Wheaton College Color Logo

A Gap Year in the Great Outdoors

Vanguards are outdoorsy.

Vanguards don't need to be experts, or even come into the year with any "outdoorsy" experience. You should enjoy being in the great outdoors, interested in learning new skills, and open to the unique aspects of living in a rural community.


vanguard morgan smiles

Morgan McDonnell '17

"It's made for experiencing God's creation. It's a beautiful place."

vanguard duncan holds his kayaking gear

Duncan Frost '18

"It's like, eight months of snow. It's is pretty cool. There are a ton of winter sports to play."

vanguard allie smiles confidently

Allie Lambert '19

"The low-tech atmosphere is really refreshing. Your brain isn't going crazy all the time."

We're engaged, not entertained.

We believe the good life is one of active engagement. Instead of sitting back and watching others, let's get in the game ourselves! As a Vanguard, you'll have so many activities at your fingertips - no experience necessary! One of the most fun parts of living at HoneyRock is the ability to grab a few friends, hit the trails, and enjoy God's creation. Check out what activities we offer:


Vanguards arrive at HoneyRock right as summer is giving way to fall. Most of the summer activities are still offered, though you'll want to wear a wetsuit for a lot of water sports! Within the first month, Vanguards have gotten the chance to sample most of the following activities:

Activities Offered: archery, riflery, canoeing, sailing, kayaking, swimming, rock climbing, ceramics, mountain biking, horseback riding, sailing, backpacking, waterskiing, wakeboarding

We start feeling true winter weather in mid-late November and it lasts until late March or early April. Don't let this scare you off! Winter at HoneyRock is beautiful. Don't think about slushy, grey snow or windy tundras. Imagine peaceful winter snowfalls, beautiful evergreen trees everywhere, and plenty of fun activities to keep you active.

Activities Offered: indoor climbing, broomball, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, hockey, tubing, canoeing, winter camping

 

 

We're unplugged.

Vanguard begins with a 6-week tech fast. Why? To truly connect.

We're more connected and lonelier than ever before. How do we build true, deep, life long friendships? How do we really see what's going on around us? How do we live a meaningful life? Vanguard begins with a 6-week tech fast to ask questions like these.

Technology isn't bad - not understanding or realizing its impact on our mind, body, and spirit is what we want to work against. Hear what a few of our Vanguards had to say about the "unplugged" environment:


Vanguard Emily smiling

Emily Norbeck '17

"The community that forms in that first six weeks just continues to grow and be a very deep community."

vanguard allie smiles confidently

Allie Lambert '19

The low-tech atmosphere is also really refreshing. Your brain isn’t going crazy all of the time. You’re learning that balance of how to maintain friendships from high school but also being focused on making friends with the people around you. I just like being where your feet are. It’s really, really good on the brain.

Vanguard Grant smiling

Grant Rimmer '19

"When I got here, I just felt very calm...We sit at a table for meals without any phones. With the tech-free living, you have time to learn how to do cool things."


I remember one Saturday we got bored. So we got out on the lake and went waterskiing, rode mountain bikes on the trails, shot arrows at the archery range, and climbed at the wall. It was all of that in one day. Here, you get to experience life away from constant technology – it’s awesome. — Chan Woo, Vanguard '18