Wilderness Leadership

All Hesburgh-Yusko scholars complete a one week Wilderness Leadership course in Ely, MN - facilitated through Outward Bound - the summer before their first year at Notre Dame. 

Scholars are stretched physically and mentally, and some experience for the first time the challenge of living with only basic necessities. In addition to mastering wilderness skills, scholars learn how to work with a diverse group of people to reach a common goal and put the interest of the group before their own. The Wilderness Leadership summer prepares scholars for the exhilarating, unfamiliar, and rewarding experiences they will encounter over the rest of their journey as Hesburgh-Yusko scholars, at the University of Notre Dame, and throughout the rest of their lives.

Scholar Experiences

Khaoula Morchid

Khaoula Morchid, Class of 2017
Main Coast Sailing

“My Outward Bound Sailing summer was the most challenging yet most enlightening experience in my life. Lessons learnt from that trip remind me everyday of how blessed I am and how easy it is to take things for granted. Reflections from solo continued to be a habit I practice regularly to evaluate my personal growth. Every time I am faced with a challenge, unfamiliarity, or any situation outside of my comfort zone, I remember the rainy days and storms that made our mission on the boat in Maine harder and our experience priceless.”

Geraldine Mukumbi

Geraldine Mukumbi, Class of 2016
Sierra Nevada Backpacking

“I am reluctant to spend another 22 days out in the wild, but I would love to relive the experience of being thrust into a world which I cannot control. During the course I failed in more ways than I care to admit, but I gained so much insight about myself and how I view the world through the experience. That mentality of drawing lessons from failure and unfamiliar environments is one that I hope to take with me beyond Notre Dame.”

Adam Rene Rosenbaum

Adam Rene Rosenbaum, Class of 2016
Alaska Backpacking

“Completing my Wilderness Leadership course was the hardest thing I have ever done and I was completely out of my comfort zone for most of the trip. Having completed the course, I know I have the ability to surmount any challenge that I will face in life.”

Video Created by Michael McRoskey, Hesbugh-Yusko Class of 2018