FAQ Wilderness WOOT Trips
When will WOOT Take Place?
Arrival day is Sunday, September 15th. The program concludes on Saturday, September 21st with all groups returning to campus in the afternoon/evening.
How much does the WOOT Program cost?
Sea Kayaking $1,100
When does registration open for WOOT?
Registration will open May 1st. You can register online by clicking the REGISTER NOW link at the top of the Home Page as well as Registration Page. This will pop up starting May 1st 2024.
Can I participate in WOOT and Viking Launch?
Unfortunately, no. The programs run at the same time. Please be sure you do not have any conflicting programs prior to registering for WOOT.
If I am a parent can I register my student?
You can! However, registering should always be done with the student present. The questions that we ask help us determine the best trip for your student. It is important that together you are answering the questions as accurately as possible to help us in assigning the appropriate trip for your student. While we know many parents wish for their student to participate, we strongly encourage the final decision to take part in WOOT to be that of the student who will be on the trip.
Medical forms and Physicians Assessment
Why do we ask WOOT participants to complete these forms?
The WOOT experience can be both mentally and physically strenuous as students engage in outdoor activities in remote environments. Given the nature of the program we require each student to complete a comprehensive physical and mental evaluation through a primary care doctor or physician before participating in the WOOT program. A complete medical evaluation and questionnaire will be sent out in your welcome packet with further instructions. Please ensure this packet is completed in full and submitted to the Viking Outdoor Recreation Program Coordinator by AUGUST 20th to ensure proper planning and preparation time for our staff.
How do I submit the medical packet?
There are two easy ways to submit the medical assessment included in your welcome pack. The first is after your physician or primary care doctor completes the form to scan the document and email it to the Viking Outdoor Recreation Program Coordinator (Crandab2@wwu.edu). The second is to request the office or doctor administering the exam to send the completed packet to the same email address above.
What is the deadline to submit this information?
Please complete the packet in full and submit to the Viking Outdoor Recreation Program Coordinator on or before August 20th 2024. This ensures there is adequate time for our staff to review the form and ensure that we can provide the proper level of safety and care for you on the WOOT trip. If you anticipate not being able to meet this deadline please reach out to the Viking Outdoor Recreation Program Coordinator and special accommodations can be made.
What if I get off the waiting list for WOOT or sign up after the deadline?
If, for whatever reason, you confirm your spot on a WOOT trip after August 20th the Viking Outdoor Recreation Program Coordinator will work with you to ensure the medical packet is filled out in a timely manner.
Someone in my family is a doctor or physician, can I have them complete it?
Unfortunately not. We ask that the physical and mental evaluation be completed by someone outside of the family. We suggest that students reach out to their Primary Care doctors to have the packet completed.
Is housing included for WOOT Sessions?
Yes, all incoming students who sign up for any of the Fall WOOT sessions will move in to your assigned dorm on Sunday, September 15th when you arrive for your WOOT experience.
Can I loft my bed when I arrive for Fall WOOT?
Unfortunately, you will not have the ability to loft your bed during this time due to lack of housing staffing. However, all of the materials for lofting beds will be available as soon as you return from your WOOT Experience!
Can I ship my belongings to my dorm so they are there when I arrive?
It is possible to ship your belongings to your residence hall prior to move-in. Please visit https://housing.wwu.edu/life-on-campus/mail-deliveries for more information. Please note that packages are accepted a maximum of seven days prior to your arrival; any packages sent more than seven days in advance, may be returned to sender. You may also contact University Residences for more information.
Can I get on the same WOOT Trip as my roommate?
If you wish to be on the same trip as your assigned roommate it is up to you to coordinate what trip you will sign up for! When your register, in the additional comments, please state who your roommate will be and we will do the best we can to accommodate you!
What if I have never backpacked or sea kayaked before?
No worries! Your trip leaders will teach you all the basic skills you will need to know to be comfortable in the outdoors, whether on land or in the water. Based on your responses to the registration questionnaire, your trip leaders will be able to provide the best support for you to succeed on your trip.
What kind of physical condition do I need to be in to participate in WOOT?
We will be physically active for 6 days, hiking with a 30-50 lb. backpack therefore conditioning before your trip will improve your experience. The trips vary in difficulty and based on your fitness level. Please read our "Classifying Level Of Challenge" in the Trip Details tab.
