What to expect as an OA participant:

  • A rewarding human services, construction, or environmental volunteer opportunity
  • A great group bonding experience
  • An immersion in either the diverse urban environment of Utica or the beautiful rural area surrounding Hamilton College
  • A wildly fun culminating experience at a ropes course followed by a large group campfire

Your group will be “camping” indoors at a church or other facility near your work site, usually with some comforts of couches, carpets and kitchens for cooking your meals. If you opt for an environmental or community farming trip, you will camp outdoors.  Either way, you will be engaged in important service work to the greater Oneida county region and you will have a blast!

After completing your service project, we will head to an outdoor education center for a day of high ropes elements that culminates in an evening campfire experience. All pre-orientation trips reconvene on campus the following night for a final banquet together before New Student Orientation begins.

August 15

Participants arrive on campus and register between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Belongings for the school year may be placed in residence hall rooms at that time, or on August 23rd. There will be a parent orientation on August 15th for parents who do not wish to return on August 23rd.  Activities for new students begin at 4 p.m. on the 15th.

August 16

Full day on campus preparing for the trip.

August 17

Depart campus for service day at Chenango Canal
Move into your “base camp” late afternoon.  First “home cooked” meal with your group!

August 18

Work at service site during the day.
Evening fun and games or special activities in the area with your group.

August 19

More of the same!

August 20

Work at service site in the morning.
After lunch, drive into Adirondacks to Outdoor Education Center.

August 21

Overnight at Outdoor education center. Day on high ropes course (challenge by choice).
Dinner with AA, OA, and XA participants followed by evening bonfire.

August 22

Return to campus by early afternoon.
Closing banquet celebration (semi-formal) in the evening.

August 23

New Student Orientation begins. (Family members may rejoin students for the day).


Contact Name

Tessa Chefalo

Assistant Dean of Students for Student Engagement

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