Who goes on the trip?

Each trip is comprised of between 6 and 10 new student participants and 2 upperclass student leaders. Tessa Chefalo, the director of XA, and the student assistant director often visit sites to make sure things are running smoothly and provide extra supplies if necessary. Tessa, as well as other orientation staff, are available by telephone at all times throughout the trip week, however, very rarely does anyone ever get contacted. The trips are well-supplied and coordinated before departure, and the leaders are highly competent. There is an intensive week of training in May, as well as an additional 5 days in August before participants arrive on campus during which leaders are trained in first-aid and CPR, and many possible problem scenarios are explored.

I don't know anything about history/bees/yoga/camping/farming/etc.! Do I need any experience to go on an XA trip?

No!  XA trips are open to students of all interests and experience levels.  In fact, we encourage you to select a trip with a focus you may not know much about, but want to explore further. 

Where will our group stay?

Most XA trips spend the nights at a campground or in local churches or community centers. At the indoor sites, we make sure that each sleep site has a kitchen and fridge as well as a good assortment of cooking tools, because this is where students keep their food for the week away and eat their meals.  If you are camping, you will most likely be at a campground with restroom and shower facilities, though you may sleep in a tent.
Some trips will stay at a different location each night, and may sleep at both campgrounds and in local churches/community centers during their trip.

What will we eat?  What if I have dietary restrictions?

All non-perishables for breakfast, lunches and dinners (often Italian or Mexican-themed) are purchased ahead of time. On Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, groups have time to sit down and decide what perishables and add-ons they would like to purchase and can arrange time to shop during the first two days of their trip. Students with dietary restrictions will be able to work with the leaders to shop for specialized food items (gluten-free breads or pastas, lactose-free products, etc.)  In addition, we are notified of food allergies/restrictions in advance so that we can ensure, for example, a peanut-free trip, gluten-free options, or whatever the need might be.  Finally, there is also the opportunity to find a local restaurant and eat out one evening and the group will respect any dietary restrictions of its members.

What should I bring?

That depends on what trip you go on.  Some trips might camp, others may only sleep indoors.  Some may involve outdoor activities like walking around on a farm or sightseeing, while others will spend most of their time in urban environments or indoor activities, like touring a historic site or in a yoga workshop.  You will receive information from your trip leaders sometime in July, with more information about your trip's itinerary and what clothing, toiletries, and other items you should bring.


Contact Name

Tessa Chefalo

Assistant Dean of Students for Student Engagement

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