Thursday July 31, 2014
Celebrating 40 Years of Adventure
Explore - Princeton, Diversity, Community and have an Adventure!
Over 715 members of the Class of 2018 from 39 countries have already signed up for this year's Outdoor Action Frosh Trip Program
The Outdoor Action Frosh Trip Program is without a doubt one of the best ways to start college. Over the past 40 years 18,711 new students have started at Princeton by making new friends before school starts and learning about life at Princeton on a fun-filled week with Outdoor Action, Princeton’s oldest and largest pre-orientation program. For many students it was one of the best parts of their first year at Princeton and one of the most memorable of their entire four years.
- The Program
- Backpacking trips will hike anywhere from 6â€“10 miles a day (~5â€“8 hours). You will hike in one of a number of wilderness areas such as: the plateaus of central Pennsylvania, the crags of the Catskills in New York, the scenic Appalachian Trail in Connecticut, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, or the summits of the Green Mountains in Massachusetts and Vermont. Most Frosh Trips are all-backpacking. (~50 trips)
- Bike Touring trips will explore back roads on the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal and the Great Allegheny Passageâ€“recreational bike paths in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Participants will bike 30-50 miles per day (~4â€“8 hours). Each night you will camp along the trail in state parks or private campgrounds. Bikes provided by OA. (2-5 trips)
- Backpacking & Rock Climbing
- Backpacking & Rock Climbing trips trips combine backpacking and one or two days of rock climbing. You will hike from 6â€“10 miles a day (~5â€“8 hours) on the Appalachian Trail. 1â€“2 days will be spent at a climbing site learning basic rock climbing techniques. (6 trips)
- Canoeing trips travel anywhere from 8â€“20 miles per day (~4â€“8 hours) and range from quiet water canoeing on the lower Delaware River in New Jersey to easy whitewater canoeing on the upper Delaware in New York. Each night you will camp along the river in state parks or private campgrounds. (2 trips)
- Backpacking & Canoeing
- Backpacking & Canoeing trips combine three days of hiking and three days of canoeing. You will cover anywhere from 6â€“10 miles hiking a day (~5â€“8 hours) or 8â€“15 miles canoeing per day (~4â€“8 hours). The trips explore the quiet flatwater or easy whitewater on the Delaware River in New York and New Jersey and backpack on the Appalachian Trail. (5 trips)
- Base Camp & Community Service
- Base Camp & Community Service trips are an option if you prefer to experience the outdoors while staying in one location. Groups camp out in a state park campground for the week. You will spend several days exploring the park through easy day hikes and two days working on an environmental service project in the park. Bathrooms are available at the campground. (5-10 trips)
- Base Camp & Outdoor Adventure
- Base Camp & Outdoor Adventure are an option for those who prefer to experience the outdoors while staying in one location. You can try out a range of outdoor activities while staying at a rustic summer camp in northern New Jersey. Your group will get to try different outdoor experiences on the camp property and the nearby Appalachian Trail including day hikes, rappelling, high ropes course, and a trail restoration service project. Participants camp outside and cook outdoors. Bathrooms are available at the camp. (5 trips)
- Nature & Spirituality
- Nature & Spirituality trips bring students of all backgrounds together on easy backpacking trips which explore human interaction with the natural world and how nature is reflected in different spiritual traditions. Students will explore how different religious traditions connect with nature through discussion, nature exploration, meditation and yoga. (1-2 trips)
- Sustainable Farming
- Sustainable Farming trips will spend the week at a local organic farm and help with daily work while learning about the importance of local food. From picking vegetables, to baking bread, to planting new crops, you'll experience first-hand the life of a small organic farmer, and learn about how growing and eating locally enhances the environmental health of a community. (2-4 trips)
- Mastering Leave No Trace Backpacking Trips
- Mastering Leave No Trace Backpacking trips explore the complex ways humans interact with, impact, and preserve remote and delicate wilderness areas. As we hike through some of the most extraordinary landscapes of the Northeast, youâ€™ll learn about conservation and natural history in the wild. Participants will have the opportunity to become Leave No Trace Trainers and develop the skills to teach others about Leave No Trace techniques and principles. (1-2 trips)
Online Application (now open)
- Frosh Trip Brochure or PDF
- Frosh Trip Information Letter or PDF
- Acceptance Letter (PDF) - last year's version - new version published in July
- Equipment List (PDF) - last year's version - new version published in July
Frosh Trip Leaders Welcome you to Princeton.
