Saturday January 31, 2015

Outdoor Action Frosh Trip Program

Frosh Trip 2012 Support Team & Command Center Team

Once again it’s time to start thinking about our next great endeavor, FT 2011! This past fall was a tremendous success with 744 frosh on 93 different trips! OA runs the largest wilderness orientation program in the United States. This year should be even bigger and we will need lots of people to make it happen. We hope you can be a part of FT 2011. The Frosh Trip itself runs from Saturday, September 2 – Friday, September 7. If you are accepted you will need to arrive on Wednesday, August 29 by 5:00 PM for pre-trip briefings.

Positions for FT 2012

The Frosh Trip is a massive logistical enterprise. Ours is the largest program in the country in terms of participants and number of days. This means we need lots of qualified staff: Leaders, Support Team staff, and Command Center Team staff. When you apply to be part of FT 2010, are joining part of a great team with all of us working towards one goal, providing the very best entering experience for incoming freshmen.

You can apply for any of the following positions. If you want to sign up with a friend, there is a place to indicate who you want to partner with on the application form.

You can apply for any of the following positions. If you want to sign up with a friend, there is a place to indicate who you want to partner with on the application form.

Support Team Staff

We couldn't operate the Frosh Trip without Support Staff Teams. We pair two people together in each Team so it can be a fun job to do with a friend. You'll be stationed near the different trip areas in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, or Vermont. During the week your team is our field resource to groups that are on the trail. You will interact with groups on a daily basis providing water drops, resupplying groups with equipment and food, providing transportation in special situations, or shuttling groups back and forth between the river and trail. It gives you a chance to interact with the groups and meet some incoming students during the trip. You are "on call" each day will be linked in by satellite cell phone to our Command Center here on campus. Most Support Teams will be driving 7-passenger mini-vans. Food, comfortable lodging, and all expenses are covered by OA during the week. In order to drive a Support mini-van you need to have a valid US or Canadian driver's license and complete the University Van Driver Training program. This is a 30-minute Web-based instructional course and a 15-minute road test. To get a password to take the online training course and to sign up for a road test so to the Public Safety Web site. You must complete the mini-van Driver Training Program by April 15.

Command Center Team Staff

Command Center Team Staff are an essential resource for making the Frosh Trip run smoothly. Command Center Staff are a small group of students that stay on campus during the trip and help supervise daily activities from our Command & Communications Center. Command Center Staff intercept incoming calls from groups and schedule the Support Teams in the field to respond as needed for special pickups, equipment resupply, and water drops. Before and after the trips Command Center Staff supervise frosh arrival and departure, equipment and food distribution and check in at the end of the trip. You will be staying in your room on campus and will be provided with a food allowance for meals during the week.


Recruit your Roommates & Friends to be Command Center & Support Team Staff

If you know anyone who would be interested in working either as a Command Center Manager or Support Team Staff, have them apply online at Frosh Trip Applications ( We need lots of Support Team Staff and Command Center Managers this year and it really helps if you recruit good people. Interviews will be held in the spring semester.

Support & Command Team Schedule

  • Wednesday, August 29, 5:00 PM. Support Teams and Command Center Teams check in.
  • Thursday & Friday, August 30 - 31 – Support & Command Center Team Briefings
  • Saturday, September 1 – Frosh Arrive
  • Sunday, September 2 - Friday, September 7 – FROSH TRIP
  • Saturday, September 8 - Clean-up


This is one Frosh's story about her experience with a Support Team and the OA Command Center

Like many other Princeton freshman, I attended Outdoor Action the week before classes started and had great fun, much more than I originally expected. Although I knew the trip would probably be enjoyable, I had no idea how much I would bond with my leaders and other campers. My group hiked in mud and water, played various games to stay warm, and drank heavily iodized water, but unlike most other groups, we became literally rained out. Although the experience of sleeping in a small pond wasn't very enjoyable, it did afford me the opportunity of really seeing how everyone in Outdoor Action, including our leaders, support team, and manager(s) back on the Princeton campus, worked together to provide a fun, enjoyable experience for everyone.

Watching my leaders dial their satellite phones to phone for help, and then listening to their explanations of what would be happening next after the phone call indicated the extent of how planned out the Frosh Trip was. Although we waited a few solid hours for Support to arrive due to the massive number of calls they were receiving that day, once they came, the situation seemed to become more manageable and not quite as hopeless. Perhaps that was due in large part because we knew of the resources Support had on hand to offer to us (some form of flushing toilet, a chance at a shower, etc.), but I feel that a major part also included the positive and cheerful attitude they constantly exhibited towards us. Although we all apologized for the large amount of mud and heavy stench we brought with us into the Support minivan, they waved our apologies aside, explaining that this was their job and didn't mind anyway. At that time and still even now, I could not express my gratitude towards them for such their simple action of personally (not just because their job mandated them to do so) accepting us despite the fact that we were basically strangers and very dirty. Their acceptance made me appreciate my whole situation even more.

The next day, after dropping us off at a laundromat to thoroughly dry our sleeping bags, Support drove off to collect a girl suffering from hypothermia from another OA group. Although the time we spent with the girl was short, the entire time we were with her, Support made sure that she stayed warm and had everything she needed to ensure her comfort. Seeing how much effort the Support team put into making sure that as many freshmen possible were having a good Frosh Trip despite all ill factors strongly and positively influenced me. It not only showed me how strong and tight knit close the Princeton community, or at least the Princeton OA community, but also how much effort and care our Support willingly put into their jobs just to make sure some six hundred freshman would have a good time. Seeing all of this and actually interacting with Support for a whole day made me realize how much I would like to be on Support, and also interact with freshman to make sure they have a positive experience prior to the start of school.

Starting college is just like starting a new school, and as much as students shout with joy that they're leaving home and their parents, they still carry some fears and worries about their new situation. I had numerous qualms about Princeton and although I still do, attending OA allayed many of those fears. During OA, much of what Support did seemed to be behind the scenes for other groups, dropping off fresh water and special treats to revitalize weary campers. After all, our trip was an exception. But all of it heavily impacted me nonetheless because I realized how important simply having Support is. The various drop offs of essentials and nonessentials really up the morale of groups, and then actually meeting Support who are friendly and caring even further up the entire group spirit. I very much want to be one of those people who help cheer up OA groups and encourage the freshmen to simply have a good time. Having had the rare opportunity to go on a very enjoyable OA frosh trip, I want to help others have that opportunity as well, by providing as much as I can through being not just a Support team member but also a fellow Princetonian and human being. I realize that not everyone will necessarily completely enjoy their OA trip, but I'd like to make sure that as many future freshman as possible will have a good time, and simply appreciate being a part of the Princeton community before even officially setting foot on campus.


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