The Emory & Henry Outdoor Program is committed to sustainability, cultivating ecological awareness and responsibility in its participants. The E&H Outdoor Program is part of a community that includes many forests, rivers, and mountains, and the Program believes that healthy communities rely upon reciprocity and the individuals who take the initiative to give as much as they receive. It is all about three important ideas: Leave No Trace, maintenance, and reclamation. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics provides the Program a guiding set of principles. As the Program introduces E&H students, faculty, and staff to the wonders of backpacking, paddling, and rock climbing, it also communicates the reality of backcountry impact and strives to leave the places explored undisturbed for the next generations to enjoy.
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethicsprovides the Program a guiding set of principles. As the Program introduces E&H students, faculty, and staff to the wonders of backpacking, paddling, and rock climbing, it also communicates the reality of backcountry impact and strives to leave the places explored undisturbed for the next generations to enjoy.
Backcountry trails like the Appalachian Trail make the beauty and solitude of nature more accessible, and as the E&H Outdoor Program enjoys the hiking and backpacking the A.T. affords, the Program engages trail maintenance projects. Partnering with the Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club, students, faculty, and staff repair trails, volunteering their sweat and strong backs for the perpetuation of backcountry access.
There is no shortage of garbage, and the E&H Outdoor Program takes the reclamation initiative to remove as much junk as possible from local mountains, streams, and forests. Cooperating with the Environmental Science Department and the Appalachian Center for Civic Life, the South Fork of the Holston River has been the recent focus of many collaborative debris removal effort.
E&H Outdoor Program Calendar
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Our Outdoor Program currently has more than 80 members — few of which have actually had comprehensive outdoor experience. Most students come to us with a simple interest in doing something they’ve never done before, and it’s both our responsibility and our pleasure to provide that opportunity.
The Program is active year-round. Our trips include hiking for blueberries in Grayson Highland, rock climbing at Backbone Rock, kayaking on the South Fork of the Holston, Backpacking to the summit of Mt. Rogers, and many more trips that are within an hour of campus. Our staff and student leaders run the trips and are fully trained and equipped to provide the best possible outdoor experiences.
If you have attended trips via the Outdoor Program and want to excel in a particular adventure sport — be it hiking, rock climbing, or whitewater paddling — then the Leadership Education and Development Program (LEAD) is for you. Outdoor Program leaders are expected to continually improve backcountry skills and gain Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and area-specific certifications with institutions such as the ACA. Leaders for the program are also expected to help lead and plan the fall and spring break expeditions. Trip leader and assistant trip leader positions are available as campus employment. Email Jim Harrison if interested.