Princeton University is committed to ensuring that all students can participate in the Outdoor Action Frosh Trip and has a significant financial aid program in place for this purpose. Students receiving need-based financial aid from Princeton will have the full cost of the trip covered completely by the University
Dates for Frosh Trip 2014 for the Princeton Class of 2018
Application materials will be available online to all incoming students around May 24. Students will need their University NetID and Password to access the online application.
- Late May 2014 - Information and application materials for the Frosh Trip will go live on the Matriculation Web Site.
- Around May 24, 2014 - Applications available online through the Outdoor Action Web Site. The trip is filled on a first-come, first-served basis based on postmark or Web application date.
- June 30, 2014 - Application Deadline. The trip is filled on a first-come, first-served basis based on postmark or Web application date and often fills before June 30.
- Mid-July 2014 - Acceptance information and equipment list emailed to all accepted participants.
- Saturday, August 30, 2014 - Arrive at Princeton - students can move into their dorm rooms. The Housing Office will be from 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM for students to get their room keys.
- Saturday, August 30, 2014 - Outdoor Action Check-in at Dillon Gym
- Sunday, August 31, 2014 - Frosh Trip Departs
- Friday, September 5, 2014 - 4:00 - 8:00 PM - Frosh Trip groups return to campus
- Saturday, September 6, 2014 - Freshman Orientation Week Begins
Here is what some participants have had to say about the Frosh Trip.
“I cannot tell you how glad I am that I participated in OA. I’ve made some really good friendships. It was a wonderful way to be introduced to Princeton, and I would strongly recommend it to everyone!”
“I had never camped before, and I had a fantastic time on the trip. It was a great way to get to know other frosh. It turned out to be just the thing I needed to start my adjustment to Princeton.”
“I think it is a great program. I got to know my group really well, and the leaders were great. It was the perfect way for me to start off Princeton life.”
“The trip was a wonderful experience. My group was a conglomerate of very diverse people. Had we all not been thrown together in the wilderness for six days, I probably wouldn’t have met and become friends with them. It was a great way to begin Princeton.”
Over 60% of the incoming class participates in the Frosh Trip program each year. With that many students you can imagine that we get a wonderful cross-section of the diversity of the freshmen class, including students of all backgrounds from across the U.S. as well as international students from around the globe. Princeton values diversity and that is one of the things that makes an OA trip so special. You’ll get a chance to make friends with an incredible range of people.
The Frosh Trips are fun six-day camping trips. You’ll be part of a small group of 8-10 freshmen and 2-3 OA leaders, current Princeton sophomores through seniors, who will help introduce you to life at Princeton. We offer a variety of different trip activities, from hiking or canoeing trips to base camp trips that stay at our summer camp in northern New Jersey. There are a range of trip levels, so you can find a trip that’s right for you. Students make lifelong friends on the trip, and many students continue to participate in other OA activities throughout the school year including training to become OA Leaders. The fact that over 200 Princeton students come back each year to help run the program for the incoming class tells you how popular it is on campus.
Princeton’s Frosh Trip Program is one of the oldest and largest wilderness orientation programs in the country (and we helped to start a number of the programs at other Ivy League Schools). No previous outdoor or camping experience is necessary. In fact, most of the participants on the Frosh Trip have never been camping before. We’ll teach you all the skills you’ll need to be comfortable in the outdoors and Outdoor Action can provide any special equipment you will need (e.g., backpack and sleeping bag). You’ll just need to bring personal clothing items.
