Well hello everyone. We finally figured out how to get on this. Sorry it took us so long.

We will be posting upcoming information and news. Our goal is to transmit the same information that was incorporated into our email newsletter. However, the blog allows us a little more freedom and less formality.

A lot has happened over the summer. First, we have a new design for the webpage. It took someone with a lot more expertise to get that mess straightened out and we really like the look. It also makes things so much easier to find. Check it out at http://smu.edu/recsports/adventure/default.asp

This past July, we hosted two Hilltop Scholars Expeditions. The HSP Expeditions are a 7 day backcountry experience for incoming first year Hilltop Scholars designed to give them leadership skills and experience. We hosted 16 Hilltop Scholars on both trips. Lead by SMU Outdoor Adventure student staff and 2009 Expeditioners, the groups backpacked the trails of Carson National Forest. They did great and it was really wonderful to see the individuals bond and become acquainted. Not easy carrying a 40 lb pack for up to 6 miles a day at an altitude of 11000 feet.

Last spring, in order to find quality staff and provide a more comprehensive training for them, we revised and revamped an old SMU OA training model. We now call it the Outdoor Leadership Training or OLT. It starts with a 2-step interview process in the spring. Those that make it through the interviews are invited to attend the New OA Staff Candidate Training Trip, a 5-7 day backpacking trip consisting of multiple instructor taught and peer taught classes to give every new candidate a baseline of introductory skills. Once the Candidate Trip is completed and potential new staff evaluated, they are invited to join the staff and complete the remaining of the OLT.

Now new staff are capable of an assistant leader position and begin leading trips. As they complete different modules of the OLT, they become capable of holding positions at the climbing wall and rental shop. The goal being that by the end of spring semester, these new staff are capable of working at any position within the program and holding the covented trip Leader status. We are very excited about it and have a great first class of new OLT staff to experiment with.

As we move forward with this blog, please be patient. We are learning how to use it and totally expect there to be some obstacles and bumps. We hope you enjoy and visit often. So until next time, happy trails.

About Albert Mitugo

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