Join us!

ALIEN (Adventure Leadership Immersion Experience in Nature)

Sign up for a leadership experience in nature - Groups of 6 or more

The ALIEN program (Adventure Leadership Immersion Experience in Nature) is how Wingate University has partnered with Brad Turley of Southern Eighths Farm to provide a non-traditional laboratory of difference making for students, community partners and corporate groups.

The main ideas is that by bringing people into nature, they develop certain critical leadership character traits through engagement with and within the natural environment.

Not all who wander are lost ...


Nature is what sets this program apart from other leadership programs - engagement and listening to the land and what nature has to teach us is incredibly important to be a leader in our world today. This program also uses nature to teach about the elements of challenge and risk that is a crucial part of leadership development. Disconnecting from a highly technological/electronic society that is constantly telling you who you are, what is good, what you must think and do, is crucial. When a person reconnects with a deeper, more ancient source of value, meaning, inter-connectivity, and purpose -- land, nature, Earth, universe -- then leaders for today and tomorrow have time and space to think and do differently.

Eighteen students in Dr. Harrist’s Community and Commercial Recreation Programming course (CCR 212 Spring 2020) developed fun, engaging, and transformative activities that make up the ALIEN program -- which can be a day, overnight, or up to 3 days.

Curious? Excited? Want to sign up your group? Use this Link to submit your Google request form.

ALIEN Prototype

Thursday, Aug. 20th, 8am

305 Lucious Davis Road

Chesterfield, SC

This is a test run by the students who designed the programming! A Lab of Difference Making needs testing and tweaking! If your student group (RSOs, Greek Life, Team, Club) or community group wants to book a date, fill in our google request form (same as the link above) or contact directly for more information

A Day in the Life of an ALIEN participant...

*Participants will drive separately to Southern 8th's Farm (Chesterfield, SC) and all safety measures implemented by the state and University (masks; temperature recording; social distancing; limiting participants; outdoor venues) are being upheld. Also, embracing the uncertainty and innovation required for overcoming COVID19 is part of the context for cultivating great leaders on and off campus.

This experience is an opportunity to adapt, innovate, fail, regroup… not just talk about it but live it.

Once participants step foot on Southern Eighths, they will be offered opportunities to partake in many different activities that will emphasize four key aspects:





  • Participants will learn how to listen and respond to each other and the land (nature trail orienteering, archery, human knot, scavenger hunt; debris shelter building).

  • They will also work with those who love this particular 1300 acres of land -- expert visitors who share their collective wisdom about fungus, native planting, stone arrowheads, civil war connections.

  • The day or days will also explore survival skills (fire building, candle making), interdependence (fishing), and creative problem solving (yurt building; art projects).

The theme of ‘thinking and doing’ is best when activities coincide with group discussions. These are crafted to fit the culture and goals of each particular group but could include:

  • how to jump when afraid

  • how to let your mind wander in order to be creative and innovative

  • navigating university and beyond

  • survival (and thriving) in an uncertain world

  • balancing risk and control

  • cultivating entrepreneurship in everyday life

When nature is a vehicle for exploring these questions, great things happen and leaders are cultivated.

The Collaborative for the Common Good

The CCG uses a project-based approach to address economic, social and ecological issues in eastern Union County. Our goal is to transform our local region by focusing on creating neighborhoods where people, places, and economies can thrive and prosper. And we will do this through collective engagement -- the power of 'we.'

Come visit us on the second floor of Wingate Baptist Church