Outdoor Education Programs
Outdoor education programs at Tufts seek to use the outdoors as a tool for undergraduate student community-building, transformation, and growth. As early as 1939, Tufts students planned, organized, and implemented outdoor experiences throughout the northeast – simultaneously recognizing the power of student-constructed spaces and the outdoors as a valuable environment for learning in community. While programs have shifted in form and structure since then, Tufts students today continue the mission to create meaningful experiences in the outdoors. Resources and support for outdoor recreation are primarily found through the Tufts Mountain Club (TMC) student organization and the Tufts Wilderness Orientation (TWO) pre-orientation program.
TMC is both one of the oldest and largest student organizations on campus. With its slogan of “Go Outside”, TMC creates pathways to outdoor access for every student at Tufts through free gear rentals, diverse trip opportunities, transportation options, skill building clinics, and more. The TMC Board is made up of students who love recreating outdoors and want to share that love with others. TMC manages the Loj - a Tufts-owned property in Woodstock, NH that provides students with easy access to the White Mountain National Forest and surrounding recreation areas. For more information, visit TMC's website.
As the largest pre-orientation program, TWO provides incoming first-years with a small group of peers led by 2 upperclassmen leaders that use hiking, canoeing, and trail crew trips to create a supportive network for the rest of the year. Leaders are trained in wilderness first aid, facilitation of group dynamics, risk management, and technical skills in order to help build supportive and welcoming environments for their participants. TWO is also coordinated by students, allowing them to plan and execute on their own vision for the program every year, and providing room for students to grow in their leadership capacities throughout their time at Tufts. For more information, visit TWO's web page.
It is important to recognize that the experiences and community created by Tufts students recreating outside in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine exist within a reality where violence, bloodshed, and settler colonialism came first - and continue to be perpetuated today. The Abenaki peoples lived and continue to live in these places, and we, as a predominantly white institution engaging in a predominantly white leisure activity, must acknowledge our role in continuing to occupy colonized space. TWO and TMC both hope to continue treating these spaces and Indigenous peoples with respect and care as part of the larger history of the land.
Emily Quigley (she/they), Assistant Director of Campus Life – Outdoor Education
My role is to provide guidance, oversight, and support to the outdoor programs at Tufts: the Tufts Wilderness Orientation, Tufts Mountain Club, and the Tufts Loj. I believe that outdoor programs provide co-constructed spaces for students to exist in community together, practicing trust, care, and responsibility in relation to each other while learning valuable tools of leadership and risk management. Outdoor experiences allow students to be better leaders, community-builders, and learners back on campus and in the world. I work with TWO and TMC to build safe, welcoming environments that support students throughout their time at Tufts.
Before coming to Tufts, I directed Harvard College’s First-Year Outdoor Program, maintaining AEE-accreditation and industry-standard practices of risk management for a 500-person program, and coordinated operations for the National Outdoor Leadership School’s (NOLS) custom education team, developing and implementing individualized courses for specific student groups across the country. I hold a Bachelor’s degree from Tufts, a Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, am a certified NOLS Field Instructor, and am Wilderness First Responder certified. These experiences help me to bring both professional expertise and personal care into working with students in TWO and TMC.
Learn more about the members of the TMC Executive Board here.
Learn more about the TWO Program Coordinators here.