Ready for some human-powered adventure?
Come paddle a river, canoe a lake, climb the rocks, explore the forests and national
parks. WCU is home to some of the most amazing rivers, waterfalls, granite domes,
pristine national forests and national parks in the country. At WCU we aim to reach
new heights! We offer a variety of half day and full day trips along with extended
break trips such as fall and spring break expeditions! All trips and programs are
planned and executed by trained students and our professional guide staff. All staff
are highly qualified and hold certifications such as Wilderness First Responder, EMT,
ACA Swift Water Rescue, American Mountain Guides Association, and more.
Schedule - Trips | Clinics | Events
Base Camp Cullowhee provides the following services to enhance your outdoor experience
Hours of Operation (Fall/Spring):
Hours of Operation (Summer):
Rentals by appointment only and based on availability. To set up an appointment email
Kay Tufts at email@example.com or call 828-227-8804.
Summer Only: Not available during open Adventure Shop hours? You can set up an appointment to
pick up and drop off gear. To set up an appointment, please contact Kay Tufts at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Jeremiah Haas at email@example.com.
Base Camp Cullowhee is here to serve as your resource center, guide to local outdoor
trails, map service center, and outdoor leader to answer all of your questions. We
have tons of maps of North Carolina, including almost every topographic map of the
state. We have books on Standard First Aid to Biking in Utah. We have eager employees
that would love to help you reach your destination, so come by and see the wealth
of resources at your fingertips.
Base Camp Cullowhee offers Outdoor Equipment Rentals for students, faculty, and staff.
To help accommodate the WCU community we have updated our rental rates so we now have
3 rental periods that patrons can rent for. From camping equipment to whitewater gear,
we've got it all.
Deposits are required for all rental equipment! Equipment is considered late if not
returned by 5:00 pm on the day it is due. Renters will pay the daily rental rate for
each item that is late, up until the total cost is occurred for that item.
- Day Rate: allows for patrons to rent for a 24-hour period (Thursday-Friday).
- Weekend Rate: allows for patrons to rent for 3 days (Friday-Monday).
- Week Rate: allows patrons to rent for a 7 day period (Friday-Friday).
Hours of Operation (Fall/Spring):
Hours of Operation (Summer):
Monday and Thursday: 4pm-7pm
Kids Climbing Dates
Kids Climbing Night is typically the last Friday of the month from 5:00pm-7:00pm.
Kids can climb under the supervision of a parent or guardian. Please check in at the
Campus Recreation Center (CRC) front desk when you arrive. The cost is $5.00 per child.
Check our program schedule for specific dates.
Hours of Operation (Fall/Spring):
Thursday: By appointment only. Please contact Jeremiah Haas at 828-227-8805 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Base Camp Cycle Shop is your one-stop shop for all your cycling needs. Students
have access to a fully equipped bike shop and trained technician to assist in repairs
and answer questions. Whether a road bike, mountain bike, or something in between,
we have the tools and knowledge to keep the cycling adventure going. Don't forget
to ask about our monthly clinics ranging from basic bike maintenance to essential
mountain biking skills. BCC also offers mountain bike rentals to explore nearly 7
miles of the WCU campus trail system.
Bike Fix-It Stands and Air Pumps
WCU also has two Dero Bicycle Fix-it Stands and Air Pumps located across campus and
are free to use. For maintenance issues please report to email@example.com
Fix-It Stands & Air Pump Locations
- Campus Recreation Center
- WCU Tunnel Entrance/Softball Stadium Parking Lot
Another campus feature we’re proud to share with the Western Carolina University community
is our WCU Trail System. At nearly 7 miles long, this trail was designed for hikers
and mountain biking. Enjoy!
