First-Year Orientation - Outreach Skip Navigation

Outreach Pre-Orientation

Program Are you eager to start your Colgate experience? Why not get started early and introduce yourself to your new community by volunteering alongside your new classmates and peers!

About Outreach

Outreach is a three-day pre-orientation volunteer program for incoming first-year students. The experience offers the opportunity for you to meet some of your new classmates and to learn about your new “home” in central New York by working on a number of community service projects.

You will work in small groups on a variety of projects designed to assist local organizations and agencies. Additionally, there are social activities to help you and your peers get to know one another.

Much of the work we do is around Colgate's hometown of Hamilton. As a contrast to the needs of our small rural community, we also spend one of the three days working at agencies in Utica, 50 miles north of Hamilton. While it is a small city, Utica has suffered greatly from economic depression and the urban blight that has affected many cities across the United States. We are certain that participants will find the work challenging and the experience rewarding.

When is Outreach?

First-year orientation begins on Saturday, August 23rd. Students participating in Outreach should plan to arrive on Wednesday, August 20th.  The Outreach program will begin that afternoon and conclude on Friday evening, August 22nd. This allows all participants in Outreach to also participate fully in regular arrival day and orientation activities.

What Does Outreach Cost?

A fee of $125 covers all transportation, social activities, meals, and snacks beginning with registration, welcome activities, and dinner on Wednesday through dinner on Friday. Participants will also receive an Outreach T-shirt and water bottle. Financial assistance is available for those who need it.

How to Enroll

The program is limited to 60 students and participation is granted on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply early to secure a spot.

DOWNLOAD FORM - Download and print the registration form, then mail it and the program fee to:

Krista Saleet, COVE
Colgate University
13 Oak Dr.
Hamilton, NY 13346

Community Sites and Tasks

Our volunteer work takes us to sites in both Hamilton and Utica, N.Y. The map below gives a general idea of the locations in our community where you can help out!


View Outreach Locations in a larger map

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will I be staying during Outreach? Do I get to move into my long-term room early?

Yes, you will move into your year-long housing, although we ask that you not completely set up your room before your roommate arrives.

I am flying in. How do I get to Colgate?

Please follow this link for information on travel arrangements.

Do my parents need to come back for arrival day?

It is not necessary, but it is entirely up to you and your family. You should discuss how comfortable you will feel being on your own on arrival day. There will be a large number of students who have arrived early – athletes, Wilderness Adventure participants, etc. whose parents will not be here on arrival day. Some parents don't want to miss this day, but you as first-years, will be able to take care of the details of check-in on your own.

My parents are working; can I come earlier than Wednesday?

In some circumstances, special arrangements can be made with some advance notice. However, housekeeping is pushed to the max to get your rooms ready, so arriving on Wednesday would be best. On Wednesday, we will have student staff to help you move your belongings into your rooms and professional staff to help you with any problems or concerns. Arriving any earlier, we will be involved in leadership training and won't be able to offer assistance moving in.

I would like to do Wilderness Adventure AND Outreach. Is this possible?

Yes, but you must act quickly and request the first session of Wilderness Adventure!

Can I get a refund if I can't make it to Outreach?

We will process refunds upon cancellation only up until a certain date.

What do I need for Outreach?

A willingness to get dirty, ratty clothes that you don't mind getting messy, close-toe shoes (sneakers are fine), and a passion for service work!