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SOAR Outdoor Frequently Asked Questions

What is SOAR Outdoor?

During this 5-day, 4-night program, new UNC Charlotte students will backpack multiple miles per day, tent or tarp camp each night, and rock climb.  Overcoming the many challenges presented by these activities, students will develop their ability to thrive in adversity, build community, and prepare themselves for a successful college experience.  SOAR Outdoor will take place prior to the beginning of the Fall semester.

Why should I sign-up for SOAR Outdoor?

SOAR Outdoor is an opportunity to:

  • Learn to overcome physical, mental, and emotional challenges inherent in new environments
  • Build self-confidence and learn new skills, including backpacking and rock climbing
  • Build new relationships with friends and mentors alike
  • Learn more about what life will be like as a UNC Charlotte student by hearing from current UNC Charlotte students
  • Earn two academic credits (Kinesiology 2230: Wilderness Experience)
  • Experience the beauty of nature
  • Set goals for what you hope to accomplish during your time at UNC Charlotte

Who should sign up?

  • Any new UNC Charlotte student (first years and transfers alike!) open to making new friends and accepting the opportunities and challenges of a five day wilderness trip 
  • No previous experience with backpacking or rock climbing is required.
  • Please note that SOAR Outdoor does not replace SOAR--attendance at SOAR is still expected of all UNC Charlotte students

Who is leading the trip?

Upperclassmen UNC Charlotte students will be leading SOAR Outdoor.  They are trained in in technical skills as well as wilderness medicine.  They are also experts in their own experience of making a successful transition to UNC Charlotte, and are looking forward to helping new students do the same.

What does a typical day look like?

  • Wake up in the wilderness after a night of sleeping in a tent.
  • Use a camp stove to cook a hot breakfast, and break down camp while watching the sun come up.
    • After doing a final camp sweep, hike 6-9 miles of trail in Pisgah National Forest, working with your team to successfully navigate the route.  Along the way, get to know your group members, play trail games, and take in views of waterfalls and mountain vistas.  Lunch on the trail often consists of things like summer sausage (we also have vegetarian options), peanut butter and jelly, and crackers and hummus.  
  • After a challenging day of hiking, arrive at a new campsite and set up camp.  Eat a tasty dinner like chicken macaroni and cheese, stir-fry, or burritos.   
  • In the evening, take time to meet and reflect on the day, recognize those who supported you and discuss how to make your group even more effective.  Leaders will also make time for you to ask questions about the school year ahead and making the transition to life as a UNC Charlotte student.  
  • Settle into your sleeping bag and enjoy a well-earned sleep!

When is it happening?

  • The five-day, four-night session will take place from Monday, August 8th to Friday, August 12, 2022.

What is being done to manage COVID-19 risks on this program?

  • UNC Charlotte is following CDC recommendations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Before participating in SOAR Outdoor, Venture encourages students to get the vaccine, and may require masks during the program.  
  • We will update participants as we get closer to the program with what our specific protocols will be surrounding COVID-mitigation practices.

Interested? Register here!

Additional Questions? Contact Venture Outdoor Leadership at