BURLINGTON, Vt. — Sarah Cooper, of Dresden, along with 75 other returning peers, helped lead more than 250 first-year students as they began their University of Vermont experience on Aug. 17 through TREK — a unique, seven-day, first-year enrichment program sponsored by UVM’s Department of Student Life.

For 40 years the program has sent new students all over the state of Vermont to explore the region’s wilderness, develop leadership skills, and work on community service projects. TREK is one of the biggest and most diverse new-student, collegiate, community building programs in the northeast region, according to a news release from the university.

Known as TREK leaders, these students provided and maintained a safe, healthy and supportive group atmosphere for their student participants while exploring the expansive outdoor environments of northern Vermont and it’s neighboring states through both Wilderness and Service TREK programs.

Cooper led Hiking Trek. A part of the Wilderness TREK program which provides students the opportunity to build lasting friendships, initiate self-discovery, and explore the people and landscapes that are Vermont, Hiking TREK provides incoming students an opportunity to visit and explore some of the highest, most remote and oldest footpaths in the country — all along the long trail and in the Adirondacks. Hiking on average eight miles per day, traversed through hardwood, trickling streams and learned of the North Country’s rich, natural history along the way.

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