The Classes of 2022 are ready to embark on a new journey, but before matriculating during August’s Orientation, more than 100 first-years are set to backpack, kayak and sail with new friends during this year’s Pre-Orientation Adventure Program (POAP) from Aug. 18-22.
“As a first-year student, POAP was not simply a four-day trip but was the stepping stone into my college career,” says Ryan Montbleau ’19, POAP organizer. “It gave me confidence in meeting new people and finding a spot for myself on campus. Working as a guide allowed me to interact with each incoming class and strengthened my connection with the HWS community.”
Students of all experience levels are welcome. With 11 trips designed for various skill levels, those new to hiking and kayaking can feel comfortable. Guided by Hobart and William Smith juniors and seniors who are trained in first aid and water safety, incoming students will explore the Adirondacks and Finger Lakes on trips matching their interests.
Hiking options explore the Finger Lakes National Forest, the Adirondack Mountains or the Finger Lakes Trail. The advanced hiking trip takes students to the high peaks of upstate New York where students will have the opportunity to conquer a mountain from base to summit each day. A kayaking trip is offered, allowing students to paddle on 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 on various lakes and ponds and the other half hiking through old growth forests, mountain meadows and bogs.
A Finger Lakes sailing trip is also scheduled to welcome students of all sailing backgrounds and involves learning more about the Finger Lakes and the surrounding region.
Another option for students includes the “Community Service Adventure,” an opportunity for students to jumpstart their service experience at the Colleges. This program does not include outdoor recreation activities.
“POAP is not just a trip, it’s a community of people and an experience that underscored my college career,” Montbleau adds.
Members of the Classes of 2022 must register by Monday, July 30 on the Orientation website in order to participate in the program. Parents and students are encouraged to contact Montbleau or Dean of First-Year Students David Mapstone at email@example.com, (315) 781-3300, or through the POAP Facebook group with any questions.