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The College of St. Scholastica

One of the best things to start your St. Scholastica life off well is participating in an August Adventure — they’re great! Move-in early and make new friends with activities designed exclusively for incoming first-year students.


Community Service Orientation

Interested in community service? Campus Ministry provides an opportunity from Aug. 29-Sept. 2, 2022 to put the Benedictine values into action as you transition to St. Scholastica. CSO is an excellent opportunity to serve the local community, develop new friendships, explore campus and the Duluth area, and have fun!

CSO Information


Participants move in about a week before classes start and spend time getting to know each other and the community through service and social justice activities.

Typical Daily Schedule

A typical day at CSO is full of opportunity from shared meals, group reflection, daily service projects, and large group evening activities exploring campus and the Duluth area. Service projects may include: Loaves and Fishes Catholic Worker House, Hartley Nature Center, Boys and Girls Club of Duluth, Benedictine Living Center of Duluth, and more! Evening activities may include: Scavenger Hunt in Canal Park, Outdoor Activities on Campus, Small Group Dinners Hosted by Staff and Faculty of the College, and a Park Point BBQ.


$125. Includes housing, meals, transportation, t-shirt, activities and programming.

Other Information

  • Welcomes all incoming first-year students to participate of any religious perspective or worldview
  • Students live in on-campus housing during CSO
  • CSO Participants are expected to participate in all CSO activities
  • Former CSO participants serve as CSO Student Leaders

For more information on CSO call 218-723-5933 or email

Campus Ministry on Social Media


SOAR Program

Duluth is your destination for outdoor fun! Start your college journey with an adventure sponsored by Outdoor PURSUIT! Join us Aug. 25-Sept. 2, 2022 for rock climbing, canoeing or backpacking and leave with new friends and a head start on college. These adventures are guided by highly-trained and nationally certified student guides. No experience is necessary.

Student Outdoor Adventure Retreat (SOAR) Information


$250. This covers meals, transportation, instruction, group equipment, meals and souvenir.

Outdoor Pursuit on Social Media

For more information on SOAR call 218-723-6165 or email Learn about more adventures through Outdoor Pursuit.

Student Outdoor Adventure Retreat: Rock Climbing

Devil’s Lake State Park

Start off your college adventure by pushing yourself to new heights. Devil’s Lake State Park is a 374-acre lake surrounded by 500-foot-high quartzite bluffs created by glacial deposits during the last ice age approximately 12,000 years ago. With an abundance of trails, campsites, beaches, and picnic areas the park has become the most visited state park in Wisconsin. Devil’s Lake is home to thousands of climbing routes scattered throughout the park (which we will be exploring). Each day we will venture to a new climbing location while taking in the magnificent views visible from the crags. During the week, we will coach you on climbing techniques so each person can progress in skill. When we finish climbing each day there will be opportunities to hike various trails, swim in the lake, and if you’re lucky we might even show you our secret rocks for jumping into the lake!

This trip is a great experience for all, no matter your prior knowledge of climbing! We hope to see you on the climbs!

Trip Difficulty

Easy/Moderate: Each day of the trip we will be hiking roughly 2-4 miles to a unique climbing site. We will set up climbs of varying difficulty in order to meet the ability of everyone on the trip. There will be beginner friendly training and instruction prior to embarking on our trip as well as continued instruction during the trip. No prior experience is required!!

Number of participants


Check Out the Trip

See what a Devil’s Lake Trip is like.

Student Outdoor Adventure Retreat: Canoeing

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA)

Explore the most famous wilderness canoe location in the world, right outside our back door! Spend six days with us exploring the Canadian Shield country. Our guides will teach you all of the paddling and camping skills needed to travel through this one-of-a-kind wilderness. Each day you will paddle across lakes and rivers surrounded by breathtaking landscape. Look out for waterfalls, hieroglyphs, and maybe even a moose. During the evening, you can wind down with camp games, great food, and get to know your trip mates. This would also be a great time to talk to the guides about what college is like as well as ask any questions you have not been able to ask yet. Meet new friends as your paddle silently guides you through the awe-inspiring depths of this boreal forest region.

Trip Difficulty

Moderate: During the trip, we will be paddling and portaging about 6-12 miles per day, for a total of about 45 miles in 6 days. This trip can be physically demanding and will involve carrying canoes and gear that can weigh up to 60 lbs in addition to making our way across some rough terrain from lake to lake. It is a good idea to prepare physically for this trip. We will be paddling most of the day with some portaging. In terms of wilderness skills and knowledge, prior experience canoeing and camping is helpful and welcomed but not required to succeed! Your guides can teach you everything you need to know. All we ask is that you come with a positive attitude and willingness to learn. If you are up for the adventure, making new friends, and spending some time in the wilderness, this trip is for you!

Number of Participants

2-3 trips, up to 7 participants per trip

Check Out the Trip

See what a Boundary Waters canoeing trip is like.

