Project Explore

Join us on Project Explore to start your transition to Towson University with an adventure.

Trail Backpacking

Project Explore is one of the longest running traditions at Towson University.  Established in 1977 and originally named Project Marj, Project Explore is a "Wilderness Pre-Orientation" program for incoming freshman and transfer students of Towson University and is managed by the Department of Campus Recreation.

During each Project Explore session, participants are paired with up to seven other incoming TU students for the duration of the experience. Each group is led by two student Project Explore instructors who will provide instruction in outdoor living and travel skills, as well as an introduction to life as a TU student.

Project explore 2020

Check back in late Spring 2020 for official dates and registration details. 


Benefits of Project Explore
  • Get a head start on your orientation experience and meet current Towson students and alumni.

  • Establish relationships with other participants and student leaders to create an on-campus support network.

  • Increase self-awareness and self-confidence by stepping outside of your"comfort zone" and overcoming challenges.

  • Begin the practice of setting and achieving individual and group goals.

  • Gain a greater appreciation for the natural world and the simplicity of wilderness living.

  • Build decision making skills as you work within the group to form consensus on decisions.

  • Get engaged on campus. Research shows that students who are more engaged on campus will have greater academic performance than their peers and are more likely to stay at Towson until graduation.

  • Earn College Credit

  • Upon completing Project Explore, participants are eligible to receive one credit in KNES 241, Special Topics in Physical Education. To receive this credit, students must submit a three to five-page reaction paper describing the experience. It will count as an elective credit and is applicable toward the 120 credits required for a degree.

The Leaders
  • The Director of Project Explore is Andrew Lyburn. He works as the Assistant Director of Outdoor Adventures in Campus Recreation. Andrew is a Towson Alumnus and also holds a Master's Degree in Recreation Administration from Texas State University.

  • The instructors for Project Explore are current Outdoor Trip Leaders for Towson University's Outdoor Trips Program. These students hold Wilderness First Responder medical certifications and have had over 600 hours of training and leadership experience in a wilderness setting.


frequently asked questions

Who can attend?

Project Explore is available to any freshman or transfer student heading into their first semester at Towson. This program is within the capability of any able-bodied, healthy person.

Do I need experience? 

Project Explore is designed using the philosophy of Challenge by Choice so it is perfect for individuals of any ability level. Our instructors will teach beginners all of the necessary skills to be successful on the trip and are adept at finding ways to challenge more experienced outdoor enthusiasts.

Do I need to provide my own equipment?

All equipment needed for the trip can be provided by Towson University. Participants will mostly need to provide their own clothing and appropriate footwear.

What do we eat?

While we are limited in some of our menu options (ex. no raw meats), our instructors are also great backcountry cooks. They will design a nutritious and delicious meal plan for the group based on the dietary needs of each member of the group.

Does this affect move-in or Welcome to Towson?

No, students who will live on-campus are eligible to move in early during the morning of August 16. Students will return to campus prior to the start of all Welcome to Towson events.

Can we bring cell phones?

We do not allow participants to bring cell phones or other technology into the field, as we feel it is distracting to the group process and hinders participants from meaningfully engaging with other participants and with their own self-reflection. All leaders and support staff carry a cell phone and GPS communication device for emergency situations. All parents will be given the contact information for the Project Explore Director for any home or family emergencies.