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COVID-19 has impacted our facilities, programs, and operations.
Click here to learn more.

Updated 4 weeks ago

Adventure Leadership

COVID-19 has impacted our facilities, programs, and operations.
Click here to learn more.

Updated 4 weeks ago

Our trips can take you anywhere: dogsledding in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, spelunking in North Carolina, backpacking the Grand Canyon, paddling the Huron River, and more. Whether you want to take off for a couple of hours, a day or a week, let us handle the details—like food, transportation, logistics, trip leaders, and outdoor equipment—while you take in the great outdoors.

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Find Your Trip

Adventure Leadership trips are open to U‑M students, faculty, staff, and the general public.

There are 13 trips. Expand all into a list.

Interpretive Hike in the Arboretum
Aug 25, 2020

Date

Tuesday, August 25, 2020, 4:00pm – 5:00pm

About

Explore the beautiful Nichols Arboretum on a walk led by Recreational Sports Adventure Leadership Staff. Participants will learn more about local flora and fauna while engaging in fun and intentional activities to help foster community. Meet us at the Peony Garden entrance (1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48104) and please wear a mask.

Cost

Free

Register here!

Adaptive Slacklining
Sept 1, 2020

Date

Tuesday, September 1, 2020, 10:30am – 12:30pm

About

Is it a sport? An art? A balancing act? Let Adventure Leadership staff introduce you to slacklining –  a fun and safely socially distant outdoor activity – while learning more about the program’s offerings and connecting with other outdoor enthusiasts. Adaptive slacklining location TBD. Stay tuned.

Cost

Free

Register here!

Interpretive Hike in the Arboretum
Sept 2, 2020

Date

Wednesday, September 2, 2020, 4:00pm – 5:00pm

About

Explore the beautiful Nichols Arboretum on a walk led by Recreational Sports Adventure Leadership Staff. Participants will learn more about local flora and fauna while engaging in fun and intentional activities to help foster community. Meet us at the Peony Garden entrance (1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48104) and please wear a mask.

Cost

Free

Register here!

New Moon Night Hike
Sept 16, 2020

Date

Wednesday, September 16, 8:30pm – 10:30pm

About

The best times to take a night hike are during a FULL MOON, when the night world is bathed in ethereal, faint white and grey, or the NEW MOON, when stars are most visible. Join us for a unique walk in the woods and fields of the Adventure Education Center. Face coverings are required.

Cost

$10

Register Here!

Campus Bike Tour
Sept 19, 2020

Date

Saturday, September 19, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

About

See the sights of campus on two wheels! We’ll start and end at Adventure Leadership Rental Center located at 336 Hill St. Bring your own bike or use one of ours! Face coverings are required.

Cost

Free!

Register Here!

Grad Student Bike & Hike: Campus
Oct 9, 2020

Date

Friday, October 9 from 4:00pm – 6:00pm

About

Take a bike tour around and through campus to the Nichols Arboretum, where we will hike down to the river then back to our bikes for the return ride. A perfect way to end the week away from screens, and enjoying campus and nature.

Trip leaders and bikes are included, although you’re welcome to ride your own bike. Please bring a bike helmet, bike lock (or use one of ours), weather-appropriate clothing, and a small daypack.

Cost

$10

Location

Adventure Leadership Rental Center, 336 Hill St.

Register Here!

First-Year Bike & Hike: Botanical Gardens
Oct 10, 2020

Date

Saturday, October 10 from 10:00am – 2:30pm

About

We will start the day with a relaxed 45-minute bike ride through campus, past the hospital, along the Huron River and to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Almost the entire route is on car-free bike paths, with the final stretch on a newly paved award-winning nature trail. Once there we will enjoy a bag lunch and explore for about an hour with a hike through woods and fields, including trails along Fleming Creek. We will then re-mount our bikes and ride back.

Trip leaders and bikes are included, although you’re welcome to ride your own bike. Please bring a bike helmet, weather-appropriate clothing, a small daypack, and a lunch

Cost

$25

Location

Adventure Leadership Rental Center, 336 Hill St.

Register Here!

