Students take 'action' to kick off freshman year

Sept. 8, 2010, 4 p.m.
OA/CA index

One of the project sites for this year's Community Action pre-orientation program is the Trenton Atelier, an organization that aims to transform Trenton into an arts hub. The Trenton Atelier, founded by artist Peter Abrams, focuses on creating artwork and functional objects from recycled materials. During a visit this week, artist Erik Hendrickson (left) instructs Princeton junior Julie Nkodo on the operation of a welding torch. Nkodo is one of the Princeton student leaders who serve as mentors to the freshmen during Community Action activities.

OA/CA fire bowl

At the Trenton Atelier, Community Action students learned how found materials are reworked to create functional art, such as this "fire bowl" made from rebar, metal rope and a truck tire rim. A grill may be placed across the top of the bowl to create a cooking device.

OA/CA Amanda Lawrence

Incoming freshman Amanda Lawrence (left) has fun preparing the paint mixtures with Hendrickson before an experimental painting demonstration.

Photos of Trenton Atelier by Denise Applewhite

OA/CA Terhune apple

Photos of Terhune Orchards by Brian Wilson

Members of Princeton's incoming class of 2014 are spending this week tackling challenges and getting to know their new classmates in the Outdoor Action and Community Action pre-orientation programs.

This year's Outdoor Action program is the largest in its 37-year history, with 796 members of the class of 2014 participating. Through Outdoor Action -- the University's oldest and largest pre-orientation program -- students are engaged in activities at the Princeton-Blairstown Center in northwest New Jersey, hiking in the Delaware Water Gap and taking sustainable farming trips near Princeton, among other excursions.

An additional 145 freshmen are taking part in Community Action, which sponsors volunteer service projects in Princeton, Trenton and Philadelphia. Students are working with community organizations focused on the arts, health, environmental awareness, housing, hunger relief and education.

OA/CA painting w/ detail

Community Action participants learn about experimental painting techniques during a workshop at the Trenton Atelier, watching as a paint bottle swings from a ceiling suspension device. The inset image offers a closer look at the painting created by the students.

During one Outdoor Action trip to to Terhune Orchards in Princeton, students helped with the day-to-day farm work, hoeing the weeds from around the bases of young apple trees and cutting a maze into a cornfield, while also taking a hiking trip and engaging in team-building exercises and games. Jennifer Greene, a freshman from Hackensack, N.J., said, "If OA is indicative of the Princeton experience, it's going to be a really good four years."

OA/CA Terhune group

Outdoor Action's sustainable farming project at Terhune Orchards in Princeton included nine freshmen and three student leaders.


OA/CA Terhune hoeing

Incoming freshmen Edwin Carbajal (left) and Yooni Ahn hoe weeds from around the bases of young apple trees during the Outdoor Action excursion to Terhune Orchards.


OA/CA Terhune lunch

Outdoor Action participants share a meal during their day of farm work and team-building exercises.


OA/CA Terhune camp

Working on a farm was a new experience for the freshmen who visited Terhune Orchards. (From left) Junior Phillipe Winsberg, one of the student leaders on the Outdoor Action trip, guides incoming freshmen Yongmin Cho and Ryan Elliott during a project.