Montreat College’s Outdoor Expedition Management class returned from its weeklong outdoor expedition this past Sunday, but not before encountering and overcoming a few unexpected obstacles. The team, made up of five students and two instructors, had originally planned a swamp and river trip through Congaree National Park in South Carolina, but had to change plans when they arrived to find their planned route had been flooded. Within 24 hours, the students had planned a new course for Fontana Lake, NC, but rapidly changing weather patterns throughout the week meant that conditions on the lake ranged from sunny highs in the 70s to windy lows in the teens.
The changing itinerary and weather conditions gave the students ample opportunities to practice the outdoor leadership skills which are the focus of Montreat’s Expedition Management class, including rationing food, setting routes, and planning peer teaching and leadership opportunities. “I believe they learned a lot about being outdoor instructors,” said Dr. Andrew Bobilya, who accompanied the students on the trip and is the co-chair of Montreat’s Outdoor Education Department.