Great Hollow Wilderness School

Founded in 1970 by Wesleyan University, Great Hollow Wilderness School (GHWS) is an adventure-based leadership development program owned and operated by the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut.  Great Hollow began as a resource to provide outdoor/experiential learning opportunities to the Wesleyan University Upward Bound program, through the vision of its Executive Director, Peter Budryk.

GHWS has since expanded to provide year-round programming for Upward Bound, and other Educational Opportunity Programs throughout Connecticut, including corporate organizations, colleges and universities.  An outdoor wilderness orientation is optional for the first-year students at Wesleyan University.

Great Hollow courses combine adventure-based programs with strong group process to explore issues of leadership, communication, trust and personal growth.. Over 2,000 participants annually are involved in technical rock climbing, white water canoeing, caving, backpacking and camping. Among the technical outdoor courses offered for Wesleyan credit is a 5 week summer National Standard Program for Outdoor Leadership Certification held variously in Wyoming and Mexico (Mountaineering); Florida and Alaska (Sea Kayaking).  Great Hollow Wilderness School is one of only 15 institutions in North America approved by the Wilderness Education Association to offer this certification.

Great Hollow is unique among outdoor programs in that it has made a commitment to serving special and historically under-represented populations.  GHWS actively works to recruit people-of-color into the fields of outdoor leadership and experiential education, and offers summer work-study employment opportunities through the Financial Aid Office.  Contact Migdalia Emonds, Student Employment Coordinator for details.

For further information contact Jennifer Buckley, Director, GHWS at (203) 746-5852/ or Ali Sadiq, Assistant Director (203) 746-5708/

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last updated 9/30/99 jev