Sunday February 01, 2015

Information for Parents

Dates for Frosh Trip 2014 for the Princeton Class of 2018

The Outdoor Action Program is excited to welcome the Class of 2017 to our 40th Annual Frosh Trip Program. Since its inception in 1974 17,999 Princeton students have participated in the program. Outdoor Action is one of the very best ways for incoming students to make new friends, learn about campus life and the University and start off their college experience feeling supported. As one of the oldest, and the largest outdoor orientation program in the U.S. (based on participant days), Princeton is proud to be able to offer this special program for incoming students. We will provide additional information for parents through this Web page later in the summer.

During the Trip

  • Emergency Numbers During the Trip
    • For routine questions contact the Outdoor Action Office during business hours at 609-258-6230. The office will be closed on Labor Day.
    • In the Event of a Family Emergency you can contact Outdoor Action 24 Hours a day through one of these numbers. Do not call unless it is an emergency.
      • OA Command Center: 8:30 AM - 8:30 PM 609-258-8245
      • Princeton University Public Safety Office 24 hours a day 609-258-1000


Application materials are available online . 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 25, 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 31, 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

Religious Observance

Outdoor Action works closely with the Office of Religious Life and different campus ministries to provide information about religious observance during the Outdoor Action Frosh Trip. See the Religious Observance page for details about this year's program.

Financial Aid Support for Frosh Trip

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 UniversityFT Group.

Outdoor Action Frosh Trip Health Information

Arrival Schedule

PARENTS’ RECEPTIONS: There are several events scheduled for parents on Saturday, August 31. Parents of participants in the Outdoor Action Frosh Trip are invited to receptions held in each of the residential colleges at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 31. The receptions will provide an opportunity for parents to meet members of the Residential College staff. More complete information about reception locations and times will be available at Housing Check-in on August 31. We will post additional information about the trips for parents on this Web page in August.

Here is the schedule for parents on Saturday, August 30:

  • ARRIVAL & MOVING INTO YOUR DORM ROOM: When you arrive on Saturday, August 30, go to Baker Rink to sign your housing contract and pick up your room key. Staff from the Undergraduate Housing Office will be at Baker Rink from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Outdoor Action will have a table at Baker Rink with information about your trip assignment and where to meet your group at OA Check-in (see below). Any updated information about dorms unavailable for move-in due to summer construction will be posted on the OA website ( All freshmen will be staying with their group on Saturday night, so no one will lack a place to sleep. Keep in mind that although you may be the first person to arrive in your room or suite, specific rooms and common space should be distributed fairly after all members of the room or suite have arrived.

    Orientation Saturday for students participating in Outdoor or Community Action Saturday, August 30:

    8 am-2 pm

    Dormitory check-in. Baker Rink.

    11:00 am-2:00 pm

    Lunch available for members of the Class of 2018 and their families. Residential college dining halls.

    12:30-2 pm

    Center for Jewish Life/ Hillel at Princeton University reception for members of the Class of 2018 and their families. Center for Jewish Life, 70 Washington Road.

    2:00-3:30 pm

    Families welcome. Alexander Hall, Richardson Auditorium. (Simulcast to McCosh 50 and McCosh 10.

    2:00-4 pm

    Students participating in Outdoor Action and Community Action meet briefly with their residential college advisers. Residence halls.

    3:30-4:30 pm

    College welcome for families in residential colleges. Welcoming remarks by college masters.

    4:30 pm

    Family farewells in the residential colleges.

    5:00 pm

    Student check-in for Outdoor Action at Dillon Gym and Community Action at Carl A. Fields Center, 58 Prospect Avenue.

    5–6 pm

    Family orientation to University Health Services. A two-part presentation will address the health program at Princeton and the medical, nursing and counseling services available to students. Professional staff from various departments will answer questions and concerns. The second part of the presentation will describe how the University Student Health Plan works for students needing medical care while at Princeton. McCosh 50.

    5:00 pm – ON

    Dinner and packing for your Outdoor Action Trip

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 most of 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.