Saturday July 12, 2014

Outdoor Action Parent Letter

Dear Outdoor Action Parent,

We are really excited that your son or daughter has signed up for the Outdoor Action Frosh Trip. As Princeton’s oldest preorientation program they will be joining more than 17,000 students who have started Princeton by making new college friends on OA. This year we have over 830 members (63 percent) of the incoming class participating which is a new record for us. This letter is to provide you with some last minute information that parents often call us about.

ARRIVAL: When the students arrive on Saturday, September 1, each student should first go to Baker Rink to sign their housing contract and pick up their room key. Staff from the Undergraduate Housing Office will be at Baker Rink from 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM on Saturday. Outdoor Action will have an OA check-in table at Baker Rink with information about specific trip assignments (see Trip Areas section below) and details regarding the Outdoor Action check-in at Dillon Gym. As of now, all dorms are expected to be ready for move-in on September 1, so room keys can be picked up from Housing upon arrival. If anything changes, the updated information about dorms unavailable for move-in due to summer construction will be posted on the OA website (www.princeton.edu/~oa/ft/).

LATE ARRIVAL: If your son or daughter will be arriving after 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 1, please notify the OA office (609-258-6230) by Friday, August 31, so that we can let OA group leaders know and arrange for a rendezvous with the group later on Saturday. If your son or daughter will arrive late because of unplanned transportation problems, call Outdoor Action at 609-947-4786. If arriving after 5:00 p.m., students should go to the Public Safety Office (609-258-1000) at 200 Elm Drive. Public Safety is open 24 hours a day and allows students access to dorm rooms during non-business hours.

OUTDOOR ACTION CHECK-IN: Check-in for the Frosh Trip will be in the lobby of Dillon Gym at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 1.  During check-in, students will meet their OA leaders and the other members of their group, as well as receive any equipment needed for the trip. Students do not need to bring any personal equipment to check-in at Dillon Gym; all equipment should be left in the dorms. Groups should be finished with the check-in process around 4:00 p.m. At which point students will return to their Residential Colleges for programs in the College followed by dinner in the College. OA Trip groups will reconvene at 8:00 PM on Saturday and spend the evening packing and preparing for the trip. Trip groups stay together in one of the leader’s rooms (not in their own dorm rooms) on Saturday night to be ready for an early bus departure on Sunday morning.

STORAGE: Students should bring all the items needed for the trip to campus. Do not ship items needed for the trip via UPS or other shipping companies; these companies do not begin dorm delivery until after Frosh Trip is over. General items such as clothes, books, and furniture may be stored in dorm rooms during the trip. Items like computers and stereos may be left in the storage area in Gauss Hall. The Gauss Hall storage area will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on September 1. Gauss Hall will be open again on Saturday, September 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Sunday, September 9, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to retrieve belongings. On Sunday, September 2, just before the trip leaves, we will collect any small personal valuables such as wallets, cell phones and room keys just before everyone boards the buses. These items will be locked in a high security storage area during the trip and returned to students on Friday, September 7, when they return to campus.

PARENTS’ RECEPTIONS: Parents of Outdoor Action participants are invited to receptions held in each of the residential colleges on Saturday, September 1 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The receptions will provide an opportunity for parents to meet members of the Residential College staff. Reception locations are as follows:
Butler College              Class of ’42 Lounge, Bogle Hall
Forbes College             Terrace (in case of rain, Common Room)
Mathey College             Mathey College Common Room
Rockefeller College       Rockefeller Common Room
Whitman College          Community Hall
Wilson College             Julian Street Library

TRIP AREAS: Each participant is assigned a Trip Number like BF26. The letters stand for the geographic area and the number is the specific trip. BF26 is trip number 26 in the Black Forest (BF) in Pennsylvania. When students check in they will be given their trip number and that will let you know where they will be traveling. Starting September 4 we will have the trip routes posted online at www.princeton.edu/~oa/ft/routes so you can see where the trips are. To access the trip routes you will need to log into the Web page. (We will email that information out to students and parents before the trip).

DURING THE TRIP:  Outdoor Action monitors all of the trips throughout the week. Our Command Center on campus is staffed with Outdoor Action professional staff and student volunteers answering phone calls and responding to groups in the field. Each group carries a cell phone or satellite phone for emergency communication. Trip leaders have their satellite or cell phones on several hours each day so that we can contact them in case of a family emergency. In each trip area we have one or more Support Teams who are staying in nearby motels to respond to calls from the groups.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS: During the trip, in the event of an emergency, families should call the Public Safety Office at 609-258-1000 (open 24 hours). An Outdoor Action staff member is on call twenty-four hours a day during the trip. Please call only in an emergency. Non-emergency messages can be made to the general Outdoor Action number at 609-258-5621 between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

I hope this letter has answered any last minute questions you may have about Frosh Trip. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us by phone at 609-258-6230.

Rick Curtis '79
Director, Outdoor Action