Project Wild

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Does the Trip Cost and What Expenses Are Not Covered in the Cost?
  2. Is Financial Aid Available?
  3. What Gear Does PWILD Provide?
  4. Is Backpacking or Climbing Experience Necessary
  5. How Many Freshmen Do PWILD?
  6. What Do We Do on PWILD?
  7. What Forms Do I Need to Fill Out to Go on PWILD?
  8. What Do Participants Do With Their Belongings While on the Pre-Orientation Trip?
  9. When Does the Trip Get Back on Move-in Day, and Where Should Participants Meet Parents?
  10. Where and When Do I Show Up for PWILD?
  11. Is PWILD Fun?

What Does the Trip Cost and What Expenses Are Not Covered in the Cost?

The cost of the trip is $495, an exceptional bargain for a 2-week backpacking trip! Many crews like to go out to some of the local restaurants during their first day on campus, so participants are advised to bring some cash. It would also be a good idea to bring a few dollars for things you may have forgotten (i.e. bowl, spoon, toothbrush). $20 dollars in cash should be enough to cover just about anything you could need.


Is Financial Aid Available?

YES! Please don’t let the cost of Project WILD prevent you from experiencing the trip of a lifetime!


What Gear Does PWILD Provide?

The gear list describes everything you will need to have for the Pre-Orientation Trip. Project WILD supplies backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, pack covers, chlorine, and whistles to all participants who need them. We also supply all group gear (tarps, compasses, maps, cookware, stoves etc). Buying gear shouldn't be a huge expense, so be sure to check out army surplus stores or other outdoor warehouses for cheap boots and raingear.

Please make sure you have the items in the "Critical" and "Required" sections. Once you arrive, we have only a limited capacity to get extra items. Also, please pay attention to the items you should not bring.


Is Backpacking or Climbing Experience Necessary

No experience is necessary for the Pre-Orientation Trip, so please don't think that you may not be skilled or hardcore enough to do this trip! We welcome any and all skill levels—even if you have never slept outdoors before! The main purpose of the trip is for you to have a great time out in the beautiful outdoors and while getting to know other incoming freshmen like yourself and learning a little about Duke through the experiences of our student staff.


How Many Freshmen Do PWILD?

Project Wild has the capacity to take 80 incoming freshmen.


What Do We Do on PWILD?

When you first arrive, you will spend some time with your new crew composed of 8-10 other participants and around 4 student staff members. You will spend one day doing team building exercises and challenges on our low ropes courses on Duke's campus. Following this, you will head out to Pisgah National Forest outside of Asheville in western North Carolina where you will backpack for 11 days and rock climb for one.


What Forms Do I Need to Fill Out to Go on PWILD?

All the necessary forms are available here and will also be sent out to you once your spot on the trip has been confirmed. The Medical History form requires a physical and a doctor's signature, so complete the forms as soon as you are notified of your acceptance to the Pre-Orientation Trip!


What Do Participants Do With Their Belongings While on the Pre-Orientation Trip?

Because of summer programming at Duke, the dorms are occupied and students cannot move in before the trip. Incoming freshman participating in Project WILD can bring one small to midsized bag in addition to any gear you will be bringing on the backpacking trip. This bag will be securely stored during the trip. You will have a place to store a change of clothes, shower stuff, etc, for when we return, but unfortunately, we only have room to store one bag from each participant. In the past students have either had their parents drive their stuff down and met them on move-in day, or had their belongings shipped via UPS or a similar service directly to their rooms, timing it so that they would arrive the day of move-in.

We can store valuables with our Dean, Todd Adams. Your valuables will be returned to you upon your return to Duke. But don't bring excess valuables, like grandma's brooch, because you really won't need it in the woods :)


When Does the Trip Get Back on Move-in Day, and Where Should Participants Meet Parents?

We leave the mountains early in the morning on the first day of orientation, so participants will arrive at Duke in the early afternoon. The buses drop us off at the Crowell building on East Campus located off of Buchanan Ave on the East side of the campus in the early afternoon on the first day of orientation. Participants often meet their families there or at their dorms.


Where and When Do I Show Up for PWILD?

Participants are expected to check in on Tuesday August 5th, 2014 between 10am and 2pm at the parking lot next to the Bivins Building. If you are arriving by plane we will provide a shuttle service to bring you directly there. For those of you who will be driving, Bivins is located on the far Northwest corner of East Campus off of Markham Ave, which borders the North side of East Campus. The main traffic circle on East Campus is on the South side of the Campus. We shouldn't be hard to miss because we'll be the ones hooting and hollering!


Is PWILD Fun?

Good heavens, yes! Don't worry if you don't have any backpacking experience, or any fancy gear. Our cheerful staff are more than willing to help you out and get you comfortable in the woods. More than any other factor, we keep doing this trip because the response is always so overwhelmingly positive.


If you have any other questions, please contact us

.