This July, twelve counselors gathered at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA with bags strapped to their bikes, preparing to set off on the 16th edition of the Tour. The Tour was founded by Taylor Smith in 2002 who saw a chance to combine his love of cycling with his professional desire to better understand colleges throughout the country. Since 2002 it is estimated that 35 different counselors have ridden nearly 4500 miles, visiting schools in 23 states. Many of us have heard about the Tour during NACAC National or Regional Conferences and through the listserv.
The current leaders of the Tour who spend an enormous amount of time plotting cycling routes, connecting with college representatives, and assisting participants in all aspects of the experience are Kirk Blackard, Director of College Guidance at Christ School in Arden, NC, Bruce Hunter, Director of College Counseling at Webb School in Bell Buckle, TN, and Bill Dingledine, a Certified Educational Planner from Greenville, SC.
This year’s tour stops:
· Dickinson College (Carlisle)
· Susquehanna University (Selinsgrove)
· Bucknell University (Lewisburg) also had the opportunity to meet with the Admissions staff from Lycoming College (Williamsport) and attend the PACAC reception while at Bucknell
· Penn State University (University Park)
· Juniata College (Huntingdon)
· Franklin & Marshall College (Lancaster)
· Gettysburg College (Getysburg)
Some of the highlights of this year’s tour include:
· 12 counselors from 9 states representing Public Schools, Independent Schools, and Independent Counseling covered more than 255 miles in 7 days.
· A mix of seasoned veterans both on the tour and in the saddle as well as some new members to both the Tour and cycling.
· Having dinner with three college presidents, two of whom had been in their position for less than a month!
· Riding with members of admissions offices and faculty members from 4 of the 7 schools we visited.
· And, most importantly the chance to spend time together as professionals and friends combining our passion for cycling and college counseling.
It was a great pleasure riding with such awesome colleagues and we are already looking forward to the next Tour!