Student Outdoor Adventure Retreat: Backpacking

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Starting college with a pack, hiking shoes and 10-12 of your new friends just screams adventure and good times. Come along for one of our backpacking trips where you will travel scenic routes and share your life story. The muscle aches will be worth it when you return to school with lots of new memories and friendships to help you get through the transition to your new home at St. Scholastica. Due to the overwhelming demand, we will offer two backpacking trips, both take you through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

During your trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, you will hike along part of the 42-mile North Country National Scenic Trail. The trail hugs the shoreline of Lake Superior, providing hikers with amazing views of sandstone cliffs, sand dunes, waterfalls, lakes, and forest. Each day you will hike to new a campsite. In the evenings, you cook, hang out and build relationships that will help you get off to a good start at St. Scholastica.

While on this trip, the leaders will share their own knowledge and wisdom on how to have a good time and prepare you for the next few years that you will spend in college. Don’t be shy, if you have questions they are there to provide you with answers. If you are looking for a backpacking trip with breathtaking views, fun guides and the opportunity to meet new friends then sign up now!

Trip Difficulty

Moderate: This trip is 5-11 miles of hiking each day, with a heavy (25-45 lbs) backpack, on uneven and slightly hilly trails. Your pack will contain your personal gear and portions of food and camp gear — so pack light! We recommend preparing for this trip with moderate incline walking or hiking.

Number of Participants

2 Trips, 10-12 participants per trip

Check Out the Trip

See what a backpacking trip at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is like.

Frequently Asked Questions

So why should you be part of SOAR?

Are you nervous? Excited? Maybe you’re just anxious to move on to the next chapter of your life? Let Outdoor Pursuit and our student guides help you transition into your new home. Your week will be full of exciting opportunities and adventures. Our guides will train you and provide you with all of the necessary equipment to have a fun and safe trip. During your trip, you will build relationships with others that are going through the same changes you are, as well as ask all those questions you haven’t been able to ask in an emotionally and physically safe environment. So if you’re ready to go on an adventure and meet some new people, look at the trip options and SIGN-UP!!! Space is limited and trips fill fast so don’t wait too long.

Who will be my guide?

Highly-trained, nationally certified St. Scholastica student guides lead the SOAR trips. Our elite instructors are excited about the outdoors and providing fun adventures. Passionate about teaching, they demonstrate outdoor skills and help other students explore new places. They show participants the beauty of nature, foster lifelong friendships and make these trips unforgettable.

Outdoor Pursuit’s Coordinator, Shawn Olesewski, provides guidance, training and leadership to each instructor. He prepares them to lead others safely and ethically.

Can I bring my cell phone?

During the SOAR trips, cell phones, mp3 players, or other electronics which will distract them from the experience are NOT ALLOWED. Most of the locations we travel to do not have cell phone reception and we do not want you to break or lose your electronics in the wilderness. We do allow cameras and digital cameras so you can document your experience. Each trip will also have a digital camera for participants to use throughout the entire trip, we will share those photos with anyone who requests them.

What about safety and emergency communication?

In terms of safety and communication, our guides are trained in wilderness medicine, emergency response, and risk management. We are strategic and detailed when we plan and prepare for these trips in order to minimize risk and maximize fun. Each trip is equipped with first aid supplies, a guide who is nationally certified in wilderness medicine and a device to alert the college and the nearest emergency services if needed. We take safety very seriously. If you have any questions, let us know.

Group of OP Staff posing on a large boulder during a trip.

Meet Your Guides

Highly-trained, qualified St. Scholastica student guides lead the trips. Our instructors are excited about the outdoors and providing fun adventures. Passionate about teaching and stewardship, they demonstrate outdoor skills and responsibly help other students explore new places. They show participants the beauty of nature, foster lifelong friendships and make these trips unforgettable.

Outdoor Pursuit’s Shawn Olesewski provides guidance, training and leadership to each instructor. He prepares them to lead others safely and ethically.


Multicultural Leadership Orientation

Do you have a passion for social justice? Join the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Aug. 28-Sept. 2, 2022 to explore and expand your understanding of social justice topics, build their leadership skills, and build lifelong relationships with other new and returning St. Scholastica students. MLO is open to all students.

MLO Information

Students will meet staff and faculty who help prepare them to be successful with the transition to college life. This program is run by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with student mentors.

For more information, contact Sarah Stewart at or 218-723-6453.


Free. All housing, meals, transportation, activities and programming are provided by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Student Quotes

“It’s helped me know how to get around campus and helped me open up about how I feel about my beliefs and my identity. ”

“It showed me different ways to participate at CSS , also it helped me get out of my comfort zone and meet/talk to people I’ve never talked to before.”

“I had a great time and I made a lot of friends, learned about social justice and how to deal with people who are not so nice/didn’t grow up with the same views as I did.”

“They did a good job at giving us information on resources that we can use throughout the year to be successful along with introducing us to those who can help us.”


New International Student Orientation

This event is designed to assist new international students upon their arrival to the United States and in their transition to college. The agenda includes information about immigration regulations, cultural adjustment, vital services on campus and participating in fun events around Duluth.

ISO Information

At St. Scholastica, an international student is defined as a person who wishes to pursue an academic program or degree while on an F-1; these students are not U.S. citizens, permanent residents or refugees. Due to immigration regulations, international student orientation is required for the students defined above, and is an invitation-only program.


$75 (charged to the student’s account). This event is by invitation only.