the word WILD with the I formed into a tree with leaves and roots

Wilderness Institute for Leadership Development 

What is WILD?

The Wilderness Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) is a program designed to foster leadership and fitness for members through an outdoor adventure based setting. Students who are accepted into the WILD TLC Program will be provided with a community of students all interested in similar experiences focused around being in nature and living a healthy lifestyle. WILD members will be provided with many opportunities to learn and develop their skills in outdoor adventure sports, such as, backpacking, climbing, and whitewater canoeing. WILD also advocates for healthy living by incorporating fitness and heath education into the programs. Students will be developing their leadership skills through every experience they have in WILD.


Who can apply?

All incoming freshman at The University of Tennessee Chattanooga are eligible to apply regardless of major or field of study. All First year WILD members must be part of the WILD Themed Learn Community in which you live in designated Housing on Campus with the other First year WILD members.


WILD Housing is in the Johnson Obear Residence Hall. You must apply for housing and pay the application fee to qualify for WILD housing. All Housing fees apply.


When does it start?

The WILD program will begin at the beginning of the Fall semester, and will provide unique opportunities throughout the year for its members.

What will we do?

The WILD program will provide a multitude of opportunities for the students involved. We will have events once or twice each month, as well as encourage students to be involved on other UTC and Chattanooga community events. In order for each student to have a good experience, it is very important that everyone who is a member commit to attending at least one event each month. However the more you participate the better your experience. Events that may be offered each semester could include the following:


Paddle sports on the Tennessee River, such as Canoeing, kayaking, and SUP Boarding.
Backpacking during Fall Break or Spring Break
Sunrise Yoga
Trail Running and Mountain biking on the Local trails of Chattanooga

Trail Building/Maintenance
Seminars and movie viewings related to the Outdoors, Sustainability and Healthy Living
Hosting an Adventure Race or Outdoor Film Festival
Wilderness First Aid Workshops
Outdoor Skills Workshops


While we strive to provide as many free events and opportunities to our members as we can, some of the events offered to WILD members may cost extra. Anything event that as a fee will be announced at least 2 weeks ahead of time, and we will do what we can to offer scholarships or work to help those who can't afford the cost. Don't let the cost prohibit you, we will find a way to help every member that wants to participate. 


What comes after the first year?

After completing their first year, WILD students may apply for a second year in the program, in which they would step into an assistant leadership role and help in the plan events for the incoming freshmen WILD students. This process will continue every year up to four years. Each year the students will gain more of a leadership role in the WILD program. Fourth year WILD students will earn a certificate of completion for their accomplishments.

How to Apply

In order for students to apply to the WILD program, they must only fill out the application below. Each applicant will be carefully reviewed those accepted into the program will be notified by a WILD representative.

If you have Questions, please contact us at (423) 425-5671 or email us at


CLICK HERE for the WILD APPLICATION for the 2016-2017 school year