Freshman 21-Day Expedition Course Preparation

Dear Class of 2028,

Congratulations on your admittance to Wyoming Catholic College! We are excited to welcome you as an important member of our community and to help you acquire the virtues necessary for fulfilling your future vocation.

As an incoming freshman, your first course will be the Freshmen 21 Day Expedition. While you already know some things about WCC’s Experiential Leadership Program (ELP), you likely have many questions as well. The purpose of this page and documents provided here is to provide you with some practical guidelines regarding safety and risk management, general rules of conduct, gear requirements, and physical fitness preparation.

The 21-Day Expedition will serve as a foundation for all of your other experiences at WCC. Your immediate encounter with the created world – God’s First Book – will prepare you for the more reflective studies to come. Encountering Christ in the wilderness will introduce you to the rich offerings of the college chaplaincy. The backcountry skills you will acquire will enable you to participate in future ELP trips, field science courses, adventure trips, and leadership clinics. The shared experience of the expedition with your new classmates will initiate you into this community of friendship in which you will be immersed for the next four years.

Please read over all course information carefully and follow all instructions. In July, you will receive an e-mail with additional information regarding the academic expectations for your Freshmen Expedition. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you have; we are here to help.

Once again, congratulations on your admittance to Wyoming Catholic College. We are honored that you have chosen to attend and look forward to meeting you in late July here in God’s Country.

In the love of Christ,

Dr. Thomas Zimmer
Director of Experiential Learning Program &
Asst. Professor of Leadership & Outdoor Education
Wyoming Catholic College

Directors of the Freshman Expedition

Thomas Zimmer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Leadership and Outdoor Education and Director of Experiential Leadership Program

Karl Eby

Outdoor Leadership Program Assistant Director

Questions? Contact Mr. Karl Eby: or 419-345-8628

Course Welcome Packet

The following Course Packet is critical in terms of preparing you for your Freshmen Expedition. It contains guidelines on preparing physically for the course as well as acquiring all of the gear you’ll need. Please read this entire packet carefully so that you are adequately prepared for your trip. You are responsible for knowing and adhering to the information in this packet, including standards for the purchase of critical equipment. Proper and adequate hiking boots especially are essential to your personal health and physical safety when going deep into wilderness environments.

Open a printable version of the document HERE.

Course Expectations and Policies

The College reserves the right to remove you from the Freshmen Expedition should you demonstrate behavior that is unsafe, disruptive, or distracts from the mission of Wyoming Catholic College. We will not tolerate harassment, use of drugs or alcohol, theft or misuse of property, low motivation, or disregard of instructors. It is paramount to the welfare and well-being of everyone on the expedition that you follow the instructions of the Freshmen Expedition leaders. If you do not comply with these instructions you will be removed from the expedition. If you are removed, there will be no refunds of any kind, and you (or parent/guardian) will be held responsible for all expenses related to evacuation and travel out of the backcountry.

Remember, too, that the Freshmen Expedition is considered the first course of your academic career at WCC. Therefore, should you be removed from the expedition for behavioral reasons, you will be required to go before the WCC Disciplinary Committee. Such removal from the expedition could result in your expulsion from the College. In the coming months, you will be provided with a copy of WCC’s Student Handbook. It is your responsibility to read this and to comply with the expectations and rules of student behavior.

Food & Diet 

COR recommends that you continue any diet that you currently follow while on the 21 Day trip. For example, if you currently eat gluten-free, please plan to continue to do so while on the 21 Day trip. We have found that significant changes in food intake or diet on the course have detrimental effects on participants. 

The exception to this is that your caloric needs will most likely increase due to the physical demands of the expedition, especially if you currently operate in a calorie deficit. The rations that COR provides are sufficient for your nutrition on the course, but your instructors can make specific recommendations if needed.


If you are currently prescribed any medication, please plan to continue taking it on the trip as your doctor directs. We do not recommend that any participant choose to discontinue use of prescribed medications while on the course; this can be considered grounds for removal from the field depending on the individual’s medical condition and need for medication. 

Please make appropriate plans at least two weeks prior to entering the field to obtain any medication needed for the duration of the course. COR will not be able to fill prescriptions for you at any point during the course; you should have in hand whatever medication you will need for the duration of the trip when it begins. Instructors will direct you on managing your medication as part of our re-ration policy. 

Any questions about these policies can be directed to Mr. Karl Eby ( 

If you are evacuated from the expedition for any reason you may be charged a $500 per day evacuation fee. Removal from the expedition is determined at the discretion and decision of your instructor team. If you are removed for a medical reason, it may be possible for you to recoup the evacuation costs through your medical insurance policy. We also recommend acquiring emergency flight/transportation coverage in the unlikely event you need to be evacuated by helicopter. See insurance section below. You will be responsible for submitting any claims to your insurance company.

More information regarding our policies if a participant is evacuated coming soon.

While enrolled as a student at WCC, you must carry personal medical insurance at all times. (Coverage from medical cost sharing organizations is acceptable.) While most policies cover wilderness and backpacking trips, some do not. Inquire with your insurance company to be sure.  If your policy does not cover wilderness and backpacking trips, you must purchase supplemental insurance coverage. WCC recommends Adventure Advocates (

When you check in upon arrival, you will be asked to present your medical insurance card to be scanned. This copy of your card will be kept on file by the College. It has been our experience that students do not always have their insurance card with them or know where it is when they must seek medical attention. By having a copy of your health insurance card on file, the Registrar can print off a copy of the card for you or fax it to your medical provider. Medical share plans are also acceptable.  If you do not currently have personal medical insurance, consider looking into low-cost policies at (International students can visit: Supplemental insurance policies such as Adventure Advocates and AFLAC cannot be substituted for medical insurance.

Information regarding emergency transportation coverage coming soon.


Required Forms & Waivers

The Registrar has or will provide a variety of forms and documents that must be returned by assigned dates. While some of these documents do not relate directly to the Freshmen Expedition, they must be completed and submitted prior to your arrival in Lander. Please contact the Registrar with any questions.

The physical form provided below is required and must be completed by a physician, licensed nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. The information provided in this form is kept confidential.  Please note that this is extremely important for us to have in advance of your trip, and that all past medical history information is important to report! Indicating the presence of any medical condition does not automatically disqualify you from the trip, and the more information we have the better we will be able to adequately accommodate any medical concerns. Our instructors will not be able to assist with issues they are unaware of and omission of information can seriously impact the experience of the student and the rest of the group on the course. Please be honest in order to set yourself and your group up for the best possible trip!

Click HERE for the form, or see the Forms & Waivers buttons at the bottom of the page.

You must return all pages of this form, completed and signed by the physician, certified nurse practitioner, or physician assistant by July 1, 2024.

Either a copy of your immunization record or a signed Wyoming Catholic College Immunization Waiver is required for participation in the trip. Your immunization records or waiver should be scanned and emailed to the Registrar:

Click HERE for the waiver, or see the Forms & Waivers buttons at the bottom of the page.

Course Material

The Freshman Expedition is your first credit-bearing course at Wyoming Catholic College. You can view the syllabus and grading rubrics HERE.

You will receive an email in July providing instructions for a class that you will teach while on the Freshmen Expedition. You will need to prepare to teach this class prior to your arrival in Lander. Topics include flora and fauna, animals of the Rockies, geology of the Rockies, weather patterns, and others. You should prepare to give a dynamic 5-10 minute presentation.

This letter from the Academic Dean includes a selection of readings to do in preparation for the trip.  These readings are meant to facilitate your reflection on your experience of the outdoors and to connect those experiences to your upcoming studies this fall. Please read prior to your arrival on campus.

Read HERE.