"Composing my favorite week of the school year, the senior trip is an educational enterprise in the best senses of the phrase. Its having physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions gives it a wholeness that enables it to be a nearly perfect conclusion to students' experience at Baylor. The trip is a community of students, faculty, instructors, musicians, storytellers. The twelve small groups are microcosms of the whole. The members talk together; eat, climb, paddle, walk, look and listen together; they feel joy, stress, laughter, fatigue, and fear. They are new friends and old, experiencing one another's vitality in fresh ways. Occurring in the Southern Appalachian Highlands, the trip is also rainfall and sunshine; rocky faces, crags, and nubbins; laurel, fern, and moss; pools, eddies, rapids, and falls. The Chattooga River is magical."

- Bill Cushman

This spring, from May 21st - May 28th, Baylor seniors will embark on the 45th annual Senior Trip. The trip takes place at Camp Chatuga in Mountain Rest, South Carolina, near the city of Clayton, Georgia. It begins with an overnight backpack, followed by six days of a rotation through a challenging array of activities , including rafting, canoeing, rock climbing, primitive living skills, and a service project. While the activities cast our seniors into an unfamiliar environment, they also get to spend this pivotal time together before they go their separate ways.

Parents and students must return completed NOC form to Ashlee Osteen in order to participate in the Senior Trip.

return to: Ashlee Osteen - Walkabout office in the Frierson Student Center

fax to: Ashlee Osteen  423-757-2545

mail to:

Ashlee Osteen/Baylor School

171 Baylor School Road

Chattanooga, TN 37405

form to download, sign, and return by May 1st:

NOC release

Please scroll down for Senior Trip information and equipment lists.

2021 Baylor Senior Trip

dates: May 21st through May 28th


Camp Chatuga 291 Camp Chatuga Road Mountain Rest, SC 29664

Contacting students and staff during the Senior Trip is difficult . Our guides have an efficient and timely system for contacting emergency services in the event that your son or daughter needs medical care, but contacting us is more cumbersome. If you need to contact your son or daughter during the Senior Trip, please call Shaw Wilson: at Baylor: 423-267-8506 extension #555 cell phone: 423-618-8532


The first night of the trip will be spent under the stars on a short backpacking trip (two days and one night). The remainder of the trip will be spent at Camp Chatuga in cabins with soft beds and hot showers.


Meals are prepared at the camp by cooks from Baylor and Camp Chatuga.

medical needs: The instructors on each of the activities are trained to handle emergency medical situations in a wilderness setting. We have a doctor in camp each evening and an EMT at the camp during the day. All prescription medication must be kept in the camp infirmary.  Any exceptions (allergy medication, acne medication, etc.) must be cleared before the trip through the Baylor Health Center.

schedule :

Friday May 21st - meet in Roddy Theater at 9:30 A.M. (bags should be loaded on a truck parked beside Roddy before this meeting) - depart for South Carolina on buses - lunch at Subway - get off the buses by the Chattooga River - students are divided into twelve single sex groups - each group begins its backpacking trip

Saturday May 22nd - return from backpack - arrive at Camp Chatuga in late afternoon - dinner in camp followed by evening speaker

Sunday May 23rd through Thursday May 27th *rotation of activities

Friday May 28th - depart Camp Chatuga after breakfast - arrive at Baylor around 1:00 PM - graduation practice

*Two groups will be paired together and participate in a different activity each day. The rotation of activities includes rafting section IV of the Chattooga River, rock climbing, canoeing, a day of hiking and napping by the Chattooga River, a service project provided by the Foothills Trail Conservancy and rafting section III of the Chattooga River. Each group will participate in 5 of these activities during the week.

guides: All activities are guided by professionals who are experts in their particular field. Over the past thirty years of Senior Trips, Walkabout has assembled a skilled staff of outdoor professionals who are committed to the philosophy of this unique Baylor experience.


see equipment list below

athletic conflicts:

Unfortunately some Senior athletes will not be able to be with us on part or all of the Senior Trip. Scheduling conflicts are unavoidable. Some of these athletes have been looking forward to their Senior Trip for many years, and others are not aware of the experience they will be missing. In either case, we would like to give them the opportunity to be on the trip for whatever time they have available, even if it is just for couple of days. We will be in contact with the coaches in order to make transportation and scheduling arrangements.


