New Student Adventures

Carolina Compass

“…physically challenging natural environment based orientation programs emphasizing small group work help first year students adjust to college life.” – Devlin, 1996

Carolina Compass is a long-standing tradition previously known as WAFFYS, Wilderness Adventures for First Year Students. This trip is specifically designed for new students, first years or transfer students, and is an action packed expedition where you are challenged to learn new skills while getting to know other Tar Heels on a wilderness-adventure.  

Our goal is to give you a challenging, yet safe environment to step out of your comfort zone, build connections, gain confidence, explore your own leadership style, and discover the beauty of North Carolina. Learning to collaborate with a new and diverse group of people in an unfamiliar environment prepares you to take on similar challenges during your college career.

Fall 2021 Program

Carolina Compass: 5-Day Backpack & Climb: October 20-24

This year, Carolina Compass incorporates backpacking and rock climbing in an all-in-one 5-day adventure over fall break, October 20-24. We have two trips running simultaneously, one for First Years and one for Second Years, so you can mingle with students from your same year. Registration is now open. Only 8 spots available! Click here to see pictures from Fall 2019.

Registration & Scholarship Info

To register for a Carolina Compass trip online and pay by credit card, please visit Stay Active. To pay with cash or your One Card expense account, visit the Campus Rec Main Office (SRC 101).

Fees include transportation, food, and equipment. Payment is required at the time of registration. A trip may be cancelled if we do not have a minimum of 5 participants by the day of the pre-trip meeting or due to inclement weather. Please see our refund policy below.

We’re proud to offer the Susan P. Cole Scholarship that covers up to half of the registration fee for all new students interested in participating in Carolina Compass that also have financial need. Learn more about the Susan P. Cole Scholarship and Ashley Fox,, if you have any questions. 

Refund Policy

We know that plans/situations change and try to make sure our trips program is sustainable and ready for more adventures down the road. If you find that you need to cancel your Carolina Compass trip, here’s a breakdown of our refund policy. Transfers to different trips are possible and will be reviewed on a case by case basis. The sooner you can let us know, the better!

Number of Days from Trip Start

Refund %



15-29 (100% if we fill your spot) 


0-14 (100% if we fill your spot) 


Contact Ashley Fox,, if you have any further questions, issues with our registration portal, or need to initiate a refund.