Arb Walk
Oct 20, 2020

Date

Tuesday, October 20 from 4:00pm – 5:00pm

About

Explore the beautiful Nichols Arboretum on a walk led by Rec Sports Adventure Leadership Staff through this great escape just minutes from your door! Catch the last of the fall colors while learning more about the Arb and it’s woods, fields, river, and paths. Meet us at the Peony Garden entrance (1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48104) and please wear a mask.

Cost

Free!

Location

Peony Garden entrance @ 1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Register Here via Sessions!

Arb Walk
Oct 21, 2020

Date

Wednesday, October 21 from 4:00pm – 5:00pm

About

Explore the beautiful Nichols Arboretum on a walk led by Rec Sports Adventure Leadership Staff through this great escape just minutes from your door! Catch the last of the fall colors while learning more about the Arb and it’s woods, fields, river, and paths. Meet us at the Peony Garden entrance (1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48104) and please wear a mask.

Cost

Free!

Location

Peony Garden entrance @ 1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Register Here via Sessions!

Grad Student Bike & Hike: Campus
Oct 30, 2020

Date

Friday, October 30 from 3:00pm – 5:00pm

About

Take a bike tour around and through campus to the Nichols Arboretum, where we will hike down to the river then back to our bikes for the return ride. A perfect way to end the week away from screens, and enjoying campus and nature.

Trip leaders and bikes are included, although you’re welcome to ride your own bike. Please bring a bike helmet, bike lock (or use one of ours), weather-appropriate clothing, and a small daypack.

Cost

$10

Location

Adventure Leadership Rental Center, 336 Hill St.

Register Here

Grad Student Bike & Hike: Campus
Nov 1, 2020

Date

Sunday, November 1 from 2:00pm – 4:00pm

About

Take a bike tour around and through campus to the Nichols Arboretum, where we will hike down to the river then back to our bikes for the return ride. A perfect way to end the week away from screens, and enjoying campus and nature.

Trip leaders and bikes are included, although you’re welcome to ride your own bike. Please bring a bike helmet, bike lock (or use one of ours), weather-appropriate clothing, and a small daypack.

Cost

$10

Location

Adventure Leadership Rental Center, 336 Hill St.

Register Here

Bike & Hike: Campus
Nov 6, 2020

Date

Friday, November 6 from 3:00pm – 5:00pm

About

Take a bike tour around and through campus to the Nichols Arboretum, where we will hike down to the river then back to our bikes for the return ride. A perfect way to end the week away from screens, and enjoying campus and nature.

Trip leaders and bikes are included, although you’re welcome to ride your own bike. Please bring a bike helmet, bike lock (or use one of ours), weather-appropriate clothing, and a small daypack.

Cost

$10

Location

Adventure Leadership Rental Center, 336 Hill St.

Register Here

Bike & Hike: Campus
Nov 8, 2020

Date

Sunday, November 8 from 2:00pm – 4:00pm

About

Take a bike tour around and through campus to the Nichols Arboretum, where we will hike down to the river then back to our bikes for the return ride. A perfect way to end the week away from screens, and enjoying campus and nature.

Trip leaders and bikes are included, although you’re welcome to ride your own bike. Please bring a bike helmet, bike lock (or use one of ours), weather-appropriate clothing, and a small daypack.

Cost

$10

Location

Adventure Leadership Rental Center, 336 Hill St.

Register Here


Outdoor Skills for Groups

Do you have an employee group, department or organization that’s looking to get outside and learn a new skill?  Whether you’re looking to relax around a campfire with s’mores or work up a sweat cross country skiing, we’re certain our unique activities will help you reconnect and engage together.

Outdoor skills activities are free to Student Life units at the University of Michigan. 

Set Up Your Group

Email advleadtrips@umich.edu with the outdoor skill(s) you’re interested in, a preferred date, and your group size.

There are 11 items. Expand all into a list.

Adaptive Slacklining

Is it a sport? An art? A balancing act? Let Adventure Leadership staff introduce your group to slacklining –  a fun and safely socially distant outdoor activity! Become aware of your body and mind while trying something new, and discover a new way to hang around with friends outside.

Available Locations

  • Grove outside of the CCRB
  • An alternative wooded location
Backpacking Basics

Backpacking is the perfect way to immerse yourself in nature for a weekend or longer. Come join us for a hands-on session of the basics: tents and shelter, clothing, cooking, water treatment, navigating, first aid, Leave No Trace principles. Anywhere from one to three hours, depending on how deep and detailed you want to get.

