A Northwestern student overlooks the vista from their canoe during the Portage trip.

Portage: The Journey Begins

Dive into friendships, thinking and experiential learning—all of which will be part of your Northwestern experience—by participating in Portage. Portage is a wilderness experience designed for incoming freshmen and transfer students. In August, prior to Orientation, Portage takes students on an outdoor adventure in Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). While camping, canoeing and portaging (carrying your canoe overland), you'll have a chance to explore your faith and character as you prepare to get as much as you can—learning with your head and heart—from your college experience.

Christian community—it's wild!

Portage leaders are experienced wilderness instructors who have participated in Coldwater Foundation's Wilderness Leadership Expedition, have completed the full wilderness instructor training, and are certified in first aid and as a first responder. They'll guide your exploration of what it means to be a Christian in community while you work together to navigate the BWCA, talk around the campfire each night, and spend time journaling and reflecting.

Participation costs $450 and is limited to the first 24 students who register. Scholarships are available; email Coldwater Foundation for information.

A Coldwater Foundation program, Portage is endorsed by Northwestern College's Franken Leadership Center to promote and foster a lifestyle of leadership on NWC's campus.

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Northwestern students blog about life as Red Raiders. Visit our NWC Stories website to read about what they’re learning and experiencing–and who they’re becoming.

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“Being in a setting like Northwestern, where faith is incorporated into essentially every aspect of campus life, has really helped strengthen my faith. ”

Nnenna Nwaelugo Nnenna Nwaelugo ’19 Biology health professions major from Aboh-Mbaise, Nigeria

Nnenna's story

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William Browning William Browning ’'19 Art and biology health professions major from Duncan, Oklahoma

William's story

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Steven Clark Steven Clark ’18 religion major from Belmond, Iowa

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Chie Lee Chie Lee ’18 Social work major from Osaka, Japan

Chie's story

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Madison Bertman Madison Bertman ’18 History major from Adel, Iowa

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