Dickinson College Pre-Orientation Adventure program is a two-and-a-half day, small-group, theme-intensive experience open to incoming first-year and transfer students.
Students will begin their Dickinson experience by participating in one of our many programs designed for 10-15 students. Combining experiential education, team building, early involvement and leadership adventures, each program introduces students to Dickinson through interaction with new and current students, faculty, and staff. The Adventures cost $225. The fee includes food, accommodations, activities, supplies and transportation to and from campus. A $50 deposit is required at registration via credit card. A limited number of scholarships are available.
Registration for the 2016 programs will be available on May 15 and closes July 1. Registration is first-come, first-serve. Many of our programs will fill within days, so don't delay your registration.
2016 Pre-Orientation Adventure Program List
This Pre-Orientation Adventure will allow first-years interested in creative writing to engage with similarly interested peers as they think critically about who they are as writers. The program will give students the intellectual space and guidance to develop their creative writing and workshop techniques. Students will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with downtown Carlisle; discuss their work with faculty and a Poet-in-Residence; share their work in a zine; and become part of a vibrant, collaborative creative community on campus.
Take part in this unique local overnight adventure that will explore why place matters, demonstrate what sustainability means at Dickinson, and participate in an overnight experience that allows for personal reflection and goal setting in Michaux State Forest. We will sleep indoors at the all-equipped Ironmaster’s Mansion nestled in the Pine Grove Furnace State Park, swim in local lakes, hike to a rocky summit vista, kayak on Laurel Lake, and explore the rich history of the Pine Grove Iron Works. Spend time cooking local foods together in a group cooking lesson and sharing stories by a bonfire paired with local ice cream. Upon return, participants will work alongside Dickinson Sustainability staff and students to “Green Move In” for other first year students. No previous experiences required.
Behind the Scenes: Theatre at Dickinson
In Behind the Scenes, students will have the opportunity to learn all about what it takes to make theater at Dickinson-by making it themselves! Participants will meet current Theatre & Dance students and faculty, explore Dickinson’s performance spaces, work with lights, costumes, props, and scenery, and collaborate with each other to put on a show! The program is designed to accommodate students who are interested in performances as well as those who prefer the technical/backstage elements.
Change the World: A Service and Leadership Training Experience
Have you heard the quote, "Be the Change you wish to see in the world" and thought, "I want to be that person!" Students will begin to explore the Social Change Leadership Model at Dickinson and discover how service can be a means to creating socially responsible and sustainable change. Students will connect to the Carlisle community, strengthen their leadership skills, challenge themselves through new experiences, begin exploring what it means to be socially responsible leaders and do all this through doing community service.
Cuisine, Carlisle, & Climbing (C3)
Join the Office of Student Leadership & Campus Engagement for two days of food & fun! Students will spend the day building meaningful relationships through ropes course exercises and a night out on the town in Harrisburg. We will then learn to cooperatively prepare wonderful meals and snacks in a college residence environment.
Dance at Dickinson
Join the dance groups of Dickinson for two days full of artistic expression and diverse dancing hosted by the Theatre and Dance Department and the Dance Theatre Group. With the help of guest faculty, students will explore a variety of dance forms, from contemporary ballet, to jazz, hip hop, and Bollywood dance. Alongside the dance groups, students will spend the night in one of the Dickinson dance studios to help build lasting relationships. Finally, students will work collaboratively through a choreography workshop to create a dance piece to perform for other Dickinson students. All classes will be taught at an introductory level. No previous dance experience is necessary, all are welcome!
Food for Thought
The College Farm offers a unique Pre-Orientation Adventure opportunity for students with an interest in delving deeper into the subject of food. Students will learn how work on the farm is built around team work, hands-on learning, new friendships and fun! We look forward to sharing our farm experiences with you, from the soil up through field work, interactive projects, cooking, and an evening under the stars.
Kick Start Dickinson
Do you want to be a maker or a do-er? At Dickinson we believe in the power of new innovators; Idea Fund exists to help you. Idea Fund is a student run organization that empowers students to identify and solve problems in the Dickinson community. Kick Start Dickinson is an action packed, hands-on experience where first-years, current students, and alumni work in teams to create an on-campus project. Students will create teams, develop an idea, design a project, and present the innovation for funding.
MusicUnCaged: Collaboration and Community
Do you play an instrument? Do you sing? Do you enjoy listening to music of all types? This musical adventure is open to all incoming students with an interest in music, regardless of performance experience or skill level. Participants will collaborate with each other and with Music Department faculty and students in various musical styles based on the interests and experience of the participants. Framed by the music and ideas of John Cage, whose pioneering work upended traditional ideas of music and art in the 20th century, the program will culminate in a performance of music and sound art that illustrates and celebrates the campus community.
New and Improv-ed
Are you witty? Quick on your feet? Aren’t sure? Find out by joining the New and IMPROVed Pre-Orientation program. This Pre-O will head to Harrisburg on Day One enjoy a workshop with the Harrisburg Improv Theater, enjoy lunch at El Sol Mexican Restaurant, and grab a beverage at Little Amps Coffee Roasters. On Day Two we’ll prepare for the 2nd Annual Pre-O Performance Night followed by a cast party with members of the other arts Pre-Os. It will be….unpredictable!
Pawsitively Perfect: Pre-Orientation with the Dickinson College Dog House
Join the Dickinson College Dog House, a special-interest house and club on campus, in an introduction to raising and training service dogs! During this Pre-Orientation Adventure, you will become certified in clicker-training, visit the headquarters of Susquehanna Service Dogs, and take an outing with service-dogs-in-training. Students will also build a community with fellow dog-lovers, explore the Dickinson campus and Carlisle restaurants, and spend some quality time with the Dog House dogs. No previous experience training dogs is necessary!
