Carolina Compass

New Student Adventures

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


Carolina Compass 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.    

FY / Transfer OBX Paddle and Camp: 7/28 – 29

Want a shorter adventure? Paddle and camp in OBX (Outer Banks). We’ll sleep on an island facing the Atlantic, get out, and explore! Recommended but not required basic level of comfort with swimming. Participants will wear PFDs while paddling. We do have the ability to take out folks who are less comfortable with water but still want an amazing adventure. Please inquire with Shane for more info.

6 Day Carolina Compass: MOVE IN EARLY! Aug. 13-18th Scholarship available! You will spend the week in Pisgah National Forest where you will expedition, camp, and rock climb in one of the most beautiful places of Western North Carolina. You will get a chance to see majestic views, rich biodiversity, waterfalls, and become thoroughly acquainted with some of the oldest mountains in the world. Once empowered with the knowledge to navigate using a map & compass, you’ll learn to collaborate with your teammates, problem solve, and apply critical thinking skills to discover a new level of resilience and adaptability. This program will also incorporate a ½ day of service at the Veteran’s Healing Farm in Hendersonville, NC.

Labor Day Carolina Compass   8/31 – 9/3 Scholarship available!

A shortened adventure similar to the 6-day model above. We’ll leave after classes are done on Friday and return on Monday. Due to the shortened nature of this course, we will only be doing backpacking, but we’ll pack it in! Our Labor Day trips have always been very popular in the past and fill up quickly!


We know that plans and 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) 



To register for a Carolina Compass trip online and pay by credit card, click here.
For information on the Susan P. Cole Scholarship for our Carolina Compass trips click here or email

Carolina Compass FAQs