Trip supplies are carefully laid out in Sage Rink for first-year students

New student orientation begins this week, and more than 100 student trip leaders are ready to welcome the newest Hamiltonians. The upcoming week of introductions and new experiences will lay the foundation for the first-year students’ Hamilton career as they embark on Adirondack Adventure, Exploration Adventure, and Outreach Adventure trips.

We asked some of this year’s leaders about their goals as they prepare to greet the class of 2023.

What trip are you leading this year, and what are you most looking forward to?

“I’m leading Forever Wild. I’m most looking forward to meeting the new (first-year students) and embarking into the wilderness with them!” –Anna Neumann ’21

“Through Jam Camp, I’m excited to meet incoming (students) interested in music and further developing our campus music communities. I also think there’s something unique about connecting with others through creating music together!” – Joyce Lee ’20

“I’m leading High Peaks Hiking. I’m looking forward to seeing the transformation in the group from when they show up not knowing anybody on campus to becoming a cohesive and happy family by the end of the trip. That and the no bake [dessert] because something sweet goes a long way when backpacking.” –Alexander “Alex” Nemeth ’22

What trip did you go on your first year, and what was your favorite part?

“High Peaks. My favorite parts were definitely the conversations I had with my group and leaders on the trail and bonding over cooking dinner together and eating!”  –Anna Neumann ’21

“Philosophers Camp. I remember being at Camp Huntington and having lots of time to sit around a campfire. I really loved our Storyshare and having the opportunity to empathize with the other participants in a structured way.”  – Joyce Lee ’20 

“My first-year trip was Grand Traverse. My favorite parts of my trip were going from being scared about the transition to college to being totally and completely comfortable around a group of awesome people on campus. I also loved exploring the Adirondack Mountains for the first time!”  – Alex Nemeth ’22

“I was on Philosopher’s Camp. My entire trip was really great, but one of the things I always love to tell people is about coming back from the trip. When we had to unpack, everyone was obviously exhausted and all the trips around us were kind of slowly putting stuff away, but one of our leaders turned the radio up really loud in the Jitney, and we all started scream-singing to a song that had become our anthem on the trip. We ran around for a little bit singing that song while we started unpacking. It kept the energy high in an otherwise exhausting moment and I loved it.” – Lilia Harlan ’22 (leading American Freedom)

“Seward Range Hiking. My favorite part was getting my first of 42 [High Peaks].” –Ryan Wall ’20 (leading Yoga and Mindfulness)

“Glimmerglass and Musical Performance. My favorite part was the classes with [Associate Professor of Music] Rob Hopkins.” –Alex Fergusson ’20

What do you hope your group members will get out of this year’s trip?

“I hope that through the silly and ridiculous things we do, my participants will stop acting like they are too cool to do fun things which they enjoy. Hamilton is such a special place to me because people are often so comfortable being who they are and liking what they like whether it is ‘cool’ or not. I hope that my participants will see that you don’t have to be someone who you aren’t to fit in here.” – Alex Nemeth ’22

“I hope my group members come out with people to fall back onto when they are struggling. I hope they have a solid foundation to enter college with.” – Lilia Harlan ’22

“I hope they get a few friends and a network of people to help them get started with the year.” – Ryan Wall ’20

“I hope they have a fun time where they can make friends and get a little goofy!” – Alex Fergusson ’20

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