Available Location

  • Adventure Leadership Rental Center
Bike Tours

Options include a bike tour around and through campus to the Nichols Arboretum, where we will hike down to the river then back to our bikes for the return ride. A perfect way to spend a couple hours away from screens, enjoying campus and nature.

For a longer ride we can start the day with a relaxed 45-minute bike ride through campus, past the hospital, along the Huron River and to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Almost the entire route is on car-free bike paths, with the final stretch on a newly paved award-winning nature trail. Once there we will enjoy a bag lunch and explore for about an hour with a hike through woods and fields, including trails along Fleming Creek. We will then re-mount our bikes and ride back.

Trip leaders and bikes are included, although you’re welcome to ride your own bike. Please bring a bike, helmet, bike lock (or use one of ours), weather-appropriate clothing, and a small daypack.

All bike tours start at the Adventure Leadership Rental Center.

Bonfire & S’mores

What more do we need to say? We provide fire, graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows. You get to find sticks in the woods for roasting. Trip leaders will provide tips on how to create a perfect golden-brown marshmallow, or a completely burnt marshmallow, if you are into that sort of thing.

Available Location

  • Adventure Education Center
Camp Cuisine Exploration

Cooking while camping ranges from minimalist to gourmet. We’ll teach you the basics, including how to use three different camp stoves, and then you’ll get to try your hand at preparing some food. Sessions at the AEC may include cooking over a fire.

Available Locations

  • Adventure Leadership Rental Center
  • Adventure Education Center
Cross Country Ski

If we have snow (at least 4”), we can ski! A basic lesson and try-out on Elbel Field at the Adventure Leadership Rental Center, or a few hours out at the Adventure Education Center (hot chocolate included!). Nothing beats the peacefulness of a snow-covered landscape, and nothing beats Seasonal Affective Disorder like outdoor exercise.

Available Locations

  • Adventure Leadership Rental Center
  • Adventure Education Center
Interpretive Hikes

Let nature tell you a story! Learn about the plants, animals, and other ecological features that make up the Great Lakes region.

Available Locations

  • Adventure Education Center
  • Nichols Arboretum
  • Or an alternative location!
Night Hikes

The best times to take a night hike are during a full moon, when the night world is bathed in ethereal, faint white and grey, or the new moon, when stars are most visible. Join us for a unique walk in the woods and fields of the Nichols Arboretum or the Adventure Education Center. Even if it’s cloudy, walking through the woods at night is a great experience. Headlamps provided. Time frame is generally between 8:30pm and 10:30pm.

Available Locations

  • Adventure Education Center
  • Nichols Arboretum
Orienteering

Take your team building in a new direction by learning to navigate without a GPS unit or cell phones. Discover the parts of a compass, measure your pace, and try triangulation. Once you’ve gotten your bearings, complete a practice course to solidify your skills and work collaboratively with your team to solve a puzzle!

Available Locations

  • Adventure Education Center
  • Nichols Arboretum

 

Wellness Walks

Engage all of your senses while connecting your body and mind with nature. Allow yourself to break away from daily distractions and pressures to live in the present moment. Join us for an opportunity to practice mindfulness and learn body regulation skills at our beautiful wooded facility at the Adventure Education Center, or any other quiet outdoor location of your group’s choice.

Available Locations

  • Adventure Education Center
  • Nichols Arboretum
  • Or an alternative location!
Wilderness Survival 101

The most important aspect of survival is to be prepared – both with appropriate supplies and the ability to work with your environment in critical situations. Increase your knowledge of fire and shelter building, practice cooperation and team decision-making skills, and expand your capacity for resourcefulness in the outdoors.

Available Locations

  • Adventure Education Center

Available Locations for Outdoor Skills

  • Adventure Leadership Rental Center: Stationed near Elbel field, this location is ideal for a short commute to find a big adventure – and pick up all the gear you need for your excursion!
  • Nichols Arboretum: A prominent and notable campus feature within walking distance of most student housing and university office spaces.
  • Adventure Education Center: Our most remote and secluded-feeling location, within a short drive or moderate bike ride from campus.

