Raider Outdoor Lightning Leadership - FAQ

The majority of the program will take place at a lodge at Cedars of Lebanon State Park, located 40 minutes from Murfreesboro, but we will stay at Campus Recreation the first night of the experience. Monday morning we will head out to program areas to begin the adventure, and we will return to campus Friday morning at 10 am so students can begin moving into the resident halls. The lodge has air conditioning, hot showers, gender separate restrooms and bunk rooms, and a commercial kitchen where we will all cook together.

We divide everyone into five groups of nine, and you stay with your group throughout the week as you rotate through a different outdoor activity each day. When we get back to the lodge after a fun day of adventure, we will have a huge group meal. After dinner, our evening counselors will have various activities planned to help the group learn about the collegiate experience. By the end of the week, participants will be prepared to start college at MTSU, having made over 45 new friends before school even starts!

When is ROLL?

Sunday, August 18, 2019 (4 pm) thru Friday, August 23, 2019 (10 am)

Why should I participate in ROLL?

ROLL is a great way to start off your college experience as you meet and develop friendships with other students, explore middle Tennessee’s outdoor recreation areas, and gives you the chance to interact with upperclassmen, staff and faculty.

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 everyone. There have been many ROLL alumni that had never done the activities before ROLL and still loved the trip! All of our activities are completely appropriate for beginners!

I have experience in some of the outdoor activities that are offered. Will I be bored?

That is up to you. Our staff have obviously done these activities a lot, and still love the chance to do them! We encourage students that have outdoor recreation experience to help teach those that have not done the activities.

What's the shower situation?

There are several showers, and yes, there is hot water! Nothing like being able to shower after a long day.

Where are we going?

We will be sleeping at a lodge at Cedars of Lebanon State Park, and then going to various locations within a 1.5-hour radius. These locations include the Caney River, Foster Falls, Percy Priest Lake, and Cane Ridge mountain bike trail.

What will we eat?

Lots of great and healthy food! We are always busy on our programs and expending a lot of energy. Your specific menu will vary but some typical meals are…

  • Breakfasts: Cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, bagels
  • Lunch: Sandwiches and wraps
  • Dinner: Pasta, burgers, stir fry, quesadillas, burritos, mac and cheese, salad
  • Snacks: Crackers, cookies, fruit, veggies, trail mix, chips, s’mores
  • Beverages: Hot chocolate, coffee, lemonade, water, Gatorade

I'm a vegetarian. Is that a problem?

No. Most meals are vegetarian-friendly, and we have alternatives for meals which are not. Please mark that you are a vegetarian on your Participant Information Form.  If it is not listed, we cannot accommodate for your specific meal plan. 

I have food allergies. Is that a problem?

No. Please be sure to include all information regarding your allergies on your Participant Information Form. If you think additional information is relevant, please get in touch with us. We can plan a menu around most food allergies. However, if it not listed on your Participation Information Form, we cannot accommodate for your specific meal plan.

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. There will be at least one professional staff member on the trip, and each student guide has been through extensive training in their activities. Safety is our number one priority, and if we have to modify the trip due to unsafe weather, guides are trained to know when to change plans when needed. All guides carry well-stocked first aid kits, have cell phones in case of an emergency, and formulate a detailed risk management plan for all program areas. 

What if I take prescription medication?

Please be sure to take them with you, take them as prescribed, and keep them accessible. Take special care to bring and keep accessible epi-pens and/or asthma inhalers if you have had these prescribed to you for any reason. Also, be sure you have noted these medications on your Participant Information Form. If you get new medication after filling out and sending in your form, please let us know.

I'm coming from out of town and don't want to have to drive back home to get my things. Can I store my things somewhere?

We can appreciate convenience and not having to make the drive to college twice in one week, and not having to leave valuables in your car while away on ROLL. You are welcome to bring a carload of your belongings and leave them in our Equipment Rental Center at Campus Recreation, where everything will be locked up while you are gone. In the past, parents will meet students at campus on Friday to help them move in.

Where can I park my car?

Students are allowed to park their car on campus during the week of their session and will get a temporary pass from our staff upon arrival.

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

Participants are expected to at least try all activities, as the schedule and guides are based upon everyone participating. That being said, ROLL focuses on challenge by choice, meaning if you are unable or uncomfortable 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 try each activity so you don’t miss out interacting with your group. You will not be allowed to stay at the lodge if you choose to skip an activity, but are required to stay with a staff member at the program site at all times.

Can I use electronics, including my phone, on the trip?

We have put a lot of thought into our cell phone policy, as phones have become more prevalent and central to our everyday lives. Phones are allowed so that you can stay in contact with your parents, but we do ask that you limit the amount of time you spend on your phones. During the day while you are on activities, we encourage you to leave them at the lodge so they don't get damaged.

In regards to other electronics, you are allowed to bring a camera, but please keep your laptops, tablets and other devices at home.

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

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 are grounds for removal from the ROLL trip?

There are a number of factors or actions which could lead to a student coming off of the course, including but not limited to injury/medical issues, motivational drop, or student conduct issues. In these cases, which are very rare, the student will be returned to the MTSU campus and brought to a local hotel by one of the ROLL staff. The student will be responsible for paying for their lodging for the night and making arrangements to return home with their family. The emergency contact person for the student (listed on their medical form) will be contacted by ROLL staff in this situation so that communication and expectations are clear.

Can I get a refund?

Participants that do not show up to ROLL without notice will not be refunded in any way.

Participants who wish to cancel their own registration must give advance notice of three weeks and will only be eligible for a partial refund if we are able to replace them with another participant. If the criteria is met, ROLL will refund $140 of the original tuition, retaining a $35 administrative fee.

I want my student to do this, but they aren't enthusiastic about it. Should I make my student participate?

The quality and benefits of ROLL are directly tied to the participants' attitudes. ROLL staff are more than happy to answer the questions and concerns of potential participants, but under no circumstances should anyone be forced, coerced, or tricked into attending ROLL.

I've completed the online registration for ROLL. What's next?

Look out for an email which will include your participation packet.

How else can I get involved with MTOP and adventure?

MTOP offers a wide variety of approximately 30 outdoor trips throughout the year, including day, overnight and extended trips throughout the school year. MTOP employs 12-16 student staff at the climbing wall, in the Equipment Rental Center, and to run trips and programs. Students interested in employment should contact Blake Osborn at

We have tried to provide as much information as possible, but please contact Blake at with additional questions you may have. We hope to see you on the trip!

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Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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