WCU Trail System Map
Teambuilding and Team Development Course
These programs are built around fostering teamwork and communication skills. WCU's
Team Development Course, located behind NCCAT near the Wildflower trailhead, is a
series of structured activities consisting of ground-based initiatives and elements
that serve as a proving ground for teamwork. Teambuilding, as the name, might suggest,
is team-centered initiatives concocted from a series of game-like challenges. Unlike
our Low Ropes Course, we can make Teambuilding happen anywhere considering that it
utilizes very little hardware.
For more information on booking a program please contact Kay Tufts firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about our WCU Low Ropes Course, click - Booking your Team Development Course Experience at WCU
Ski and Snowboard Shuttle
Get outside and enjoy the winter in Western North Carolina. Shred some powder every Friday night during the months of January and February. Outdoor Programs offers ski shuttle services
to Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, NC! Make the best out of the winter and hit the slopes with Base
For more information on dates and times check out our Trips Calendar.
Base Camp has a variety of programs that will meet you where you are at. BCC is not
a club and you do not need a membership to join. Stop by our Adventure Shop located
in the Campus Recreation Center and let our staff help you get started. We specialize
in small group instruction, minimal impact techniques, traveling light and most importantly
building community! Below is a list of programs that are offered throughout the year.
First Ascent - New Student Wilderness Orientation Program
First Ascent is WCU's Wilderness Orientation program created to offer unique outdoor
adventures specifically for incoming students. These programs also offer students
the opportunity to move on to campus early, familiarize oneself with resources and
start building a community of friends that helps ease the transition into the college
experience. It's the perfect way to start your climb at WCU!
The program offers two different options:
- Wilderness Experience
- Base Camp Adventure
Find more information on program dates, registration here.
Outdoor Guide Development Program (OGDP)
The Outdoor Guide Development Program (OGDP) is an outdoor leadership training program
open to all WCU students offered during the Fall and Spring semesters. OGDP is an
immersive program that provides a smooth transition and educational process to become
a BCC Trip Leader. Certificates of completion will be given to those students participating
in a formal assessment of their skills and qualifications as pursuant to best industry
practice and established Base Camp Cullowhee Trip Leader and Instructor competencies.
OGDP focuses on giving students the necessary skills, knowledge, and awareness to
become competent outdoor instructors and guides. OGDP Foundations and Outdoor Essential
Clinics are at the core of becoming a trip leader and are offered during the Fall
and Spring semesters. OGDP is also Base Camp's professional development for current
staff working as trip leaders and focuses on improvement in technical skills, leadership,
and interpersonal skills.
Becoming an outdoor leader and educator is a lifelong journey that starts with developing
a core set of skills and knowledge. It is more than just being a climber, paddler
or backpacker. OGDP gives you the confidence and tools necessary to pursue a life
full of human powered adventure. Whether you want to become a trip leader with Base
Camp Cullowhee, work for an outdoor guide service, or just looking to refine your
outdoor leader toolbox; OGDP has something to offer everyone.
All students are required to register for OGDP prior to participation. To register CLICK HERE
Students interested in OGDP can learn more by stopping by the CRC Adventure Shop or
1. Foundations: OGDP begins with three Foundations workshops: History and Philosophy of Outdoor Education
and Programming, Risk in the Wilderness, and Leadership and Group Dynamics. Foundations
are courses that focus on the awareness of appropriate attitudes, knowledge, and skills
as it relates to outdoor leadership with particular emphasis on the relationship between
people, the environment, and equipment. These FREE workshops are offered twice each
semester, each for two hours - you pick the best time. The schedule of classes can
be found on the Base Camp website and program calendar. You can sign up for Foundations
workshops in the CRC Adventure Shop - Base Camp Cullowhee.
The program also offers OGDP Foundation exemptions to students who are majoring in
Parks & Recreation Management (PRM).
