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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Regan Scott Regan Scott ’19 Business administration and marketing major from Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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Grahm Kenobbie Grahm Kenobbie ’20 Philosophy and computer science major from Phoenix, Arizona

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Suresh Portillo Suresh Portillo ’20 translation and interpretation major from San Francisco, California

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McKinley  Zula McKinley  Zula ’20 Accounting and business administration major from Pella, Iowa

McKinley 's story

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Brant Vermeer Brant Vermeer ’19 Political science and economics major from Pella, Iowa

Brant's story

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Heather Van Itallie Heather Van Itallie ’20 Christian Education and Youth Ministry major from Davenport, Iowa

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Alex Currier Alex Currier ’19 Sociology major from Ottawa, Kansas

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Matt Scott Matt Scott ’19 Actuarial Science major from Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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Poulina Tran Poulina Tran ’19 Computer science and mathematics major from Hanoi, Vietnam

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Adebola Adeyemo Adebola Adeyemo ’20 Public relations major from Lagos, Nigeria

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Schuyler Sterk Schuyler Sterk ’21 English teaching major from Belle Plaine, Minnesota

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Matt Scott Matt Scott ’19 Actuarial Science major from Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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

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Grant Rohrer Grant Rohrer ’20 Nursing major from Slayton, Minnesota

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Jacobo Garcia-Nieto de la Orden Jacobo Garcia-Nieto de la Orden ’19 Finance and Management major from Barcelona, Spain

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