Freshmen tackle challenges and new adventures
Nearly 800 members of Princeton's newest undergraduate class are preparing for the start of their freshman year by confronting physical challenges and forging bonds with their classmates through the Outdoor Action pre-orientation program.
Outdoor Action is the University's oldest and largest pre-orientation program. This year's program has the highest enrollment in its 37-year history, with 796 students -- roughly 60 percent of the class of 2014 -- participating. From Sept. 5-10, the Outdoor Action groups are engaged in experiential learning activities at sites in Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and New England. Among other excursions, the group is visiting the Princeton-Blairstown Center, a 275-acre camp in northwest New Jersey, hiking in the Delaware Water Gap and taking sustainable farming trips near Princeton.
Freshman Dillon Sharp, who joined his classmates for rock climbing, hiking and other activities along the Appalachian Trail in northwest New Jersey, said, "You get to know people really well when you are together for days, and trying to avoid rainstorms and rattlesnakes makes for a really close bond."
At the same time, an additional 145 freshmen are participating 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.
In late August, a group of 20 students who were selected for the second year of Princeton's Bridge Year Program gathered on campus for an orientation program before heading to their destinations in Ghana, India, Peru and Serbia. The Bridge Year Program enables students to defer the start of their freshman year to spend a tuition-free enrichment period abroad focused on public service.
The rest of the class of 2014 will arrive on campus to begin an orientation program on Saturday, Sept. 11. Among the first activities for the freshmen is Opening Exercises at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, in the University Chapel. Classes begin Thursday, Sept. 16.
Below are additional photos from the students' Outdoor Action and Bridge Year Program orientation activities.
Outdoor Action: Students forge bonds
Bridge Year Program: Students connect before traveling the world