Social Justice at Dickinson: Discovering Your Social Justice Story
This experience is designed for first-year students who are interested in and passionate about diversity and social justice. Through a series of interactive and engaging activities, including storytelling and creative expression, the program will engage students in exploration of their identities and reflective dialogues about diversity, and will encourage them to develop their capacities to effect positive change on campus and in the community.
WILD (Wilderness Introduction to Life at Dickinson)
WILD programs are all designed with common elements and experiences. All WILD programs are created to introduce first-year students to the many different outdoor experiences that exist within the region.
WILD- Discover Rock Climbing in Pennsylvania
This program will introduce students to the basics of rock climbing right in our own backyard here in PA. Students will be going to Shaffer’s Rock climbing crag (rock face) and staying in the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club’s Hermitage Wilderness Cabin only 2 minutes from the crag! Students will spend two days learning all the basics of top roping and bouldering as well as build strong bonds with other first years in an outdoor wilderness setting. No rock climbing experience required.
WILD- Rafting and Hiking
This Pre-Orientation Adventure trip will give first- year students the opportunity to experience Ohiopyle State Park in Western Pennsylvania, while building lasting friendships and preparing for the transition to college life. Students will spend one day whitewater rafting on the Lower Youghiogheny River which consists of class III and IV rapids, a fun challenge for both beginner and moderate level rafters. The next day will be spent hiking through scenic Ohiopyle State Park. Throughout the duration of the trip, students will learn basic camping, outdoor, and leadership skills. This trip will focus on getting to know one another, learning more about student life at Dickinson from the perspective of the student leaders before orientation, and having a blast doing so!
WILD- Canoeing Adventure on the Susquehanna River Trail
On this Pre-Orientation Adventure, students will experience the outdoors while building bonds with each other and learning the skills needed to be an outdoor enthusiast. This trip will take place on the Susquehanna River on the section north of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s capital. On this trip, students will canoe 22 miles down the river towards Harrisburg, camp on islands, and end in Harrisburg where students will have time to eat lunch and explore the state’s capital. Along with the experience, students will also learn basic camping skills, outdoor skills, and whatever they want to know about Dickinson, all while creating friendships with fellow first years and
WILD- Where in the Natural World are We? Explore PA’s Ecology and Hiking trail Network
Carlisle is surrounded by amazing state parks and forests. During this Pre-Orientation Adventure, the group will stay in a Potomac Appalachian Trail Club wilderness cabin and go on hiking excursions to learn about the local ecology, conservation efforts, and sustainability work. The group will also have the opportunity to work on a habitat restoration project in Michaux State Forest alongside the regional ecologist and local PATC trail stewardship volunteers. Throughout the duration of the trip, students will learn basic camping, outdoor, and leadership skills. This trip will focus on getting to know one another, learning more about student life at Dickinson from the perspective of the student leaders before orientation, giving back to the community, and just having fun.
WILD- Backpacking in the Scenic Delaware Water Gap
This Pre-Orientation Adventure will give first- year students the opportunity to experience the beautiful Delaware Water Gap, while building lasting friendships and preparing for the transition to college life. Students will spend three nights and four days backpacking and hiking through gorgeous scenery and will learn skills such as backcountry cooking, map reading and other outdoor skills. This trip will focus on getting to know one another, learning more about student life at Dickinson from the perspective of the student leaders before orientation, and having a blast doing so!
WILD- Backpacking in Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon
On this Pre-Orientation Adventure, students will experience the outdoors, build bonds with each other, and learn skills needed to be an outdoor enthusiast. This trip will take place in Tiadaghton State Forest Park in North Central PA, an area known as “Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon.” Student should expect three days of challenging and fun hiking rewarded with breathtaking sights and a sense of accomplishment. Along with the experience, students will also learn basic camping skills, outdoor skills, and whatever they want to know about Dickinson while building friendships with fellow first years and upperclassmen mentors.
WILD- Backpacking in Monongahela National Park
Experience the beautiful mountains of the Monongahela National Park in West Virginia, while building lasting bonds between each other and preparing for the transition to college life. Students will spend three nights and four days backpacking through gorgeous scenery and will learn skills such as backcountry cooking, map reading, Leave No Trace principles, and other outdoor skills. This trip will also focus on getting to know one another, learning more about student life at Dickinson from the perspective of the student leaders before orientation, and having a blast doing so!
WILD- Ropes Course and Biking in the Heart of Pennsylvania
Experience Pennsylvania’s Laurel Hill State Park from the both the high ropes course and the casual wooded biking trails. Each night will be spent camping in the State Park. Throughout the duration of the trip, students will learn basic camping, outdoor, and leadership skills. This trip will also focus on getting to know one another, learning more about student life at Dickinson from the perspective of the student leaders, and having fun! No ropes course or biking experience necessary.
WILD- Climbing and Canoeing in Shenandoah National Park
During this trip, students will enjoy a day of rock climbing in the mountains of Shenandoah as well as a day of canoeing on the West Fork of the Shenandoah River. Students will camp out each night. Throughout this outdoor experience, students will learn basic outdoor skills and whatever they want to know about Dickinson, all while building bonds with other first years and student mentors. No experience is needed.
WILD- Surfing and Kayaking at Assateague Island
The trip will take place on Assateague Island, MD/VA and includes backcountry camping, beach games, an introduction to surfing lesson, and a day of kayaking. During this experience, students will learn basic camping skills, outdoor skills, and whatever they want to know about Dickinson, all while creating bonds with fellow first years and student mentors. No experience is needed to go on this trip; however, participants must be strong swimmers in the ocean.