In support of the mission of the Student Affairs Division and the University Center, the purpose of Base Camp Cullowhee (BCC) is to provide a comprehensive array of outdoor program services to the Western Carolina University community. Through outdoor recreation trips, outdoor equipment rental, and experiential education services, BCC provides experiences that foster student engagement, synthesis of knowledge and skills, community building, healthy recreation habits, and student retention.
The Outdoor Program at WCU was started in the mid 80's by a few professional staff members who shared an interest in promoting outdoor programs to students on campus. There were several planned outdoor trips, including skiing in the Adirondacks, canoeing in Canada, and biking in Utah. In the late 80's the university purchased some equipment including a fleet of Old Town canoes, which marked the beginning of the rental program here at WCU which operated out of a closet in the University Center. As the program grew, it became a special committee of Last Minute Productions (LMP), the WCU student affairs program for student entertanment. Steady growth in both student body numbers and the popularity of outdoor recreation helped the outdoor program become it's own entitiy - Basecamp Cullowhee in 2000. Over the years, we have added many new activities and increased participation. In 2008, we welcomed the addition of a 2100 square foot indoor rock climbing facility. 2013 saw the completion of a 7mile multi-use trail system.
Between the climbing wall, our trip program, guide service and rental equipment, Basecamp Cullowhee fosters over 9000 participant exeriences per year!
The program is made up of 3 full time staff, one graduate assistant, and about 25 student staff who guide trips and make Basecamp thrive on a daily basis.
We hope to build both a high and low element challenge course on campus over the next few years.
We offer a wide variety of programs suitable for all skill levels. Base Camp Cullowhee (BCC) offers outdoor programs including but not limited to rafting, hiking, caving, whitewater kayaking, canoeing, local skiing, rock climbing, sky diving, and more. If its done outside, chances are you can sign up to do it with us. We also offer special programs each year, including our annual ski trip to Colorado and the Annual Tuckaseigee River Clean-up!
Check out our calendar page for the current schedule of outdoor programs.
All programs are planned and executed by trained students and our professional guide staff. All staff are highly qualified and hold such certifications as Wilderness First Responder, EMT, Swift Water Rescue, American Canoe Association Whitewater Instructor, CPR, American Red Cross First Aid, American Mountain Guide Association Single Pitch Instructor, and more.
Planning your own trip? Need a few things to make it happen? BCC also serves your equipment needs! Lowe Alpine, North Face, and Dagger are just some of the names that you will see here at BCC. From camping equipment to whitewater gear, we've got it all. Visit our rentals web page to check out the relatively inexpensive rental rates for students and non-students.
Academic Support Services
Base Camp Cullowhee actively promotes collaboration opportunities with academic classes and departments. We can assist in accomplishing educational goals of the course in several ways. We offer our services for group development by running outdoor programs for courses as well as activities and experiential tools, like icebreakers and initiatives. We employ student facilitators who can come to your classroom and facilitate ice-breakers, team building activities, and initiatives to address specific goals, such as: building trust & cohesion, building successful communication patterns, creating leaders, and working on group dynamics. We can design an hourly, half-day or full-day program for you. Please call Josh Whitmore at 828.227.3466 for more information.
Base Camp Cullowhee is here to serve as your resource center, your guide to local outdoor trails, your map service center, and your outdoor leader to answer all of your questions. We have tons of maps of North Carolina, including almost every topographic map of the state. We have books on Standard First Aid, to Biking in Utah. We have eager employees that would love to help you reach your destination, so come by and see the wealth of resources at your fingertips. If we do not have what you need, tell us and we will try our best to get it for you! We're in the Cat's Den (old Brown cafeteria building), 11am-5pm, M-F.
Do you have a campus group that needs to work on communication, develop leadership, or work better as a cohesive unit? BCC can custom design a program to meet your group development goals. From a single hour to multiple days, BCC can work with you to create a strong impact for your group. email Josh Whitmore at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Base Camp Cullowhee is permitted to operate on National Forest Service Land.
USDA- Forest Service Nondiscrimination Statement:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in it's programs on the basis of race, color national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.