STEP RIGEL Experience

The STEP Program has a unique partnership with Penn State’s AURORA Outdoor Orientation Programs – the STEP RIGEL Experience. If you are interested in participating in the RIGEL program, indicate this on your registration form and we will send you additional information on how to enroll!

As you start your journey at Penn State University Park, make your experience more powerful with RIGEL, one of Penn State’s AURORA Outdoor Orientation Programs. RIGEL, as a part of the STEP program, offers you the opportunity to share an outdoor experience with a small cohort of other students also transitioning to University Park. Not only will you make meaningful connections with those students, you will also gain valuable knowledge about life at University Park, and earn 3 GHA credits along the way! Additionally, as a part of STEP, your RIGEL experience will be paired with an ENGL 202 course. These courses will serve as your introduction to the University Park campus during the summer semester.

RIGEL participants will begin their wilderness experience on August 5. Students and their leaders spend an evening at Shaver’s Creek, Penn State’s Environmental Center, prior to embarking on a backpacking adventure. You’ll spend time getting to know your fellow Penn State students, learning about life at University Park, and exploring the beauty of central Pennsylvania.

During RIGEL you will backpack through Rothrock State Forest south of State College. Male and female leaders in each small group of no more than 10 students help facilitate great conversations and share resources for starting life at Penn State. All experience levels welcome! Food and gear is provided–all you need is a good pair of hiking boots.

For more information about RIGEL including an extensive list of FAQ’s go to: