Project Marj is Towson University's Pre-Orientation Wilderness Experience that has been operating since 1977 and is an experiential orientation course designed for incoming Towson University freshman and transfer students. The program is modeled after Outward Bound, which works to develop group efficiency, ingenuity, leadership, and self-knowledge. The challenging adventure activities encourage participants to disregard self-imposed limitations on the mind and body and promote the growth of self-worth and esteem. It’s challenging in many ways, but with a focus on communication and responsible risk-taking, it concentrates on safety and is within the physical capabilities of the average healthy person. Students have the option to participate in either a five day Backpacking or Multi-activity (White water kayaking and rock climbing) trip.
Project Marj embodies the spirit of a woman whose devotion to life and education inspired others. During the summer of 1976, a group of twelve teachers spent three months in the mountains together as part of a Masters of Experiential Education program offered by Outward Bound and the University of Colorado. One of the teammates was Craig Dobkin, a Towson University kinesiology professor. On the trip, Craig met a woman named Marjorie. The two became good friends, sharing ideas about education and a love for the outdoors.
When Craig returned to Towson, he began work on a University program that would adhere to the educational philosophy shared by Marjorie and him. The program would make use of the environment and experiential education to empower incoming students. It was designed to teach new skills by using adventure as a foundation for change and growth. Naming the program “Project Marj,” Craig Dobkin presented the idea to the Director of Student Orientation, Dr. Donald Squire, and the project began in the summer of 1977.
Q: Who can attend Project Marj?
Project Marj is for incoming freshman and transfer students to Towson University.
Q: What are the activities?
5-day Backpacking: $350
5-day Multi-Activity (whitewater kayaking and rock climbing): $350
The backpacking group will be living and hiking on the world-famous Appalachian Trail. The multi-activity group will be sleeping and cooking at Camp Manidokan near Harper's Ferry. Each day, they will travel from their campsite to local beauties such as Annapolis Rocks, Sugarloaf Mountain, and the Shenandoah River for rock climbing and whitewater kayaking activities.
Q: Where do we meet?
Meet in Burdick Hall, Gym 1. Click here for a map and directions.
Q: Where do I park?
Please park in Towsontown Garage. Click here for a map and directions.
Q: Why should I participate?
Project Marj allows incoming freshman and transfer students to grow and make connections with others before they start their experience here at Towson. This has been proven to help students with the difficult transition, making them more connected to the university community and increasing their happiness and performance.
Highly trained student trip leaders lead Project Marj and other wilderness programs throughout the year. These students spend a full year training in many aspects of wilderness skills including kayaking, climbing, backpacking, group development, risk management, and leadership, and all are certified Wilderness First Responders (WFR), an 80-hour wilderness medical course offered through either Wilderness Medical Institute or Wilderness Medical Associates.
Q: When can we move in?
All participants will have the option to move in early. They will be contacted by Housing and Residence Life later in the summer before Project Marj with early move-in details.
Q: Will we miss mandatory orientation?
Project Marj will not interfere with your mandatory orientation to the University.
Adventure Pursuits will provide all of the necessary technical adventure equipment for the trips including backpacks, tents, climbing equipment, and kayaking equipment. Equipment will be available for rental but there are limited quantities. Rental information along with personal equipment lists will be emailed no later than August 3.