Archways Builds Lasting Community at Asbury – Asbury University
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July 12, 2016

Coming up August 5–10, Asbury University’s Archways program takes new students to the wilderness to develop leadership, teamwork and lifelong friendships.

Every year, a group of new students arrives on Asbury University’s campus with a running start on college life. They may be newcomers to Asbury, but after spending six days together in the backcountry of the Daniel Boone National Forest, they’re already tight-knit, confident and have the bravado of recently returned adventurers.

So, new students…sound like a group you want to be part of? Sign up now for Archways (August 5-10), a six-day backpacking trip that builds community and kick-starts your college experience.

Open to anyone new to the Asbury community, Archways provides the opportunity for students to experience outdoor adventure activities such as teambuilding initiatives, backpacking, camping, climbing and rappelling in a fun and welcoming environment. Learn more at:

“It’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” said Kiara Yee ’18, who went on Archways as a freshman. “It’s amazing to start school already having made friends with such an incredible group of people.”

Yee says her Archways trip also taught her some lessons she’s carried with her ever since.

“I learned it’s OK to need help, and that it’s OK to let people help even if you don’t need it,” Yee said. “It’s a way other people show they care about you, even though they know you can do it without them.”

Archways isn’t just for “outdoorsy” students, either. Trent Ellsworth, director of Asbury’s Center for Adventure Leadership, says about 50 percent of each year’s participants have little to no experience in backpacking, and the program is designed to constructively challenge participants at every level of experience.

“It’s specifically designed for all students to be able to enjoy,” Ellsworth said. “It’s not easy, but structured in such a way that any student can be involved and have a great experience.”

Most importantly, Archways builds a strong community that lasts throughout college and beyond.

“Some of the most long-lasting friendships you see at Asbury began at Archways,” Ellsworth said. “Thanks to that community and the experiences they have, our Archways kids come into college with a level of confidence and composure that really outpaces what the average student walks in with.”

Because Archways is only open to new students, Ellsworth encourages students to take the leap and sign up for an event that many participants remember as a highlight of their Asbury experience.

“I’ve never had someone say afterwards, ‘I wish I hadn’t gone,’” Ellsworth said. “But I do hear a lot of freshmen saying, ‘I wish I’d known about Archways.’ There’s only one chance. Drop work a week early. Come have this experience. You’re only at this perfect state of open possibilities once in your life.”


To learn more about Archways, visit: