+ Pre-Orientation Adventure Program FAQs – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \


How many First-Years participate?
Roughly 120 students (about 1 in 4, to 1 in 5 incoming First-Years), and the number increases every year!

What kind of trips are offered?
We offer trips for all different experience levels from beginner, intermediate, and advanced trips in the Finger Lakes and the Adirondacks. These trips can involve hiking and/or kayaking. Please see our POAP trips section of the webpage to find out more.

Camping not really your thing? We also have a Geneva based sailing trip (for all experience levels) and a community service trip with Habitat for Humanity!

How much does it cost?
POAP costs $425, but generous financial aid is available. The POAP program works with the Office of Financial Aid to determine need and then makes awards. We will not prevent a student from participating because of finances.

How do I apply for financial aid?
On your POAP Application, there is a section to apply for financial aid. Just fill this out online!

How do I apply for POAP?
To apply for POAP, head to the Orientation website and complete the Pre-Orientation Adventure Program task. If you already submitted it, but changed your mind and want to participate, just give us a call and we can help you get signed up!

What if I already completed the Pre-Orientation Adventure Program task but I changed my mind and want to do POAP now?
Just give us a call at (315)-781-3056 and we can help you get signed up!

What do I pack?
Everything you need to pack is on our packing list. When you arrive on campus for POAP, your guides will also help you go through your things to make sure you are fully equipped!

General Packing List
Community Service Packing List
FLX Kayaking and Sailing Packing List

What if I don’t have some of the equipment I need?
You can use ours! Our Outdoor Recreation and Adventure Program (ORAP) has backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and tents available on a first come, first served basis. Please fill out the Equipment Request Form.

Do I need to bring food?
Nope! POAP does all the shopping and meal planning for you! We also provide each student with a snack pack full of our tried and true favorite trail snacks for them to eat during their trip. If you have any dietary concerns or food allergies, please be sure to indicate them on your application materials so we can accommodate them!

What happens if I have allergies?
If you have a food allergy or dietary restriction, please indicate them on your application medical form so we can accommodate them.

If you have an environmental allergy, please indicate that on your application and bring any necessary medications or EpiPens with you for the trip.

Who leads the trips?
Trips are led by a team of 2-3 upperclassmen guides. These guides are some of the coolest people on campus, and can help give you the inside scoop on what life at HWS is like. You’ll be seeing some of their bios on social media this summer, so be sure to follow us on Instagram (@hwspoap)!

How are guides trained?
All guides are well trained in a variety of CPR/First Aid, Wilderness First Aid, EMT-B, and water safety in addition to being trained in “hard” outdoor skills (fire safety, tent setup and breakdown, leave no trace principles, wilderness sanitation, etc.).

Guides who lead a kayaking or water based trip have additional training in kayaking essentials like water safety and water rescue.

Is this in place of traditional orientation?
POAP takes place the five days before the mandatory orientation (POAP is August 13-17, 2022, and Orientation is August 18-21, 2022).

What if I don’t have a lot of outdoors or hiking experience?
That’s ok! We have beginner, intermediate, and advanced trips for students of all experience levels. If the woods isn’t really your thing, we also have a sailing trip (for all experience levels) and a community service trip based in Geneva.

Is this mandatory?
It is not mandatory, but we highly encourage participation in POAP! It gives you the opportunity to meet like-minded First Years before the traditional orientation and make upperclassmen friends that will support you throughout your transition to college life and after. Plus, you get to move into your dorm room early!

What forms do I need to send in? When are they due?
You need to complete a liability waiver, equipment request form, and medical from. All of these can be found online here.

Forms are due BEFORE the program begins, more information will be sent out via email once students have been assigned a trip later in the summer.

What is the general schedule?
Check out our mock itinerary for a general schedule! A more finalized version will be emailed to students a week or two before the trips start.

Do you have early arrival?
If you cannot arrive on campus on August 13 and must come a day early, please contact us at (315) 781-3056 or at poap@hws.edu to make arrangements.

What if I have more questions?
If you have questions that weren’t answered here, or want to chat, give us a call at (315) 781-3056 (POAP) or (315) 781-3300 (Hobart Dean’s office), or send us an email at poap@hws.edu.



POAP Dates:
August 13-17, 2022

Questions and concerns should be directed to poap@hws.edu.