Lander, WY – Rogue WCCLEs, unofficial and unauthorized groupings of students led by rogue leaders, first became a problem at Wyoming Catholic College last year when a couple bored former instructors for the course decided it would be a great idea to simply pick out some freshmen at random, tell them they were actually in “their” group for the expedition, and just lead them themselves. Two “fake instructors” got as far as the trailhead with their fake grouping of students skimmed from other WCCLEs last year before being stopped when one of the other WCCLEs’ instructors decided to actually check their trip roster and do a roll call. Needless to say, the attempt was stopped last year.

However, although it has not yet been confirmed, the problem has apparently multiplied and deepened this year as the Class of 2024 at WCC goes out into the wild for their freshman expedition. Reportedly, more than half of the students on the expedition are reportedly missing from their officially assigned WCCLE according to an IIT source with close ties to the WCC Outdoor Leadership Program (OLP).

Furthermore, trained and experienced Outdoor Leaders Louisa, Christopher Langley, Jeremiah, Janelle, Jack, and Ceily are all “either missing or accounted for” according to our same source, leading him to tell us the OLP’s assessment is that these leaders ran off into the backcountry with many of the freshmen to “lead them themselves”. Likely its for the same reason that people, attempted to do the same last year, boredom, but with so many more experienced and “trail hungry” leaders in town this summer, the problem has only grown all the more.

Although the OLP was unable to determine exactly how unauthorized leaders managed to trick, persuade, and make off with so many freshmen without anyone knowing, they have seriously discussed the ramifications of the apparent situation as this transcript of a conversation between two high-level OLP officials indicates:

“I guess its nice they’re doing it for free,” one OLP official reportedly said in response to the assessment report. “But shouldn’t we be out looking for them?”

“No reason to,” another replied in response. “These leaders might even be better. I mean some of these missing students must be out there with the famous Jack Bernard and Chris Langley. Since these people are at the top of their game already and probably have to act even more official-like to get the freshmen to follow them, they’re probably acting at a NOLS level of instruction.

“Probably,” mused the first. “But shouldn’t we at least confirm that this is the case, and they didn’t go missing somewhere else, like on the way to the trailhead.”

“Nonsense,” said the other. “We counted an absolutely massive number of freshmen coming into town and an absolutely massive number getting in the vans, while the leaders reported a similar absolutely massive number getting off. Can’t be anything wrong with anything if the equation balances out.”

“How did you manage to know about absolutely massive being at the, ohh never mind. How do we sell this to the parents though?” said the first official, getting a little worried.

“Easy,” replied the other. “Just start some rumors that instructors got replaced for some reason or another. Then, once they all get back, no one will be the wiser that this wasn’t the original plan. Neither the students themselves, the parent’s, or the school administration.”

“But the instructors reported that they’re missing people.”

“No problem tbere. Just tell them next time they make a Sat-Phone call that the number of people in their group is ‘confidential private medical information’. See! I told you, nothing will get out.”

“But isn’t that against the ‘lost person protocols’?”

“No that’s one of the benefits of our professional and official WCCLE’s having professional instructors. They can bend the rules.”

“I’m still a bit worried,” the other interjected. “Maybe its okay this year, and I see your point about professional instructors being able to bend the rules, which I guess works for maybe Chris and Jack, justifying them just running off without permission. But what if this gets repeated? What if some, say, sophomores decide to run off with freshmen like this? What if, if Sebastian returns and launches a whole squad of rogue WCCLE’s.”

“That’s also easy,” said the other. “Let it happen. The kids will get more experiential learning if they get lost or something. And since that’s the goal of the whole program, why, actually, do we even have official WCCLEs. Wouldn’t it be better for learning to just make unofficial WCCLEs official.”

“That’s a paradox, sir.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, it’s nothing we’d understand, since we’re the OLP and we have nothing to do with the rest of the WCC Curriculum, but I think somewhere in philosophy, they…”

“Wait, where’s philosophy? That a climb?

“See I told you we were the OLP!”

[[end transcript]]