1st Tracks leader, Maddie Smith, prepares to lead a five-day adventure across Colorado

A bundle of nervous energy and eager anticipation could describe any student ahead of those first college days. But for Maddie Smith, the start of her Regis experience was adrenaline-pumping for different reasons.

Over the course of five days last August, Maddie and 25 other incoming students set up camp across the Rockies, went whitewater rafting and participated in other outdoor adventures as part of Regis’ 1st Tracks program. Maddie came away with some lasting memories, but even more valuable, she said, was getting to bond with her new classmates ahead of their first semester.

“My 1st Tracks experience paved the trail for a smooth transition into college and allowed me to have a blast while getting to make friendships and enjoy life in Colorado,” Maddie said.

The student-led program aims to take new Regis College, transfer and traditional first-year nursing students into the Colorado outdoors, offer them a fun way to transition into college life and prepare them for challenges ahead.

Now a year after Maddie’s experience, the Regis College sophomore is back at it again – this time as a leader for the Outdoor Adventure Program that runs 1st Tracks. She is eager to share her passion for the outdoors and foster a welcoming environment for the participating students.

In a few short weeks, a new class of students will enter the Colorado wilderness and participate in a high ropes course, hike in the Arapahoe National Wilderness Area, raft the Colorado River and end their trip by camping at a state park. Registration remains open. And like their predecessors, this year’s participants can count on coming away with some important lessons.

“Many students begin to define their future in college,” said Brian Anderson, programming coordinator for Regis’ Department of Wellness and Recreation. “1st Tracks provides an opportunity to get started down the right path while bonding with peers and exploring the beauty of where they’ll be living the next four years.”

Start your Regis days with a little adventure and explore the best of Colorado.