Senior Caroline “Cal” Crawford, a trainer for Colgate’s Outdoor Education program (OE), has fearlessly led and participated in wilderness programs over the course of her time at Colgate. A Needham, MA native, the psychology major began her involvement in the OE program before she even arrived on campus through a Wilderness Adventure backpacking pre-orientation program.
According to the University, Colgate’s Outdoor Education program focuses on “helping Colgate’s students, faculty and staff to explore their sense of place, rediscover the natural world and learn about themselves.”
Crawford adds that the program’s purpose is all about “experiential learning … actually doing something yourself – challenging yourself – I think, has the most impact.”
Crawford went through OE training throughout her sophomore year to qualify to lead physical education and OE programs.
She describes the training as “more rigorous than I think most people realize – it involves class two times a week and weekend trips into the field as well as longer trips … over breaks.”
Her junior year was spent as an instructor for wilderness programs. This year, however, Crawford was chosen as one of three students to train the incoming OE staff members.
“We have the privilege of showing them the ropes. It’s really an amazing opportunity, although the position comes with much more responsibility. I feel like I’m training again,” Crawford said.
Crawford also says that participation in the program has really enabled her to connect to the Colgate student body.
“In terms of PE classes, I think it’s sweet to expose other people to new challenges. And, now, well, I have 15 young goslings who are in my care for a year. So far it’s been a ton of fun. I feel like I’ve learned a ton in the past three years and now I have the opportunity to share that with underclassmen,” Crawford said.
Her connections with the Colgate network don’t end there. Crawford has been involved in the co-ed a cappella group, The Dischords, the First Responders, Colgate’s student radio station WRCU, Student Theater, voice lessons and Women’s Rugby.
As for ideas post-graduation, Crawford hopes to travel the world and eventually end up in grad school.
“Really, the plans are as vague as buying a one-way ticket somewhere, after I make the money somehow to sustain myself for a bit,” Crawford said.
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