Junior Outdoor Expedition

JOE is a five-day, four-night backpacking trip in North Carolina. The trip provides a shared experience that challenges each student physically and intellectually, fosters leadership, and promotes environmental awareness.

Junior Outdoor Experience (JOE) was created in 1994 under the guidance of former Lovett Headmaster Jim Hendrix. Rising seniors participate in the five-day, four-night backpacking trip in the Pisgal National Forest (North Carolina) which provides a shared experience that challenges each student physically and intellectually, offers opportunities for leadership, and promotes environmental awareness. Most importantly, it fosters and deepens relationships between students before senior year. Students enter the forest as juniors - they leave as the new Senior Class. 
Families can learn more about JOE by watching this video produced by the National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education.

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2021 Junior Outdoor Expedition (JOE)
has an amazing turnout with 100+ students opting in for the trip! Here is additional information for those going on the trip. Trip fees for those opting out will be refunded in the May billing cycle.
  • Packing List (click here) - Pay close attention to the packing list requirements versus options and the ways that you can rent (rather than purchase) some gear. You also can consider borrowing larger items (e.g. backpacks, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads) from families with JOE veterans or extensive outdoor experience. Ethan Greenberg is listed as the main contact for questions about gear; however, students may also reach out to Angela Morris-Long and Diane Staats.

  • Pack Check is scheduled for Saturday, May 15 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. Students should arrive with their backpacks packed and will be divided into their JOE groups for pack check and orientation. Students will leave their packs at Lovett after pack check.

  • Covid-19 testing will take place for all participants at pack check. After testing, we ask that all students avoid large, indoor gatherings and maintain masking and social distancing protocols between pack check and Tuesday’s departure.

  • Covid-19 vaccination is strongly encouraged for trip participants. Lovett’s Health Center will collect this information later in the semester so we can use it to support JOE group formation.

  • Departure - Students should arrive in the Upper School circle by 6:00 AM on Tuesday, May 18 in their hiking gear with full water bottles. Light breakfast and a bag lunch will be provided. JOE groups will be in cohorted, 14-passenger buses driven by Lovett faculty/staff and will depart by 7:00 AM.

  • Return - We target a mid-afternoon return to Lovett on Friday, May 21. Upon departure from the Pisgah National Forest, we will send communication to junior families to announce a more specific arrival time. We encourage you NOT to make travel plans for Friday evening given the uncertainty of our return time.
The Lovett School is an independent, coeducational day school where children from Kindergarten through Grade 12 find the courage to explore and the drive to discover.

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