Saturday July 20, 2024

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 18,700 students who have started Princeton by making new college friends on OA. This year we have over 720 members) 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 & 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

SPECIAL ARRIVAL NEEDS: Students with special arrival needs such as students flying in from the West Coast, students coming from overseas, or students who observe the Jewish Sabbath should contact the OA office to make special arrival arrangements. Your written request and explanation must be received by our office or sent to by Friday, August 1.

LATE ARRIVAL: If you will be arriving after 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 30, please notify the OA office (609-258-6230) no later than Wednesday, August 27 at 5:00 p.m., so that we can let your group leaders know and arrange for you to rendezvous with your group later on Saturday evening.If you arrive after 5:00 p.m. on August 30, contact the Public Safety Office at 200 Elm Drive (609-258-1000) to gain access to your room. Public Safety is open 24 hours a day and officers will be able to let you into your room or inform you of alternate housing arrangements. They do not, however, have your Princeton University ID card to give you, so be careful not to lock yourself out of your room. (Should you do so, call them again to be let back into your room.)

OA CHECK-IN: Check-in for the Frosh Trip will be in the lobby of Dillon Gym at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 30 (see the online campus map at Please be on time! During check-in, you will meet your leaders and the other members of your group, as well as receive any equipment that you need for the trip.  After finishing getting your equipment in Dillon Gym your group will pick up dinner outside the gym and you’ll head off to one of your OA Leader’s rooms to pack for your trip. Trip groups will spend Saturday evening packing and preparing for the trip and will all stay together in one of your leader’s rooms on Saturday night so you will be ready for an early departure on Sunday morning.

STORAGE: You should bring whatever you need for the trip with you to campus. Do not ship items you will need for the trip via UPS or other shipping companies; the University Mail Room will not be open on August 30. General items such as clothes, books, and furniture may be stored in your room during the trip. Valuable items like computers and stereos may be left in a secure storage area in Gauss Hall. The Gauss Hall storage area will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 30 for you to store your belongings. Gauss will be open again on Saturday, September 6, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Sunday, September 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. so you can retrieve your belongings. On Sunday, August 31, just before the trip leaves, we will collect any small personal valuables such as cell phones, wallets and keys just before you board your bus. These items will be locked in a secure storage area until you return.

MEALS: There will be a lunch for freshmen and their families in your Residential College from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 30. Outdoor Action will provide meals starting with dinner on Saturday, August 30, through lunch on Friday, September 5. When you return to campus on Friday, September 5 your group will go out to eat for celebratory dinner on Friday. Group members pay for this dinner, so it is convenient to have some cash on hand. University dining facilities begin serving brunch on Saturday, September 6. If desired, there are a variety of restaurants, grocery stores and delicatessens within walking distance from campus on Nassau Street and Witherspoon Street.

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.

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