We truly believe attending First Flight is the best way to start the UWL experience. But don't take our word for it , read what our participants had to say. Shortly after their first week of school we asked them a few questions and this is what they had to say...


First Flight was one of the best experiences I've ever had. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. I think every freshman should do this program to help them learn about the university and meet new people. Thanks for an awesome time!

Meeting other freshmen and sharing the First Flight experience is priceless! I feel like part of the UWL community now, and I know I am much more comfortable with the campus and the city than I would have been moving in with all the freshmen. I wish I could do it again next year! The staff and leaders were wonderful and provided us with the best experience possible. Thank you for giving us this incredible opportunity. I know now that because of this week, I have friends for life at UWL.

We bonded really well as a group, and the experience of getting to know people on that level can't be beat. I still get together with people from the group and know I will continue to for the rest of my college career and beyond.

It was awesome! i loved the laid back attitude and the ability to choose what to do next. I loved the events and the food was even good. i also really enjoyed spending time with the other first flighter's and the staffers!!

loved it all.

I loved it. If I had not participated in first flight I probably would not use the rec center and all of its resources. The friendships I made on first flight are genuine and will last years. The transition between high school and college has been so much smoother with first flight.

First Flight was an awesome experience and it was great to meet new people. It helped me become more comfortable on move-in day.  

The trip was awesome. I feel very comfortable about my place in La Crosse. I got a lot closer with my small group. There wasn't any tension in the end and everyone came together. Thanks supervisors. I would like to go next year.

I had a lot of fun and got to try new things. to challenge myself. 

This trip was very fun. It was planned yet relaxed. everyone was able to enjoy themselves. it was awesome. I highly recommend it  

I had an awesome time doing First Flight. At first, it was slightly awkward, but the staff did a sweet job of making us feel comfortable. I loved meeting all the new people. I had a fun time climbing and I would definitely recommend it to every freshmen and I would do it again.

First flight was an amazing experience it was worth ever penny of it.


It was really nice to have new friends before the school year started...we all stayed together a lot and have been hanging out a lot these last few days.

Loved fishing, great spot first night.

I thought it was really cool to sleep outside. this was my first camping experience and it was well worth it...

This trip was amazing! Fun, friendship, what else can you ask for?

I had such an awesome time. There was never a boring moment; from talking around the campfire, to swimming, to climbing, it was just all around totally fun!

I really liked the high ropes course because it challenged me fears.

The overnight trips were excellent. I had a great time getting to know everybody better by being with them all the time.

It was awesome!!!

I loved getting out on the river and paddling for a day. Then sleeping out under the stars.

It was awesome


It helps getting oriented to campus sooner and having friends before school starts. It sure makes going to classes a lot more fun when you have someone you know.

I don't know who in their right mind would not recommend this.


My fondest memory is sleeping around the campfire under the stars with everyone on our trip and talking until all hours of the morning.

Sleeping under the stars 

Going on the hikes

The friends I made and the challenges I faced and overcame

Swimming across the lake twice.

I loved climbing and swimming at Devils Lake.

Everything- especially how our group clicked right away.. and trying something new and having a great experience- plenty of support, help, and challenge.

The best part was the feeling of accomplishment when I'd make it to the top of a really hard climb that I didn't think I could master. I loved the support from all the staff and participants.

My fondest memory of first flight was sleeping under the stars along the Wisconsin River with a small tight knit group 

Sleeping outside by the fire and getting full of sand.

Getting to the top of a route no one else could do.

Sleeping around the fire in a circle, under the stars, making smores, talking and getting to really know the other campers

Actually getting to the top of the first rock I climb, but also just relaxing by the fire at night with everyone.

Meeting new friends

Cheering everyone on during rock climbing, I think that is where we grew the closest. It's always nice to see people do things they don't think they can do.

Meet my new friends, getting lost with Jackson, swimming, catch all those fish.

My fondest memory was just meeting the people on the canoe trip and getting close with them.

Seeing how the student staff supported everyone climbing. I loved how they would be at the top so once you make it all the way up you can give them a high five.

Sleeping outside under the stars as a group.

The climbing trip was so fun. I loved the other participants and the staff. I can't really pick a memory because there were so many of them

Climbing and having everyone cheer.

Being at the top of a climb that looked impossible and seeing that with the help and encouragement of others, it was possible 

Making it to the top on a cliff that I thought there was no way I would make it to.

On the second night when everyone slept under the stars 

Campfire/stargazing down at the lake the last night


Climbing the rocks

Getting to know other incoming freshman with the same interests and getting comfortable with the campus and La Crosse area. 

Making so many new friends 

I really enjoyed being able to spend time with people who I knew had similar interests, it made life easier to know that I already had something in common with other people on campus.

Climbing at devils lake and getting to know the other first flighter's and staffers

Getting to know other freshman.

Meeting new people and climbing

The climbing, but also getting to know the campus, and definitely getting a close group of friends before school even started

I really enjoyed the overnight trip. It was a great experience that I will never forget.

My favorite part the program was meeting all the new people in the same situation as me.

Learning so much about what La Crosse has to offer.


Either actually canoeing, or hanging out on the sandbar with everybody playing games and just having fun

The rock climbing and meeting new people

My favorite part was not only the activities that we did (I wouldn't be able to pick a favorite from) but the fact that it made me so much more comfortable with my surroundings as well as gave me a group of friends who like to be active and who I may just keep with me throughout college!


I loved the rock climbing and all the outdoors activity 

Actually getting out and doing things. 

My favorite part was going canoeing. it was a lot of fun. 

The rock climbing of course! Well, it definitely was just fun doing anything with this group of people.

Getting to know and meet new people that were interested in the same things that I was.

Meeting such awesome people! 

I loved becoming familiar with the campus and meeting friends. 

Having a chance to move in early and meet new people 


Everything. Meeting a great group of people that I have become good friends with.

Climbing and meeting all the people


I learned the orientation of the campus.

I learned how to use the resources available on campus and take advantage of the areas off of campus.

Where stuff was on campus.

I learned how to be interdependent on a bunch of people I had just met. It really made me more comfortable making new friends the following week, when everyone was on campus.

How to challenge myself and what there is to do around the La Crosse area.

Not to have so many fears.

How to climb.

Definitely that facing challenges is the best way to get over something you are afraid of, or think you can't do.

The most beneficial part of the on-campus section was getting a feel for the layout and routines of campus. Figuring out the meal situation and locations of the buildings has helped me so much in this first week of classes. I also learned a lot about trust and perseverance through the climbing trip.

The best thing I learned was getting know all the opportunities the Rec Center has to offer.

Learning about all the different offices on campus and learning that I'm going to be okay in college.

How to be more outgoing and try new things.

You can make really good friends, especially when you're stuck on an island with them for three days.

To not be afraid to try new things.

It's ok to just be yourself

I guess you could say I was more ready for college to start than ever. I knew people and wasn't afraid for the new adventure.

I came to the right place.

I learned that it's ok if you're a city girl learning how to camp...you have to learn sometime!

That there was a lot I don't know. (Especially when it comes to rock climbing)

I can achieve whatever I put my mind to.

Believe that you can do what you put your mind to.

I learned to rock climb and make a fool of myself is ok

My way around campus.

Friends and how to rock climb.

How to rock climb and how to operate a kayak better.

That college was going to be a lot less scary when I already knew some people