The WINTER TRIP. While not as frightening in the abstract as the Freshmen Expedition to most students as it’s only a week-long rather than the extended three weeks of COR, it carries terrors of its own for students to bear. Just think about it. The cold, the Cold, and the COLD, what else can bring about more of an endurance of the arduous than going to the coldest part of Wyoming, building a shelter out of that weird white stuff lying six feet thick around everywhere, and staying and sleeping out there during the darkest and coldest time of the year.
For, even before discussing what the trip is in itself, the question of why WCC even bothers to have the trip, comes to the forefront of everyone’s’ minds. Why endure all this, why go out, why take a week out of a sacred celebration of Christmas just to get cold? Why, if students have already gone through the tremendous, terrifying, and dangerous experience of COR, does WCC put its young freshmen back out into the wilderness? What more is to be learned from another week. Wouldn’t it seem that most of the time the poor freshpersons will be too busy shivering to learn anything, and too cold to even be able to think on this “Winter Trip”?
Upon reflection, investigation of our own experiences, and consultation with the Official WCC Winter Trip Guide (which by the way, Freshmen, you absolutely, positively, need to read), the IIT staff has concluded that there is more to the Winter Trip than a simple purposeless repeat of COR aiming to cause pain and suffering. No, the Experiential Leadership Program is not just a poorly hidden hazing program by upperclassmen. Rather the goals of the Winter Trip parallel that of COR in developing survival abilities and a recognition of wonder, but the unique character of the winter inverts community development goals in interesting ways that complement and fulfill COR to make students not just endure the arduous, but in some way to actually enjoy the outdoors, their class as a whole, and become students of the whole above that of any smaller cliches within.
AND YES, while this idea of enjoying the wilderness outdoors may seem laughingly impossible to you freshmen on the eve of your departure, it’s actually possible. It’s hard, but it’s possible. And that’s what this guide is for, to help you actually enjoy your upcoming adventure, for it is in many ways predictable and unpredictable, an adventure and IIT is happy to be part of preparing you for it.
The Name – What It Seems To Be
For starts, as with our analysis of the COR expedition, let’s look into the title of the program, “Winter Trip”. As such, it appears by nature that this trip, as it is called, has to occur during the winter. But what this nature means, however, depends on where the trip occurs in the world. For if by “winter” the school means “winter” as in the “northern-winter” of December through March experienced by Wyoming (or more truthfully: October through May), the trip could be a January backpacking trip in a steaming New Guinea jungle or a surfing trip off the coast of Australia. Conversely, if by winter, the school means winter as a trip conducted in the local winter of the region in which it is held, Winter Trip could be conducted in the Wyoming summer but physically in the Southern Hemisphere where it is locally winter, like somewhere in the Andes Mountains or maybe Mt. Kilimanjaro or something. But as far as we know from research, the Winter Trip has always occurred in Wyoming, however, and has always been in January, so the apprehension that freshmen appear to hold for it as a cold, winter trip in Wyoming seems correct at least based on past trends. (But I don’t know if that’s a proper extrapolation, as I’m just a sophomore and haven’t yet gone through the statistical gauntlet of SCI302… and become a statistic along the way…).
And again, interestingly, Winter Trip is a “trip” and not an “expedition” as with COR. “Trip” carries slightly easier connotations than does “expedition” as to the nature of the activities involved, so unless the school is simply trying to ease students’ fears with a name that’s easier to emotionally swallow – there’s hope. From the title and knowing that’s it’s something at WCC, the casual reader can deduce that the Winter Trip is something experienced in cold, snowy, icy, conditions by WCC students with a level of difficulty less than the three-week COR expedition.
Part II continues with what the Winter Trip really is