CAMP Wilderness Orientation Program
Students smiling walkway while camping

Welcome to CAMP

Discover a culture of support and team-building.

What if you could bond with your future classmates on a fun, low-stress adventure before the first day of med school?

Students cooking at camp in the woods

Creating Adventurous and Mindful Physicians (CAMP) is a student-led wilderness orientation program offered by M-Home that’s designed especially for incoming medical students. 

During the week prior to M1 Launch, you are invited to join fellow M1s and trained student leaders for either a Monday through Friday or Wednesday through Friday backpacking trip — with both options offering an incredible opportunity to spend time together in a relaxed outdoor setting before transitioning to med school. No previous camping experience needed!

Your CAMP experience will be led by student leaders from all classes and M-Home houses, giving you the opportunity to start forming your support system, a critical component for the next four years.

Through CAMP, you will:

  • Foster bonds with your new peers through team-building and meaning in medicine exercises
  • Create deep connections with the broader med school community that will sustain you through the hills and valleys of med school
  • Discover a culture of support around and among students through conversations with senior med students
  • Build your confidence through mindfulness training, backpacking skill lessons and wilderness medicine instruction
Frequently Asked Questions

The five-day trip begins the Monday before M1 Launch and wraps up that Friday, and the three-day trip starts on that Wednesday and also ends Friday.

Hiking groups meet in Ann Arbor and then travel to the trail on transportation arranged by CAMP. Five-day trips take place in the Huron-Manistee National Forest, about 3.5 hours from Ann Arbor, and three-day trips take place in Pinckney Recreation Area, about 30 minutes from Ann Arbor.  

The cost is $10 per participant, which is paid via Venmo. Assistance is available for anyone to whom this fee would represent a financial hardship.

A formal packing list will be disseminated to all CAMPers before the trips. If you have any questions, you can reach out to your CAMP guides who will be contacting your group prior to the trip. Plenty of camping equipment is available to borrow free of cost, and there is nothing you need to own in order to participate in CAMP. 

Participants will sleep in tents with other M1s who are also participating in CAMP. Wake up is usually around 7:00 or 8:00, but the exact time you will get up depends on what your group decides on and how long you need to hike that day.

  • Breakfast: The most important meal of the day! Breakfast usually consists of oatmeal with peanut butter, granola and other mix-ins.
  • Morning hike: Anywhere from 2-5 miles depending on your trip and route for the day.
  • Lunch: DIY sandwiches consisting of your preferred blend of PB&J, turkey, summer sausage, cheese, and salsa.
  • Afternoon hike: Finish up the day’s hiking! Bonding and conversation are always encouraged and occasionally we will break up our hikes with trail games and icebreakers.
  • Set up camp: This involves setting up tents and sleeping bags and getting things ready for dinner. This is often a great time to explore the area around the campsite or go for a swim as many of our campsites have access to good swimming areas.
  • Dinner: Typical meals include pasta, burrito bowls, and Chili Mac. Roles will be assigned every day so that all campers take turns helping with cooking, washing dishes, and cleaning up.
  • Campfire bonding before bed

Each day, activities will be centered around development of a specific well-being, community-building, or teamwork goal.

CAMP groups consist of 10-12 incoming students (M0s) and 2-3 upperclass medical students who will serve as your guides.  

Your CAMP guides will be there along the way to help teach everyone the basics of backpacking and camping. They are a great resource so don’t hesitate to ask them any questions! 

No! CAMP is open to students of all levels of experience. We aim to ensure everyone is as comfortable and appropriately challenged on the trip as possible and will provide any gear and assistance needed for you to participate, regardless of your past outdoor experience.

We want to work to make sure CAMP is welcoming to all. If you have specific concerns and/or needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out via email.

Unfortunately, we’re limited by our transportation and specific departure dates/times. However, CAMP is a year-round student organization, so you can get involved throughout the year as well, or become a guide for a future trip. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with questions about your circumstances.

Reach out to the CAMP organizers at [email protected].

Dose of Reality Blog
CAMP Experience

During their last week of classes, 29 M1s took a break from Behavioral Sciences to join the incoming medical school class for CAMP. Read Robin's and Simona's blog to see their experience.

Read article