The program is open to all members the incoming freshmen class. Students with special needs or physical disabilities can often be accommodated. Please contact the OA office directly to talk with us about your specific needs so we can help you find an appropriate trip. For observant Jewish students, we can arrange to have you back on campus before sundown on Friday.
The cost covers all trip expenses (food, transportation during the trip, and equipment). Any student receiving financial aid from the University can apply to Outdoor Action for additional aid to participate. Application materials and detailed program information will be mailed to all entering students in late May, and on line applications will be available on the Web starting June 1. Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis based on postmark or Web application date. The application deadline is June 30. Note: The program often fills before that date. For more information including videos, photos, and stories from past trips, please visit the OA Frosh Trip Program Web.
A first year student talks about her Frosh Trip Experience
I was extremely scared about beginning college and the OA trip really helped to allay my fears. I got to become really close with a group of 10 people, all of whom I’ve remained friendly with on campus. In the wilderness atmosphere you get the chance to learn so much about these people who all seemed so strange and different. I learned that all ten of us had the same fears and insecurities about starting college; making new friends, handling schoolwork, becoming small fish in an incredibly large pond. The OA trip really taught me that first impressions mean absolutely nothing, that I should place more faith in my physical abilities (I never thought I could survive a backpacking trip), and interpersonal abilities (I usually consider myself shy and reserved, but my group members didn’t see me that way at all), and that no matter how alone I may feel sometimes, everyone is really feeling just as scared and unsure of themselves as I am.
One of the most valuable aspects of the trip for me was the nightly debriefings. These really gave our group a chance to reflect on the challenges and triumphs of the day and observe how our relationships with each other and with ourselves were changing. Our final night debriefing on the trail, during which we all went around saying things we liked/admired about each other, was especially valuable. So much of your self-view depends on how you think others view you, and hearing positive feedback from the people you’ve opened up and exposed your vulnerabilities to was just so incredible.
The most incredible part of my trip though, had to have been my fearless leaders, Andrew and Erin. I have so much respect for them and for the way they handled themselves throughout the trip. I really feel like we all became good friends with them, we joked around on the trail and genuinely had a good time. But both knew when and how to appropriately assume the role of leaders. They carried far more than their share of weight on the trail, responded to our complaints, motivated us, made sure we ate and drank enough, mediated small disputes that arose....What really amazed me about these two was how they fit perfectly into the dual roles of friend and leader, and could transition effortlessly between the two without compromising either. Erin and Andrew were also invaluable resources for everything we wanted to know about Princeton. They tirelessly fielded all our questions answering honestly and helpfully.
In conclusion, I want to reiterate what an absolutely incredible experience OA was for me. I am so glad I decided to participate in the program. The trip exceeded my highest expectations in every way. Thank you for facilitating such a wonderful program here at Princeton.
Read on to find out more information about Frosh Trip.
OA Frosh Trip Participation
|Year||Participants||Leaders||Total||# of Trips|
|Participants||Leaders||Total||# of Trips|
Find Out More
- Learn about your Outdoor Action Leaders
- Photo Winners from Frosh Trip 2008
- Photo Winners from Frosh Trip 2007
- Photo Winners from Frosh Trip 2006
- Photo Winners from Frosh Trip 2005
- Photo Winners from Frosh Trip 2004
- Stories from Frosh Trip 2008 - Tiger Trails Alumni Newsletter
- Stories from Frosh Trip 2007 - Tiger Trails Alumni Newsletter
- Stories from Frosh Trip 2006 - Tiger Trails Alumni Newsletter
- Stories from Frosh Trip 2005 - Tiger Trails Alumni Newsletter
- Stories from Frosh Trip 2004 - Tiger Trails Alumni Newsletter
- Stories from Frosh Trip 2003 - Tiger Trails Alumni Newsletter
- Quotes from previous participants
- Leave a Trace Program