Top Adventure School


  • Landmark Programs: Mountain Challenge trips fulfill academic credit, freshman orientation programs, Mountain Challenge Fellowship
  • International Travel opportunity? Yes: Costa Rica, Ecuador, Canada
  • On-Campus Facilities: Alpine Tower, Low Ropes Course, College Woods
  • Service Opportunities? Yes: Environmental service projects, facilitates outdoor trips for underserved parts of surrounding community
  • Most Popular Outdoor Activity: Flat water paddling, trail sports
  • Playground: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Ocoee River, Hiwassee River, Little River, Chilhowie Lake, Tellico Lake

When Mountain Challenge director Bruce Guillaume started the program 25 years ago, he had no idea that he would also be starting a lifelong career.

“I know what everyone takes for granted,” Guillaume says. “I’ve found that when you’re fit and you’re outside, you feel better and do better. Not to mention it’s fun.”

Guillaume’s passion for the outdoors runs in the family. His daughter, Emily, attends Maryville College and is also a staunch advocate for outdoor recreation and the adventure opportunities available through Mountain Challenge.

“We’re committed to bringing passion and a sense of earnestness to outdoor recreation,” she says.

That earnestness transcends basic outdoor recreation. The Mountain Challenge program is housed in one of the few LEED-certified buildings in the country, which speaks to the program’s values.

“I back-doored becoming an environmental person when I started the program 25 years ago,” Guillaume says. “Back then, I could take the outdoors much more for granted than I could now. But because I enjoy this stuff so much, there becomes this duty to take care of where you play which is so important to outdoor recreation.”

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