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Wake Forest University Outdoor Pursuits


“Wilderness to Wake was my first real impression of upper class and other incoming students at Wake Forest. The experience was so welcoming and made the transition to being a Wake Forest student so smooth and fun. I still love going on trips with other leaders or participants.  Going on Wilderness to Wake was the best choice I could have made for preorientation”

-Erik Jager, Class of 2018

“Wilderness to Wake is one of the most enriching experiences for a freshmen coming into college.  Not only does it introduce you to a dynamic group of friends in your grade before even arriving at school, but it really resets you and prepares you mentally for the next big step in your life: college.  It grounds you and re-affirms that you can and will succeed in college.

As a participant, I gained all that I just mentioned: a group of great friends, the peace of mind to transition well into this next step of my life, tons of advice and information from my leaders about what college life is like and what I can make of it. As a leader, I've had the chance to see others go through this same process and get out of it exactly what I got out of it.  I've gained a sense of service and being through this program.  Being able to pass your own advice onto a new group of students is an awesome and truly humbling experience”

-Daniel Nelli, Class of 2017

“Wilderness to Wake is a worthwhile program because it allows participants to form lasting relationships with their peers before they even step foot on campus. Nothing forces a group to bond like overcoming the adversity faced in the backcountry, and I have seen many relationships formed during Wilderness to Wake that have lasted all four years of school. In addition, participants are able to get an unbiased preview of what to expect and prepare for during their college careers through their interactions with their leaders”

-Jack Sypek, Class of 2015

“Wilderness to Wake gave me the self-confidence I needed to burst my way into Wake Forest. Never before had I lived out of a backpack, called a tent my home, or tackled exhilarating white water rapids. Wilderness to Wake taught me that me that I can do far more than I think, and that has carried over to every aspect of my life”

-Jake McCambley, Class of 2015

“I value Wake more because of my experience leading Wilderness to Wake trips each fall.  It is encouraging to watch the transformative group dynamics over our week in the woods.  I witness students breaking boundaries and depending on each other to problem solve.  I am awed by how entertaining and innovative students can be as we hang our food at night. I am reminded of how important it is to facilitate these friendships at Wake, and so it provides a perfect entry-point to begin a new semester on campus.”

-Sarah Millsaps, Class of 2016