We will be physically active for 6 days. The days will be a mix of sea kayaking which requires primarily upper body and core strength. We will also do short day hikes on various islands. With basic physical conditioning and regular activity, you should have no problem sea kayaking.
Do I need any special equipment?
The Outdoor Center will provide all the group camping equipment. The essentials that you will need to bring include a backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, headlamp and personal clothing. After registration you will receive a detailed equipment list outlining every item that we will provide as well as personal items that you will need for that trip.
Can I rent equipment from the Outdoor Center?
The Outdoor Center has a limited number of rental items. We ask that if you currently own any of the required items that you please provide them yourself to ensure that those who need the gear have access to it! If you require rental equipment you can reserve this after you are registered for your trip!
Can I bring my cell phone, i-pod, or personal computer?
Nope! But there is no need to worry, you will have a great time in the outdoors connecting with your amazing WOOT Crew!
What about a camera?
Certainly! One of the best parts about your WOOT Experience is being able to share your memories with family and friends. Given the variability in weather, we do not recommend bringing anything fancy that may be damaged.
Trip Assignments, Payment, Refunds
How do you assign students to specific trips?
While some of the trips do vary in difficulty we do our best to meet your desired outcomes from the questionnaire. Most of our trips include at least one layover day and none of them are designed for students to fail. We want all students to succeed on their WOOT Experience and we do our best to make sure the level of challenge is appropriate for you. It is important that you review our "Classifying Level Of Challenge" in the Trip Details tab prior to signing up. If you have questions about specific routes please feel free to reach out to the Outdoor Center Programs Coordinator.
Am I required to pay in full at the time of registration?
Full payment is required at the time of registration. If you are not able to make the full payment at the time of registration, please contact the Outdoor Center Programs Coordinator who can make necessary accommodations.
Is there any financial support available?
We will be offering both full and partial fee waivers for the program through the Broad Reach Endowment.
There are several scholarships available to cover a portion of the cost for Western Outdoor Orientation Trips. Applications for the scholarships are evaluated primarily on demonstrated financial need.
Students interested in being considered for a WOOT scholarship should send an application essay to the following email address: email@example.com.
The application essay should be one page, and provide the following information:
- Your name
- WWU ID number (aka W number)
- Narrative description of your interest in participating in WOOT.
- How will WOOT support your transition to WWU?
- How will it support your academic goals as a new WWU student?
- Description of your financial need.
Scholarship applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis, but must be received by August 1st for consideration for the Fall 2023 WOOT Program.
Can I get a refund once I have registered for WOOT?
Due to the planning and preparation that goes into the WOOT Experience, full refunds will only be granted 1 month prior to the arrival day.
Full Refund- 1 Month prior to arrival day
¾ Refund- 3 Weeks prior to arrival day
No Refund-2 Weeks or less prior to arrival day
Arriving in Bellingham
What time do I need to be in Bellingham?
Move-in begins at 10 am with check-in for Fall WOOT beginning at 2 pm. Students will have until 2 pm to get everything moved into your dorm prior to checking in at the Outdoor Center.
How can I get more information on traveling from the Bellingham Airport as well as Sea-Tac?
There are no regular transit services to/from Bellingham International Airport and Western Washington University. Taxi fare from Bellingham Airport to WWU runs about $20-$25. Connection to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is provided by Airporter Shuttle, and connection to Vancouver International Airport is provided by Quick Shuttle.
SEA-TAC Airport can be reached from Bellingham using a variety of transit options:
Airporter Shuttle (most direct service)
Amtrak can be used with a transfer to Link Light Rail
Special Dietary Needs
What if I can only eat certain foods or have restrictions on what I can eat?
We can and have modified our menus for a wide variety of dietary needs. Whether it is peanut allergies, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, or other, this information will be collected at the time of registration. Please be sure to let us know if any special dietary needs so we can provide the best option for you.
In Case of Emergency
Who manages emergencies while on the trip?
For any emergencies, all our Trip Leaders possess a minimum Wilderness First Aid Certification with at least one leader having a Wilderness First Responder Certification on every trip. If outside help is needed all our trips carry Delorme InReach emergency communication devices with them that allows for contact for outside help.
What if there is an emergency back home?
For families who need to get in contact with students while they are away, all communication can be directed to the Outdoor Center Programs Coordinator who can contact all groups in the field.
What is the contact information for the Outdoor Center?
General Inquiry/Equipment Needs:
WWU Outdoor Center Equipment Shop
Program Specific Questions:
Viking Outdoor Program Coordinator