Charlotte Ze '18 checks in at the registration table in KJ.
Charlotte Ze '18 checks in at the registration table in KJ.

Adirondack Adventure, Outreach Adventure and eXploration Adventure Hamilton’s pre-orientation programs for new students, welcomed 283 members of the Class of 2018 on Friday, Aug. 15.

AA, now 30-years-old, is an outdoor pre-orientation program featuring more than 20 trips that focus on biking, hiking, canoeing, rock climbing or kayaking at beginning, intermediate or advanced ability levels. All trips are conducted in various locations in the Adirondacks and guided by experienced student, staff or faculty leaders. Students can bike into the heart of the Adirondacks, canoe on Blue Mountain Lake, or go sea kayaking on Lake Champlain, to name a few. A 90-mile canoe trip from Inlet to Saranac Lake is new this year.

OA offers a parallel option to Adirondack Adventure for those students who aren’t interested in outdoor trips, but would like to participate in a pre-orientation experience. These students will do service work at area non-profit agencies. 

Students will be working on projects related to construction and rebuilding, hunger and homelessness and on clean-up projects along the Chenango canal trails.

The newest pre-orientation program, eXploration Adventure, offers students the opportunity to explore a topic about which they are passionate. “Food, Mind, Body: A Local Wellness Experience,” invites students “to explore mindfulness, yoga, and reflective writing as we investigate local food organizations in the Mohawk Valley,” according to Professor of English and Creative Writing Naomi Guttman. Another trip, “Arts and Culture in Utica,”  includes “visits to the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, Sculpture Space, The Other Side and other venues [in order to] experience art, film, sculpture, music and other creative opportunities.”

“The Art and Science of Bees and Beekeeping” is led by Professor of Biology Herm Lehman and Dean of Students and apiarist Nancy Thompson. This trip offers “an introduction to the science of bees and the art of beekeeping,” by observing “the establishment of bee castes, behavior, and health, while also exploring … Colony Collapse Disorder.

“New York Frontier Warfare,” led by the Publius Virgilius Rogers Professor of American History Maurice Isserman, will take participants to historic sites and battlegrounds including Fort Stanwix, Fort Ticonderoga, and Saratoga National Historical Park.

After arriving on campus on Aug. 15, students in AA, XA and OA groups prepared for their trips before departing on Sunday.  They’ll spend two-and-a-half days volunteering, learning more about an area of interest  or exploring the Adirondacks, then the three groups will join up for a high ropes course and night at the Outdoor Education Center on Aug. 21. Everyone returns to campus on Aug. 22 to join other members of the Class of 2018 for New Student Orientation, which begins on Aug. 23.

WUTR coverage of eXploration Adventure group in Utica.

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