- Current Students
- Current Students
NELP 2023: This page mostly serves as a reminder for information that you've received and deadlines you have to meet!
Important Announcements for 2023 Nelpers
Reminder that the Final Meeting is April 19, 5:30-7:00!
Don't forget to submit your Medical & Release Form, your Statement of Understanding, and your van authorization forms!
Vans depart at 8am on April 28!
by 4pm Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2023
by 4pm Tuesday, March 9, 2023
NELP Deposit #1 due
NELP Deposit #2 due
12-5pm, Saturday, April 1, 2023
5:30-7pm, Wednesday, April 19 2023
8am Friday, April 28, 2023
Vans Depart for New Hampshire
| afternoon Tuesday June 13, 2023
||Vans Return to Ann Arbor|
Equipment & Clothing List
A complete equipment and clothing list went out with each acceptance letter.
A few reminders about clothing and gear:
- You already have most of the clothing you will wear at NELP--both at camp and when we're in the backcountry. Leggings = great camping "pants." Sweaters = great warm layer. What you wear to class in Ann Arbor = something you can wear to class at NELP.
- The "outdoors" industry (oxymoron?) will try to convince you that every additional dollar you spend on backpacking gear will make you more comfortable (or more fashionable or more sporty or whatever). And that's just not true. You do need some basic supplies to carry your gear and to keep you warm and safe, but don't buy the hype (unless you want to buy the hype--in which case, by all means!)
- Shabby chic shabby chic shabby chic!
- The NELP clothing guidelines (and all backpacking clothing guidelines) are built around the idea of layers. Rather than wearing one really heavy layer (your winter jacket, say), you wear several light-to-medium layers that you can remove or add as your body temperature changes. When you're hiking, even if it's pretty cold out, you'll likely be pretty warm. The second you stop moving to eat lunch, you will likely get pretty cold. Having multiple layers allows you to quickly and minutely calibrate your temperature.
- It's useful to remember that we spend about a quarter of NELP (broken into two- and three-day chunks) in the backcountry. We'll be sleeping in tents, hiking out in the weather, carrying everything we need on our backs. But: the rest of the time we will be at Camp Kabeyun, living in cabins, with access to an industrial kitchen and showers and laundry and all that. Which means that most of your time at NELP will be rustic, but not really "camping" per se. We put a lot of emphasis on the gear you need for the backcountry portion of the program, because that gear will keep you and the people with you safer, warmer, more comfortable. But you should bring plenty of everyday stuff--sweatpants, jeans, sandals, sunny-weather-lounging clothes, etc. You can't bring all your clothes--you just don't have enough luggage room in your vans to do that. But you should remember that most of your time will be spent NOT camping, and you should bring the kind of stuffthat will make you comfortable and happy in that everyday existence.
COVID-19 and NELP
We'll go over our Covid (and broader public-health) protocols at the Final Meeting. Between now and NELP, you should be taking every reasonable precaution you can to ensure that you do not arrive sick at NELP!
Drug & Alcohol Policy
The University of Michigan requires a drug- and alcohol-free workplace and study environment, and this policy applies to NELP, even though many NELP students are of legal drinking age. Years ago, before NELP’s present drug and alcohol policy, we found that students who used these substances at NELP were often not at their best academically and were not ready to contribute fully first thing in the morning. And so, back then, our close community lost a degree of academic integrity.
Many students come to NELP today expressly because the program advertises itself as substance-free. They depend on finding such an environment. Drug or alcohol use would inevitably disrupt the sense of community at NELP.
NELP has additional reasons for rigorously enforcing this policy: Swimming, canoeing, and hiking can be dangerous, and it is crucial that participants’ judgments and physical abilities not be impaired. When NELPers arrive at Camp Kabeyun, the winter ice is barely off the lake, and there’s a real danger of hypothermia. Likewise, since camp buildings are all wooden, fire poses a hazard. Serious accidents could also threaten the future existence of the program. Thus, for your own safety’s sake, for the well-being of historic Camp Kabeyun, and for the long-term security of the program, we strictly enforce the drug and alcohol policy and other safety regulations. If you break these rules, you will be sent home.
Most important, we view the drug and alcohol policy as intrinsic to the program, as part of NELP’s whole experiment in a different way of living, which offers students a wonderful and increasingly rare opportunity to explore a life and an understanding of self that is stripped down, in some ways, to the bare essentials. At NELP, students are able to reestablish their independence from the stimulation of drugs, alcohol, television, recorded music, cells phones, and the internet (and social media). For six weeks we put aside these things to draw closer to ourselves, to our community, and to the world around us. This results in more time and space in our lives, where, for example, we make our own music in the dining hall at supper—and suddenly people start hearing things they didn't hear before--birds, wind, and waves from the lake--which make their own kind of music. We discover new time to explore, to read poetry aloud, to write something we might not have written before—perhaps even to learn to paint, to climb a tree, study the patterns of moss on a rock, take a nightwalk, perfect our campfire-building skills…
THEREFORE, FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE REASONS, WE REQUIRE YOUR PLEDGE NOT TO USE DRUGS OR ALCOHOL FOR THE DURATION OF THE PROGRAM—FROM DAY 1, WHEN THE VANS LEAVE FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE, UNTIL THE LAST DAY, AFTER YOUR RETURN TO ANN ARBOR.