First Ascent

First-year students are invited to register for these weekend, day trip adventures! Make friends with other first-year students and become more familiar with campus by participating in experiential, adventure-based activities. All programs are led by upper-level undergraduate or graduate students involved with the Adventure Leadership program. All gear is provided. Activities will include biking, kayaking, day hikes and more. No experience necessary!

First Ascent Trip Dates TBD

For questions, email advleadtrips@umich.edu or call (734) 764-3967.

Let us take your child’s summer to the next level! Adventure Leadership Camp is packed with opportunities for campers to cultivate wonder, build confidence and independence, and develop new relationships. Your camper will spend the week engaging in a variety of experiences—from climbing to kayaking—that will empower them and encourage exploration of the natural world around them. Our survival challenges, excursions, and high adventure activities (led by University of Michigan students participating in the Adventure Leadership Internship program) will inspire collaboration and creative problem solving, while allowing campers to practice resilience and enjoy all the outdoor excitement Ann Arbor has to offer.

Both day camp sessions take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Adventure Education Center at 1120 N. Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Drop-off will occur at 8:30 a.m. and pick-up will end at 4:30 p.m.

There are 3 items. Expand all into a list.

Adventure Leadership Camp

Open to campers ages 11 – 13. Space will be limited to the first 24 registered campers.

Cost: $295

Adventure Leadership Camp

Open to campers ages 11 – 13. Space will be limited to the first 24 registered campers.

Cost: $295

Adventure Leadership Camp – LGBTQQIA+

LGBTQQIA+ Adventure Leadership Exploration

Open to lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and allied (LGBTQQIA+) teens ages 14-17. LGBTQQIA+ Adventure Leadership Exploration is packed with opportunities for teens to cultivate community, build confidence and independence, and explore their identity in a safe and nurturing environment for LGBTQQIA+ teens. Teens will spend the week engaging in a variety of experiences—from climbing to kayaking—that will empower them and encourage exploration of the natural world around them. Our survival challenges, excursions, and high adventure activities (led by University of Michigan Master of Social Work Students and supervised by a licensed Social Worker) will inspire collaboration and develop leadership skills to empower their community.

Space will be limited to the first 24 registered campers.

Cost: $295

Ignite your passion for adventure! The Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour will exhilarate you with amazing big-screen stories when it comes to the Michigan Theater, hosted by Adventure Leadership.  Journey to exotic locations, paddle the wildest waters and climb the highest peaks.

2020 Film Festival Postponed

The film festival has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, check out these FREE film selections from past Banff Centre Mountain Film Festivals. You can feel like you’re whitewater kayaking through the Rio Apurimac from your couch!

 


Become an Intern

For Interested Candidates

Adventure Leadership is an outdoor, activity-based, experiential learning and leadership development program. You will facilitate team building programs and can choose to guide trips, providing participants opportunities to explore leadership, organizational behavior, group development, and the environment using adventure education practices and outdoor recreation principles. As an intern, you will learn to design and deliver custom experiential programs for students, educators, corporate groups, nonprofit organizations, and beyond using experiential tools which can include ground initiatives, low ropes course elements, high ropes course elements, and a climbing tower. Interested interns can also learn how to create community by leading day, weekend, or week-long trips. Past trips have included dog sledding in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, backpacking along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and paddling the Huron River. Upon acceptance of the internship, training will be provided. In addition to hands-on experiences, you will design and complete a project of your own that takes into account your unique strengths, passions, and ambitions. No matter what your career aspirations may be, the skills and experience gained during this internship will be powerful and highly valued in all areas of your life, personal or professional.

Winter 2021 internship hiring, training and employment timeline will be posted at the end of Fall 2020.

 


Policies

Trip Refunds

Refunds for Adventure Leadership trips are given only for the following circumstances:

  1. You can find someone to take your place on the trip.
  2. You have a documented medical emergency and must cancel.
  3. There is an active wait list for the trip and we are able to fill your spot.
  4. You are cancelling at least 3 weeks prior to the trip. For Spring Break and First Ascent Trips, at least 4 weeks prior is required.

Specific Trip Policies

Each trip follows a different set of policies and guidelines. We typically cover this information in our mandatory pre-trip meetings. These meetings are held a few days before your trip; if you have questions at any time, contact us.

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