I will be meeting with each Senior in her or his English class to answer questions and discuss the schedule, equipment list, and philosophy of the Senior Trip. It is important for students and parents to remember that no outdoor skills are necessary or expected for this trip. Many times the Senior Trip is most enjoyable and memorable for students who have never spent time outdoors. The idea is to provide a foreign environment for Seniors to learn about themselves and their classmates - not to convert them into outdoor enthusiasts. The activities become secondary to the experience of Seniors sharing the last seven days of their Baylor career together. If you need information or clarification about the Senior Trip, please feel free to contact me. Some students and parents are understandably anxious about this unique experience.  I look forward to addressing these concerns long before we depart for the trip.

Sincerely, Ashlee Osteen

Director of Walkabout



PDF to download

Walkabout understands that many Seniors will never have a need for this equipment after the Senior Trip is over. Please do not feel that you need to purchase everything on this list. Many of these items can be borrowed from friends or from Walkabout. Because we do not have enough gear to supply 190 students, please borrow gear from friends or former students whenever possible. In the event that you do need to borrow some of these items from Walkabout, please be aware that our resources are limited. Students should email Ashlee Osteen by May 8th if they need to borrow a backpack, sleeping pad, or sleeping bag from Walkabout.

It will be hot. It will be cold. The sun will shine. It will rain. Please bring what is on this list. Each item is necessary. Lack of a good rain jacket and warm clothes in a South Carolina mountain rain actually creates some serious safety concerns. Lack of sunscreen on a hot day rafting on the Chattooga River can make the rest of the trip very uncomfortable.

Cotton is the enemy. Wet cotton does not insulate and can become dangerous in cold weather. It will be cold. Please pay careful attention to items that should be made of wool or synthetic fibers. Both wool and synthetic (pile, capilene, or polypropylene) clothes insulate well even when they are wet.

__* backpack

__ duffel bag (any type of luggage bag will work)

__ sleeping bag (not cotton)

__* stuff sack (for sleeping bag)

__* sleeping pad

__ long pants (jeans or Carhartt type pants for around camp)

__ synthetic long underwear bottoms or pile pants for use during activities

__ long sleeve synthetic underwear shirt

__ synthetic jacket or wool sweater

__ warm hat (wool or synthetic)

__ hat for sun protection

__ socks (at least two pairs should be non-cotton)

__ RAIN JACKET - the jacket must be waterproof – NOT water resistant.

__ t-shirts

__ underwear

__ two pairs of tennis shoes - one to keep dry – one to get wet(these can be river sandals if they have a strap behind the ankle)

__ hot drink mug

__ toiletries (toothbrush, shampoo etc.) hot showers are available


__ flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries

__ sunblock

__* cup, bowl, and spoon

__ 2 quart size water bottles – non-breakable (Gatorade bottles work well) PLEASE FILL THEM BEFORE WE LEAVE BAYLOR.

__ swimming suit and shorts

__* large plastic garbage bag (keeps clothes dry during backpack)

__ day pack (book bag size) OPTIONAL

__ Tevas, Chacos, or other river sandals/shoes

__ rain pants

__ playing cards

__ bug repellent

__ books

__ musical instruments

DO NOT BRING - iPads, iPods, any electronic game, no cell phones - money food

*The asterisk indicates items only needed for the first two days of backpacking. If you are an athlete who will not be joining us until after the first two days, you do not need to bring these items.

Packing list for your backpack:

(pdf to download)

This list has everything you will need for the backpack (first two days of the trip). It may seem like a small amount, but remember that everything you bring with you, will be carried on your back. You should come to the Roddy Theater at 9:00 A.M. Thursday morning with two bags – (1) your backpack packed with all of the items listed below (2) a duffel bag or suitcase containing the items you will need for the rest of the trip. Your duffel bag will be waiting for you at camp when you arrive on Friday afternoon.


- 1 pair of underwear

- long underwear bottom

- long underwear top

- 1 pair of nylon shorts

- 1 pair of sturdy long pants (Carhartts work well)

- 1 t-shirt

- synthetic jacket or wool sweater

- rain jacket - 2 pairs of socks (not cotton)

- warm hat

- hiking shoes (tennis shoes will work)

- swimming suit


- backpack

- sleeping bag (not cotton)

- sleeping pad

- flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries

- 2 quart size water bottles (Gatorade bottles work well) PLEASE FILL THEM BEFORE WE LEAVE BAYLOR. Please no squeeze bottles with the sport cap – they will not stay closed and your clothes will get wet.

- cup, bowl, and spoon

Optional things you may want:

- bug repellent

- camera

- sun screen

- toothpaste/toothbrush

- sun glasses

- Astrals,Tevas, Chacos, or other river shoes