For the past six years, first-year students have had the opportunity to participate in a variety of trips throughout New York State in the week prior to Orientation. This year, nearly 100 students will participate in the Pre-Orientation Adventure Program (POAP), taking part in 11 different trips. The majority of the trips are centered on camping and hiking, either in the Finger Lakes or the Adirondacks.
“There are trips aimed at a variety of different experience levels so that everyone who wants to can participate,” explains Jim Prowse ’14, who is co-coordinator of the program along with Emily Dove ’14.
Students will have the opportunity to hike parts of the Finger Lakes Trail as well as through the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, or can take to the water and kayak throughout the Finger Lakes and sections of the Erie Canal.
For those students who are looking for an adventure with a little less hiking, there are two community service trips this year. One group of students will perform trail maintenance in the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Others will participate in a Habitat for Humanity homebuilding project, constructing a house for the Bailey family at 12 Hawkins St. in Geneva. This is the 16th Habitat for Humanity of Ontario County home.
“This really is a great opportunity for incoming students to get to know upperclassmen and get comfortable,” explains Prowse, who has been involved in the program for the past two years. “It definitely makes a big difference at Orientation. Students who attended POAP are more comfortable with the campus as well as with one another.”
Participating students will arrive on campus on Sunday, Aug. 18, and have an opportunity to move into their rooms before heading out on their respective trips. Trips will be led by more than 25 returning HWS students who were selected from a competitive pool of applicants this past spring. The trips end and students arrive back on campus throughout the day on Thursday, in time for the start of Orientation on Friday morning.
For more information about POAP programming e-mail POAP@hws.edu.
The photo above features, Emily Dove’ 14 in a kayak; it was taken with an underwater camera in Seneca Lake.