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Westminster College Launches "Adventures in Leadership" for First-Year Students

Thursday, August 30, 2001

The inaugural "Adventures in Leadership" for first-year students was completed Aug. 24, but it left a lasting impression on the participants.

Six first-year Westminster College students backpacked for five days in the wilderness around Otter Creek, West Virginia. They were accompanied by Steven Montgomery, program director of Titan Traverse at Westminster College, and Erin McCronich, a junior Spanish major from Ellwood City.

"My hope was to introduce incoming students to a new way of living in an honest and inviting community with each other," said Montgomery. "By honest, I mean to come together in an environment where we cannot hide from each other."

"I decided to participate in this program because I thought it sounded like a good opportunity to meet new people before the school year started, and to learn more about living in the wilderness than I already knew," said Brooke Arens, first-year neuroscience major from Meadville. "But I received a lot more than that. I became very close to the people who were on the trip, and learned what it feels like to be a real leader."

"The physical aspect of the trip was what I expected - we were all sore at some time," said Kristen Humphries, first-year English major from Beaver. "The emotional aspect was not at all what I thought. Not only was I pushed to hike up a mountain, but I was challenged to climb emotional mountains as well."

Titan Traverse is an experiential education program at Westminster College. Its goal is to combine fun and play with a depth of learning about oneself and others in the context of a group. The experience was always open to current members of the Westminster community, and now it is open to students before they reach campus.

For more information, contact Montgomery at (724) 946-7214 or e-mail montgosr@westminster.edu.