Wisconsin Basecamp

True UW-Madison Connections Begin Here...

Wisconsin Basecamp is UW-Madisonís optional wilderness/outdoor-based orientation program for incoming freshmen and transfer students. The self-supporting program offers a variety of  outdoor-based trips for students the summer before they start at UW-Madison.

Begins soon!

Our exciting trips include canoeing the Wisconsin River, backpacking the Porcupine Mountains, sea kayaking the Apostle Islands, wilderness canoeing in the Flambeau region, or helping complete the Ice Age Trail while enjoying beautiful Devils Lake State Park. 2011 Sea Kayak Trip Images

Your trip includes not only learning the wilderness skills needed to successfully complete the trip but also dialogue and activities to improve self confidence and community involvement/awareness for insuring greater success at UW-Madison. The program offers opportunity for continuing engagement through a reunion dinner, community service projects and leadership development if participants are interested. Participants pay for the full cost of the trip. 

Plus Wisconsin Basecamp is a great way to meet new friends and share a wilderness experience of a lifetime. 

Watch a Basecamp Slide Show (Click Here)



Watch another Basecamp Video (Click Here)


How it Started

The Wisconsin Basecamp program was founded by Nathan Williams and Finn Ryan, two Wisconsin Union Hoofer members. With the support of the Outdoor Programs Office, a pilot program was offered in July of 2007. Building off the success of that pilot five trips were offered in July of 2008 with a total of 54 participants and Basecamp has continued to grow since then. The Wisconsin Union has created a permanent home for Basecamp as a University of Wisconsin program.

In the programís short history it has built strong relationships with the Dean of Students Office, the Student Leadership Program/Adventure Learning Programs, the Center for the First-Year Experience, UW Housing and others. In addition there has been strong support for the program from the Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning.

There are wilderness orientation and pre-orientation trip programs at colleges across the country.  Wisconsin Basecamp prides itself for providing not only a quality outdoor experience, but one that is led by students and includes a coordinated curriculum that helps incoming students succeed as both as students and community members at UW-Madison.  For some information about the variety of other college programs across the country, click here.

News & More

Read the†article on Basecamp in the Isthmus

Read the University Communications article on Basecamp

Check out student testimonials

Check out a list of Basecamp Co-Sponsors

Check out a list of Frequently Asked Questions

Wisconsin Basecamp

Contact Wisconsin Basecamp

Julie Brown
Basecamp Administrator

UW Madison Home

©2014 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System