More than 250 members of the Class of 2015 arrived on campus a week early to take part in pre-orientation programs. Adirondack Adventure (AA) and Outreach Adventure (OA) give incoming students the chance to spend a week getting to know their new classmates in an informal setting, interacting on an equal basis and learning something new before New Student Orientation begins for the whole class on Aug. 20.
Outreach Adventure (OA) is a community engagement program in which a small group serves at a non-profit agency in the nearby cities of Utica or Rome, or in outlying rural areas. Project categories include construction and rebuilding, hunger and homelessness relief, youth mentoring and engagement, environmental/farming and community building. Participants have spent time at the Children's Museum in Utica working on science, technology, engineering and mathematics exhibits that will go into a new section of the museum, and cleared trails along the Chenango Canal in Waterville.
The 27-year-old Adirondack Adventure program offers 26 trips into the Adirondacks, focused on hiking, canoeing, rock-climbing and kayaking, geared to all skill levels from beginner to experienced. AAers can be found canoeing on Raquette River and Blue Mountain Lake, rock-climbing near Keene Valley and sea-kayaking on Lake Champlain, among many other locales in the Adirondacks.
Students in both AA and OA left on Sunday to begin their programs and will return to campus on Aug. 19.