amount of time before! In fact, we LOVE introducing people to the fun and invaluable experiences that come with backpacking, and, on a wider scale, introducing them to the benefits and beauty of the outdoors.
Project WILD has a consistent and active community after the pre-orientation trip. We have a service trip in the fall (STEP into the Wild) and an experiential education house course with a spring break trip during the spring semester. While these experiences are already exciting on their own, the most amazing takeaway you’ll find is beginning your first year of college with solid friends and a large, established community as a jumping off point for your life at Duke.
If you have any questions, please contact the Office of New Student Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-684-3511
Please refer to the below link for the USDA statement regarding P-Wild's permit with Pisgah National Forest.