TWO Tufts Wilderness Orientation

two logoTufts Wilderness Orientation (TWO) is a five-day, student-led experience for incoming First-Years. The program includes backpacking, canoeing, hybrid (a combination of backpacking and canoeing), trail crew, and camping trips through which incoming students can experience the great outdoors while creating lasting bonds with upperclass leaders and each other.

We are excited to send out affinity trips, which are composed exclusively of first-year participants and leaders who all share a common identity. The following affinity trips are being offered this year: a POC trip, a women’s trip (for any student who identifies as a woman), a queer trip, a trans/nonbinary trip, and a transfer student trip!

All trips are designed for beginners; no prior outdoor experience is required. Regardless of your background in outdoor activity, we encourage you to register! We recommend that all TWO participants are prepared for a moderate level of physical activity that may include hiking for multiple hours at a time or extended days paddling.

TWO groups are made up of approximately eight incoming students and two student leaders, all of whom have been trained in outdoor living skills and are Wilderness First Aid certified. Groups are completely self-sufficient for the duration of the five-day trip in remote locations in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. This means all trip participants collaborate to carry food and equipment, cook for one another, and set up camp. Leaders will be in contact with program coordinators, while first-year participants will have minimal front-country contact.

You’ll have the opportunity to experience the view from a rocky mountaintop, paddle through a pristine lake, and gaze at the stars in a clear night sky. TWO is a unique opportunity to develop a support system of peers and mentors before beginning your college experience! Even if your favorite place to be outside is your local park, we hope you decide to register for TWO!

Types of Trips

We run five types of trips for you to choose from:

While TWO works hard to create trips that are accessible for beginners, some trips are more physically demanding than others.  Once you have been accepted to, TWO you will be asked to rate your preference for trip type and level of difficulty.

Please note that we have a limited number of each type of trip and cannot guarantee you your first choice. Students who do not complete their acceptance packet by its due date will be placed at random.

Students on backpacking tripBackpacking

Backpacking trips allow participants to spend five days hiking through the New England wilderness, camp at a variety of backcountry campsites, and collectively carry everything your group will need for a fun and successful trip. This is our most common type of trip, with the widest variety of difficulty.

Canoes near water

Canoeing

Canoeing trips spend five days paddling across beautiful lakes in Maine. Each trip will get the chance to spend days on the water, camp on beaches, and get an incredible view of the night stars.

Students on canoeing trip

 

Hybrid

Hybrid trips allow participants to combine two of our most popular trip types: canoeing and backpacking. Trips will spend 2 ½ days paddling on the lakes of Maine, and the other 2 ½ days backpacking high in the mountain tops. Because of the amount of ground covered by these two activities, Hybrid trips are some of the most physically demanding trips TWO offers. Still, though, no prior experience is required for any TWO trips, and all are encouraged to apply.

Students on trail crew trip

Trail Crew

Trail crew trips are service-based trips where participants hike, establish a basecamp, and spend a few days working on projects that maintain and support the trail network throughout New England. These trips excite first-years who are looking to make a tangible impact on outdoor spaces, learn about conservation practices, and help make the outdoors more accessible to all. Performed in collaboration with the Appalachian Mountain Club and/or Green Mountain Club, Trail Crew projects often include clearing trails, replacing rock markers (cairns), and creating easier log and rock stairs.

 

TWO Camping

Camping

Camping trips provide opportunities for first-years to establish a basecamp for the duration of their TWO trip, then explore their surrounding areas. Each day is a new adventure! In the past, activities have included day hikes, lake paddles, and campfires at Tufts’ Loj!

 

 

 

Affinity Trips

This year TWO is offering five affinity trips, or trips for first-years and leaders who share a common identity with one another. The affinity trips for TWO 2022 are: POC, Women’s (for any student who identifies as a woman), Queer, Trans/Nonbinary, and Transfer Students. These trips are specifically designed to foster a space that emphasizes shared identities. TWO is super excited to send these five trips this year! All affinity trips are medium difficulty backpacking trips. Please note that all TWO trips strive to create environments inclusive of all identities, not just affinity trips. Any first-year can succeed on any TWO trip!

We also acknowledge that participants can, and often do, hold a multiplicity of identities that overlap and intersect in their lived experience, and may not reflect the breakdown of our selected affinity trip groupings. Please sign up for the trip that you think would best provide you with the support and community you prefer upon starting at Tufts. As always, please reach out to us for more information.

POC

The POC trip is a trip which creates an open space for students of color to meet peers and mentors with similar experiences in preparation for college life, while fostering intentional community without perpetuating the exclusive histories of outdoor recreation. We recognize that students of color come from a breadth of backgrounds, experiences, and cultures, and hope that this trip provides all participants with a network of peers with which to begin their journeys at Tufts.

Women's

The Women’s trip is an inclusive trip for people who identify under the expansive umbrella of womanhood. Whether you are cis, trans, femme, masc, or anything in between, this trip makes space for bonding through recognition and respect for the experience of women in the traditionally cis-male dominated outdoors. We acknowledge that labels are at risk of being inherently constricting, and seek to respect whatever words and identities you may use to describe your gender expression. Gender moment!

Queer

This trip is designed for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, or any other sexual orientation under the queer umbrella. Whether you have just recently come out, are questioning your gender/sexuality, or have publicly shared your identities for a while, this trip is for you! We hope to help incoming first-years develop relationships with other queer first-years and upperclass mentors to ease their college transitions.

Trans/Non-binary

This trip is designed for students who identify as transgender, non-binary, and/or any other non-cisgender identity across the trans spectrum. Striving to be free from the gender roles and classifications that can permeate and limit access to outdoor activity, participants and leaders on this trip collaborate to form a community which hopes to support one another, both in the backcountry and back on campus.

Transfer

The Transfer trip is available for all new students at Tufts who are transferring from another institution. This trip is designed for those who are not entering their first year of college and are seeking to join a community of fellow students in similar stages of their college experience. We want to acknowledge that while being a transfer student is a shared and unique experience, transfer students are not inherently marginalized in the same way that the other affinity trip identities may be, both in the sphere of outdoor activity and in college life.