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Frequently Asked Wilderness Adventure Questions

Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the Wilderness Adventure pre-orientation.
What if I've never been camping/climbing/kayaking/etc. before?
No problem! Lots of people go on WA with little or no previous outdoor experience. You will have experienced leaders along with your group who will be happy to show you how to live and play comfortably in the woods. Most of the trips are designed with beginners in mind. All we ask is that you come with a good attitude and a willingness to learn. We know not everyone comes from a place where camping in the woods is considered fun or normal. Even though this might be a new experience for you and you may be a little uneasy about sleeping in the woods, we strongly encourage you to try this program. Don't think of it as living in a tent, think of it as a chance to make great friends and get a head start on college. Even if you feel a little nervous now, we know you won't regret it. New challenges are what college is all about, right?
Who will be leading my trip and what will I learn?
Two or three upper-class students who are Outdoor Education staff members lead each Wilderness Adventure trip. All staff complete an extensive nine‐month training program focused on risk management, leadership, teaching, and outdoor skills. Staff members are certified in CPR and Wilderness First Responder, a 72-¬‐hour backcountry medicine course. Wilderness Adventure trips are a unique introduction to both the Colgate community and backcountry travel. Along the way, you’ll learn about navigation, camping, Leave-¬No-¬Trace, and more, with the goal of teaching you everything you need to know to be a self--sufficient group. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll also learn about life at Colgate, from classes to campus, from professors to phys. ed. credits, or from winters in Hamilton to weekend activities, your leaders are experts at camping and Colgate who are ready to help you figure this whole thing out.
Is there any paperwork I need to complete before the trip?
Please register and pay your deposit for an excursion by the deadline listed on the Wilderness Adventure homepage, and pay the balance for the trip by the deadline.

Please also submit the following by July 1: *Please note that the Wilderness Adventure medical history is distinct from the medical history form you must submit to student health services as part of your matriculation at Colgate.
How do I get from the airport/train station to Colgate for the start of WA?
There are a variety of travel options depending on where you are coming from. Colgate has an overview of your options here.
Is there any storage available for Session 1 participants to bring belongings to campus early?
There is no on-campus storage for personal belongings between WA Session 1 and the start of Orientation. You can ship up to two large boxes to your Colgate mailing address, which will be available to you at the start of Orientation. Outdoor Education may be able to store a small amount of your belongings, however our space is very limited, and may not be as secure as you would like. Please contact us if you have any questions about storage.

NOTE: Do not mail yourself anything you will need for your WA trip. Mail can be lost or delayed, which could negatively impact your trip.
Can I arrive early for my WA trip?
If your travel plans have you arriving in Hamilton before the first day of WA (for either Session 1 or 2), we house a limited number of students the night before WA starts in our rustic Yurt at the Beattie Reserve. If you think you'll need to arrive early, please contact us ASAP.
Can I go on a WA trip and another pre-orientation? What if I am a Benton Scholar, International Student, or part of another program that conflicts with WA?
Yes! If you sign up for WA Session 1, you can also go on any other pre-orientation program. This option also works for most of the other programs that take place before regular Orientation, like Benton Scholars, Alumni Memorial Scholars, or International Student Orientation. Please double check the dates for your other program before signing up for WA.
Can I move into my residence hall before WA?
For Session 1 trips, residence halls are not ready for move in and in fact, many are still in use by summer programs.

For Session 2 trips, you can move in on WA arrival day. Check out our schedule page for more information about what you need to do to ensure you can move in that day.
Can I stay on campus between the end of Session 1 and the start of Orientation?
Unfortunately, there is no on-campus housing available during that time period.
When is Orientation? What is the Orientation schedule?
Your WA Session 2 trip will end the same day that Orientation begins. You'll be completely done with WA no later than 10:00 a.m. that morning. Even if you already have your room key, you still need to register for Orientation that day at the Hall of Presidents. See the Orientation site for more information and a schedule.