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.
Pre-Orientation Adventures occur before the start of Orientation—August 23-25. Students participating in Pre-Orientation will move in early to campus on August 23 from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. Family Orientation and welcome sessions will take place in the afternoon on August 23 before the program begins in the evening.
The Adventures cost $275. The fee includes food, accommodations, activities, supplies and transportation to and from campus. A $50 deposit is required at registration via Credit Card.
The registration period for the 2015 Pre-Orientation Adventure programs is May 15-July 1. Registration is first-come, first-serve. Many of our programs will fill within days, so don't delay your registration.
For questions contact Annie Kondas, Director of New Student Programs by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 717-245-1671.
2015 Pre-Orientation Adventure Program List
A Creative Writing Experience
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.
FULL-- A Sustainable Adventure: Place Matters
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.
BonD: Building on Diversity
BonD Dickinson is a program for first-year students who are interested in and passionate about diversity and social justice. This Pre-Orientation Adventure seeks to engage Dickinson students in the exploration of their identities and in reflective dialogues about diversity, with the goal of encouraging them to effect positive change on campus and in the community.
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.
College Cuisine, Culture, & Climbing (C4)
Join the Office of Student Leadership & Campus Engagement for two days of food & fun! Students will spend the first 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 at the Dickinson College Farm
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 with the Idea Fund
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.
Music UnCaged: 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 to explore the sonic world of Dickinson College and Carlisle. Centered on the experimental 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 developed and performed by the participants that illustrates and celebrates the campus community.
New and Improv-ed
Learn the art of improv in this brand-new Pre-Orientation Adventure. Whether you're a seasoned pro or never stepped on a stage this Pre-O will help you learn new or hone old skills with current and alumni members of Dickinson’s improv group, Run With It! Students will also travel to Baltimore for a workshop with the Baltimore Improv Group and enjoy lunch in the Charm City. Finally students will have a chance to perform, live, for other current students. So come play with us!
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.
FULL--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!
FULL--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.
FULL--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!
FULL--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- A Walk in the Woods: Challenge Course and Hiking in your New Backyard
Swing through the forest like Tarzan and hike to scenic vistas of the Cumberland Valley. During this Pre-Orientation Adventure, you will spend a day at a state-of-the-art high and low ropes challenge course giving students the chance to soar through the canopy as well as meet and bond with fellow first years through team building, problem solving, and leadership activities. On day two, you will take off on the Appalachian Trail to discover the abundance of outdoor recreation area available right in your new backyard. Students will stay in rustic cabins and spend nights around a roaring campfire.
WILD- Climb on: Challenge Course and Rock Climbing in your New Backyard
Climb on! On this Pre-Orientation Adventure, you will spend a day at a state-of-the-art high and low ropes challenge course giving students the chance to soar through the canopy as well as meet and bond with fellow first years through team building, problem solving, and leadership activities. On day two, you will learn to rock climb at one of the premiere outdoor climbing destinations in the region. Instruction will be provided and no experience is necessary. Students will stay in rustic cabins and spend nights around a roaring campfire.
FULL--WILD- Rivers and Ropes: Challenge Course and Canoeing in your New Backyard
Immerse yourself in the natural landscapes of South Central PA by land and by waterway. During this pre-orientation experience, you will spend a day at a state-of-the-art high and low ropes challenge course giving students the chance to soar through the canopy as well as meet and bond with fellow first years through team building, problem solving, and leadership activities. On day two, you will head to the river to canoe for a day down the most prominent river in the area. Instruction will be provided and no experience is necessary. Students will stay in rustic cabins and spend nights around a roaring campfire.
Red Devils Pep Band
What does school spirit sound like? Join the Red Devils Pep Band (RDPB) and help us find out! RDPB is a great way for experienced musicians to find their groove and make some noise. Explore a range of pep band charts, from Dickinson traditions through modern arrangements, while meeting other musicians and learning about musical offerings at Dickinson. RDPB will perform in a showcase, and we’ll reunite to add some spirit to Homecoming & Family Weekend activities in September. Depending on student interest and capacity, RDPB may appear at campus events throughout the year. Brass, winds and percussionists are encouraged to join us! The Music Department can provide equipment for those who may need to borrow certain instruments.
Service and Spirit: An Interfaith Service Experience
Students will confront underlying societal needs by asking questions, doing service and making real connections between their lived experience, faith and academics. During this interfaith service experience, students engage in intentional reflection, develop deep friendships and serve the local community. While this is an interfaith service experience, all students from religious or non-religious backgrounds are welcome.
Walking in the Gayborhood: Exploring, Serving, and Enjoying LGBTQ Pennsylvania
We invite all LGBTQ+ identified students and allies with an interest in social justice and diversity to join us as we explore the rainbow tapestry of Central Pennsylvania and beyond! After a night of bonding on campus with Dickinson’s Office of LGBTQ Services, our first journey starts with a day-long trip to Philadelphia. It’s an exciting time to visit the city as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of our nation’s first LGBTQ protests this summer. Next we will learn about Dickinson’s connection to the local LGBTQ community. You will then travel to the state capitol, Harrisburg, to meet with leaders from Equality Pennsylvania to participate in advocacy work and craft messages for queer youth at the LGBT Center of Central PA.
A limited number of scholarships are available for students with high financial need. The date to indicate interest in a scholarship needs to be made by June 15, 2015 after you have already registered for a program. If you would like to apply for a pre-orientation program scholarship, simply send your request as an email message to Annie Kondas email@example.com with the subject line being Pre-O Scholarship Request.
In the email please include your name, phone number, email address and the program that you have registered for.Students must register for a pre-orientation program prior to requesting a scholarship. If a student does not qualify for a scholarship a student will have the ability to receive their deposit back in full.