Raider Outdoor Lightning Leadership


Mission Statement

"To provide incoming freshmen with the opportunity to make new friends, develop leadership skills, and to become acquainted with the outdoors."

The Raider Outdoor Lightning Leadership (ROLL) experience is a unique learning experience for 36 first year students to develop confidence, communication skills, leadership skills and support network they need to become MTSU's future leaders on campus and in the community. A key element of ROLL is that students get involved through campus organizations and by attending athletic and cultural events to immerse themselves in MTSU student life. Students also participate in service learning opportunities that benefit the community. Some activities students participate in during their week at ROLL include whitewater kayaking, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and mountain biking!

Date: TBD 2018
Registration Cost:
$200 (includes food, transportation, shelter, equipment, and excursions)



Goals for Participating

  • Create a positive transition into campus life at MTSU by fostering connections between the new students and existing campus community
  • Teach the traditions and heritage of MTSU and instill school spirit and Blue Raider Pride in the students
  • Build confidence in the students' current leadership abilities and introduce basic leadership skills that will enable them to become strong leaders at MTSU
  • Introduce students to leadership opportunities at MTSU and encourage their participation in these opportunities
  • Provide a safe non-coercive environment that promotes learning, challenge, and fun.

What to Expect at ROLL

We will take 50 incoming freshmen (the first 50 to sign up, so sign up quick!) to a base camp in the mountains near the Ocoee River. We will meet at MTSU Campus Recreation, where we will have a "meet and greet" and then head out for the Ocoee area by mid-day. When we get to our base camp, we will set up our homes and discuss the week's activities. We will divide into 5 groups of 10. Each day, each group will experience a different outdoor activity. When we get back to camp after a fun day of adventure, we will have a huge group meal. After the meal, our evening counselors will have different activities planned to help the group learn about the collegiate experience. Representatives from different divisions of MTSU will also be there to answer questions that new students may have! By the end of the week, participants will be prepared to start college at MTSU, having made 50 brand new friends before school even starts!

Frequently Asked Questions

When is ROLL?

August 20 - 25


Why should I participate in ROLL?

Because ROLL is the Number 1 way to start off your college experience. You can meet new people, build long lasting friendships, and try things that most people do not have the opportunity to do.

I'm not typically an outdoor person, and I'm not in the best of shape. Is ROLL going to be too challenging?

Not a problem. ROLL is designed for people from many different backgrounds. We aim to satisfy people from the most novice outdoor background to a more experienced background.

While on the trip, can I smoke, drink, do recreational drugs, listen to my iPod, or bring a firearm?

The use of iPods or other electronic devices will be restricted during the day while on excusions, but they are allowed at night during free time.MTSU is a tobacco-free campus, so we will extend that policy on this trip. There is a zero-tolerance policy for non-medical drug use, alcohol, or the possession of firearms. As a University-sponsored trip, we will follow University rules and regulations (found in your University Handbook). 


What's the shower situation?

No worries--our campground has shower facilities! (Using them is up to you!)


What safety precautions are taken on ROLL trips?

The guides for ROLL are very experienced and are skilled in their risk management planning. Each leader is either trained in Wilderness First Aid or is a Wilderness First Responder.

I have special dietary needs/allergies. Will this affect my trip?

Your application for ROLL has a section dedicated for food restrictions. This lets us know a head of time of your allergies or your dietary needs (i.e. Vegetarian). 


What if I don't want to do an activity?

ROLL focuses on Challenge by Choice. That means that if you are unable to do a certain activity, we will accommodate you as best as we can. But refusing to do an activity because it doesn't sound interesting is not acceptable. We encourage you to at least try each activity if not for the experience, then for the chance to interact with your group!

What should I bring?

All outdoor equipment is provided, but the things you should bring are comfortable clothes (preferably non cotton), sturdy shoes, sandals (with straps!), at least two bottles of water (2 Liter), bathing suit (for rafting/kayaking), personal hygiene products, and any medications that you may need.

Can I bring my own backpack?

Sure. We will be supplying all your equipment, even day packs, but you can bring your own pack if you wish.

Is ROLL the best Freshman Orientation program in Tennessee?

Well.....DUH! It's the best in the United States.....probably even the best in the world!


Register Now


For more information, contact Mike Bowen or Josh Stone at 615-898-2104. 

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Mailing Address
P.O. Box 556 
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Physical Address
1848 Blue Raider Drive
Murfreesboro, TN  37132