About Boston University Experiential Education


The success of any group depends on its ability to work as a high-functioning team. Boston University Experiential Education (BUEE) offers urban adventure programs that are designed to enhance group performance as participants  explore their immediate environment. BUEE’s adventures draw from the philosophies of experiential education often used on ropes courses and apply them to the streets of Boston and urban centers around the world. As a university-based organization, our focus is primarily on student affairs and college academic groups, but our programs are also applicable for high school and adult populations.

What are “urban adventure programs”?

BUEE programs are part adventure race, part challenge course, and part Freedom Trail. Using GPS units, groups explore the city looking for specifically designated “waypoints.” A clue sheet helps them identify a cultural or historic landmark at that spot, and then, once the clue is solved, the facilitator presents the group with a challenge. In order to move to the next waypoint, the group must successfully complete the challenge. Rather than shunning cell phones and text messages, our programs utilize modern technology as essential to the completion of the adventure.

So this is like a scavenger hunt?

No. These programs are not about your group finding a pizza menu or getting a photo with a tourist. These are facilitated teambuilding adventures that involve interaction with the surrounding environment—the focus is on group development, not the finding of things. Urban adventures are much more akin to challenge courses than scavenger hunts.

Why the urban context?

BUEE programs seek to operate within the bustle of the urban environment. The distractions of daily life are not eliminated, but become a realistic challenge the group must deal with. By focusing on specific areas or locations and utilizing public transportation, our programs enable those new to the city to learn about their environs while longtime residents discover secrets they may have overlooked. And unlike a guided tour, groups will find the challenge of navigation resting squarely on their own shoulders.

How long are BUEE programs?

Facilitated BUEE adventures can be anything from three hours to a full day. Train the Trainer programs are multi-day workshops.

Get in touch

Hutch Hutchinson
Coordinator of Experience-Based Training
E-mail: pjhutch@bu.edu
Phone: 617-416-5261