What is LandSea?
LandSea: Over 40 years on the Trail
LandSea is an optional 18-day outdoor pre-orientation trip that occurs just before freshman orientation. For more than 40 years, over 2,000 students have used LandSea as a way to acclimate to the college and build support networks prior to beginning the fall quarter.
LandSea takes place in the 6 million acre Adirondack State Park in northern New York State. Comprising 85% of the protected wilderness lands in the eastern United States, Adirondack State Park has the largest system of hiking trails in the country, 3,000 lakes and ponds, 1,200 miles of rivers, and contains the state's highest mountains. Naturally, the Adirondacks are a great place for LandSea, and students will get the chance to challenge themselves on the rivers, lakes, trails, and peaks of some of the premier wilderness destinations in the eastern U.S.
Two of the major components of LandSea consist of backpacking and canoeing. Participants have a choice to extend (in distance traveled) either the backpacking or canoeing portion of the trip. In addition, each group will have the opportunity to include a service & reflection component (options include up to a 48-hour solo, group reflection, trail maintenance and service). For more information on each of the components, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Service & Reflection
Participants, Leaders, and Staff:
The group of approximately 60-70 participants will typically be divided into 8-10 patrols, each led by 2 trained upper-class student leaders. Two patrols, referred to as sister patrols, shadow each other through the park on the same route/itinerary. Finally, a group of “K” faculty/staff, are responsible for permanently staffing the program, training student leaders, and all other logistical and administrative matters. Throughout the program, interactions with the leaders, staff, and other participants will provide incoming students with a substantial opportunity to become acquainted with other members of the "K" College community.
Desire to be challenged:
Most participants find they are challenged in variety of ways at different points in the program. Participants should be willing to accept these challenges, as well as any inconveniences which may arise.
It is important that participants exercise regularly and vigorously prior to the start of the program. Students who prepare by running 3-4 times a week at increasing distances and strengthen their upper body by weight training the summer prior to LandSea are in the best shape to enjoy all aspects of the program.
It is essential that participants equip themselves with a pair of over-the-ankle, well-fitting hiking boots. These boots should be COMPLETELY broken in prior to the start of the program in order to avoid physical difficulties and discomfort during the trip. Additional information about choosing the proper boots can be found here. For more information on what gear to bring please go the the gear page.
Before graduation, all Kalamazoo College students are required to complete 1.0 credit worth of PE activities. Students who participate in LandSea will receive 0.2 credits towards their Physical Education requirement.