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Appalachian Trail Challenge

Interested in the outdoors? Wondering how you are going to make the transition to college life? Want to form a new group of friends?

Join seventeen fellow first-year men as we conquer forty miles of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in two days (August 15–16, 2016). This challenge will push you mentally and physically while serving as the building block for your experience as a Richmond College man. Along the way we will not only explore and traverse the AT, but we will discover, discuss, and challenge the core values of the Richmond College experience.

The Richmond College AT Challenge is scheduled for the three days before first-year student move-in and Orientation begins. Selected participants will move in on Sunday and prepare for a two-day (one-night), off-campus experience that will build leadership and communication skills, test mental strength, and encourage team work.

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. The total length is approximately 2,200 miles (3,500 km). The Appalachian Trail is famous for its many hikers, some of whom, called thru-hikers, attempt to hike it in its entirety in a single season. Many books, memoirs, websites, and fan organizations are dedicated to this pursuit.

Eighteen Richmond College students will hike and pass through 40 miles of the Shenandoah National Park's 104 miles of trails and climbs (rarely exceeding 500–1,000 feet) while enjoying its many vistas and abundant wildlife. While hiking and camping, we will openly discuss the variety of challenges first-year men face to help you prepare for the academic and social aspects of the University of Richmond. Our hope is this challenge will open many new doors for you as you start your time with Richmond College of the University of Richmond. Make this experience a chapter in your own memoir.

Do you accept the challenge?


Patrick Benner, Associate Dean, Richmond College, (804) 289-8930