Pre-Orientation Adventure Program – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Pre-Orientation Adventure Program

The HWS Pre-Orientation Adventure Program (POAP) has created an opportunity for members of the Classes of 2020 to engage in hiking, kayaking or volunteer projects before the official Orientation excitement begins.

Ranging from beginner to advanced, POAP trips are co-guided by one Hobart and one William Smith student enthusiastic about the outdoors. Students can choose from seven outdoor adventure trips, including hiking options to explore the Finger Lakes National Forest, the Finger Lakes Trail or the Adirondack mountains. A kayaking trip is offered, allowing students to paddle in selected Finger Lakes. Students can also opt for a combined hiking and kayaking Adirondack trip, during which participants will spend half of the time paddling various lakes and ponds and the other half hiking through old growth forests, mountain meadows and bogs.

For students interested in engaging with the Geneva community through service and volunteerism, two trips are offered in conjunction with the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning. At Montezuma Wildlife Refuge, students can help with trail maintenance, invasive species removal, seed collection and other environmental services initiatives, or they can opt to work with the Seneca County Habitat for Humanity to hang drywall, paint and assist with other building tasks.

Bree von Bradsky ’16, who is serving as this year’s graduate intern for POAP, has remained active with POAP since her trip in 2012.  “After those four days in the woods, I found myself with a new sense of courage and a group of friends before Orientation even began,” she reflects.

“The best choice I made my first year was to go on POAP,” says Jack Creatura ’19, who will serve as a guide for the Classes of 2020. “I hope to give a similar experience to incoming students.”

Ryan Montbleau ’19 will also serve as a guide. “The Program forces us to make connections with those in our group and these relationships become the most genuine friendships,” Montbleau explains.

Assistant Hobart Dean David Mapstone ’93 who has served as director of POAP since it was founded in 2007, says the Pre-Orientation Program helps students make the transition from high school to college. “This program allows students to come to campus in smaller and more intimate groups so they can ease into making friendships and developing relationships with upper-class students and their own peers before the start of Orientation,” he adds.

Students participating in POAP are invited to move onto campus early, settling into their residence halls early.

The deadline to apply for POAP is August 1. Students or parents seeking further information on specific trips should contact the Pre-Orientation Office at (315) 781-4579 or email

In the top photo, Audrey Bates ’17 and Bree von Bradsky ’16 plan the upcoming adventures of this year’s POAP trips. In the second photo, they are joined by Assistant Hobart Dean David Mapstone ’93 who has served as director of POAP since it was founded in 2007.


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