- History and Philosophy of Outdoor Education - Exemption: Must have taken and passed
PRM 250 and/or PRM 254
- Group Dynamics and Leadership - Exemption: Must have taken and passed PRM 270
- Risk in the Wilderness - Exemption: Must have taken and passed PRM 254
2. Experience Base Camp Cullowhee: Sign up for two outdoor program day trips, or attend one overnight extended trip
as a participant. One can participate in these trips at any point during their progress
through OGDP, Fall, Spring or Summer. During these trips you will learn about how
a Base Camp trip runs, you will see first hand how the instructor team works together
and also learn about some of our popular outdoor destinations. The Base Camp Cullowhee
program calendar is available on our website or at the CRC Adventure Shop.
3. Overview of Trip Leading with BCC & Technical Field Training: The final phase of OGDP is completing an overview of what it means to be a trip leader
with BCC and attend a 4 day technical field training (backpacking) which will focus
on teaching and reviewing all the necessary technical skills and interpersonal skills
one needs to have in order to move into a trip leader role. Students will work 1:1
with professional staff to check off on their competency checklist. Once finished,
students will meet 2:1 with Base Camp professional staff for a self-review and reflection
of the training.
4. Medical Certifications: The following certifications are required to work for WCU Base Camp Cullowhee: Wilderness
First Responder (Lead Guides), Wilderness First Aid (Instructors), Basic First Aid
(Apprentices), CPR/AED (Everyone), NC Epinephrine Administration, and WCU Van Driver
Training. It is the student's responsibility to obtain these certifications prior
to working. CRW offers CPR/AED courses in-house.
5. Apprentice: After completing Foundations, participating in BCC programs, completing the Field
Training, meet with professional staff and check off on your competency checklist
and obtain required certifications, you will be ready to start your journey as a Trip
Apprentice. Trip Apprentices are hired as staff with CRW and Base Camp Cullowhee.
Apprentices are paid $7.25/hour. Responsibilities include: help plan logistics, teaching
flow, manage safety and help to facilitate a quality experience for patrons. Once
you are an Apprentice, students will receive emails and newsletters regarding opportunities
for trip leading.
6. Instructors and Lead Guides: Depending on your skill level, apprenticing enough trips, obtaining proper certifications
and progress on competency checklists; students may be asked to join BCC as an Instructor
or Lead Guide. The process of completing OGDP is different for every student. Our
goal is to meet you where you are at, allow you the time needed to build confidence
and the necessary outdoor skills prior to stepping into a leadership role. You will
go through a field checkoff, at which time BCC trip staff will make sure you complete
all necessary skills on your checklist.
OGDP also offers an exemption process for those students coming in with a wealth of
knowledge, skills, certifications, and experience. The program also offers exemptions
for students who are majoring in Parks and Recreation Management (PRM). For more information
on exemptions please contact Jeremiah Haas email@example.com
7. Outdoor Essential Clinics: Once a student becomes a trip staff with BCC, it is required that staff keep up with
their professional development in order to keep the quality of instruction and risk
management high and to offer top-notch programming to our patrons. These FREE workshops
teach you the essential skills for becoming an outdoor leader. There are a series
of both Technical and Soft skill focused clinics and staff have to choose 1 from each
category, during both Fall and Spring semesters. This is a total of 4 workshops over
the year. OGDP Candidates and BCC Trip Staff can register for clinics at the Adventure
Shop, located in the CRC. You can attend Essential Clinics at any time.
Kayak Roll Clinics
Hours of Operation (Fall/Spring):
For dates check out our program schedule.
Learning how to whitewater kayak? Base Camp Cullowhee can help! We offer free roll
clinics in Reid Pool select Thursdays of the semester to help you perfect your roll
so when it comes time to transfer those skills to the river, you are ready. Let our
trained staff work with you 1:1 to help perfect that roll.
Guests of WCU affiliates can obtain a Guest Pass at the CRC front desk. Your receipt
is required for entry into the pool.
Base Camp Cullowhee is permitted to operate on National Forest Service Land. This
permit states: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination
in its programs on the basis of race, color national origin, sex, religion, age, disability,
political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. To file a complaint
of discrimination, write USDA Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten
building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964
(voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.