Travel opportunities abound with Base Camp Cullowhee

Looking for something to do around here? Craving an outdoor adventure? Want to try something new? Well, look no further than WCU’s own Base Camp Cullowhee. BCC offers new and exciting ways for you as a student to get involved and travel around these mountain parts. According to BCC Director Josh Whitmore, the center has four basic missions for students. The first, and one of the most popular, is trips. BCC offers multiple off-campus trips a semester, and any student is welcome to sign up. Activities include rock-climbing, kayaking, rafting trips, and hikes. You can sign up for full-day, half-day or even multi-day trip to Panthertown, Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, or our very own Tuckaseegee River. BCC also hosts an annual winter skiing trip in Colorado and offers a Spring Break trip. In 2008, BCC will take students to Costa Rica for a combo service learning/outdoor expedition trip. The second mission of BCC is to provide equipment rentals for students who want to plan their own trips. Equipment is rented for a two-day period during the week, or three days over the weekend. You can borrow backpacks, climbing gear, and all kinds of camping equipment. BCC also provides the area with information about the area if you want it. Stop on in for directions, maps, suggested areas, or ideas for a cool hike. BCC staff members are more than happy to share their knowledge and adventure experiences. The last main purpose of BCC is to provide experiential learning opportunities for students to take the classroom outside. BCC has begun working with multiple classes to collaborate field trips or share information with students. Getting students involves is mainly what it’s about, says Whitmore. “This university is a unique place because we have so many natural resources. Only a couple of schools have this kind of access to nature. There are two types of people in college- those who really love it, and people who don’t think there’s a lot to do.” Whitmore said that the second group of students can really benefit from BCC programs by taking advantage of their chances for adventure while they’re still here at WCU. He also mentioned that the activities that BCC offers often promote the development of real world skills, like teamwork and problem-solving. So what can you expect for the summer and next semester? Whitmore said BCC stays busy in the summer with many high school student groups, as well as freshman orientation activities. First Ascent, programs offered to incoming freshman, include a rafting trip and a five-day climbing trip. These experiences get students involved with something new, and they immerse students in the area around Cullowhee. In the fall, BCC will continue its kayak roll clinics and weekly climbing spire opportunities. Starting in September, BCC will resume its Wednesday afternoon kayaking trips. Whitmore also said they hoped to offer abilities classes later in the semester. These classes will teach students basic outdoor activity skills like bike maintenance or fly-fishing. If you have a desire to get out of your dorm room and travel to places far, and near, plan something with BCC. Their new location is in Brown Cafeteria, or you can visit their Web site at And if you’re extremely interested in meeting the staff and perhaps buying gear for yourself, BCC will host an old equipment sale on the UC lawn Thursday, April 26.