After a day on campus all members of the Class of ’22 participated in Orientation adventure trips, Aug. 15 through 19. They hiked and kayaked in the Adirondacks, volunteered at local libraries and homeless shelters, and delved into such topics as American freedom, community farming, photography and music improv.

Hamilton offers three branches of orientation adventure trips that provide a fun and friendly atmosphere for easing new students into college life

Through Exploration Adventure, students explore a theme or topic, while learning more about the local community and central New York. XA boasts a wide variety of trips, focused on such topics as the arts, history, sustainability, nature and more.

XA trip American Freedom looked at moments in American history that helped shape the understanding of freedom. The group visited various slave abolition, women suffrage, and Native American sites in Upstate New York, camping in churches and National Abolition Hall of Fame. Students discussed various historical and political issues, such as problems with how history is recorded and presented, their definition and experience with freedom, unsung historical figures in their communities, word choice (“freedom seeker” versus “freedom taker”), and gender stereotypes that still confine people to this day.

"I chose the trip because I wanted to extend my knowledge of the abolitionist and suffragist movements. I was surprised to learn of all of the people who had, despite being 'forgotten by history,' played a big role in changing the politics and culture of their time” said John Keirouz '22.

“This will be a new experience for me, and that's what college is supposed to be about, or so I think,” said one Art in the Adirondacks participant about the XA program. “This way, I meet people who are diving into new things like me, or people who plan to pursue the arts, and those are two kinds of people everyone needs to know; artists and adventurers!”

Ten students and their two student leaders along with instructor Vige Barrie sketched and painted at Raquette Lake’s Camp Huntington indoors and outside, despite a bit of less-than-desirable weather. From Advanced Placement arts students to those who left art classes behind in elementary school, all of them engaged gamely in a variety of painting projects.

At 35-years-old, the nationally acclaimed outdoor program Adirondack Adventure (AA) is Hamilton’s oldest. AA offers more than 20 trips that head into the nearby Adirondack region. Students can select their level of expertise and choose from among hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, kayaking and biking, or combination trips.  

Outreach Adventure (OA) gives students the chance to explore the area surrounding Hamilton while volunteering. This year’s trips included volunteering at local libraries, tutoring refugees serving in a meal program for the homeless and performing environmental service work. Most OA groups stay together in a community center or church “camping inside” in the area where they are volunteering.


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