First Year Outdoor Experience

Can’t wait to start college? Get started early with Lycoming College’s First Year Outdoor Experience. Choose your week of beautiful vistas, rugged trails and scenic rivers for a backpacking adventure.

July 24 – 28 or August 14 – 18

Bond with future classmates while learning outdoor living skills including cooking, camping and backpacking in northcentral Pennsylvania’s picturesque forests near campus. Take advantage of this unique opportunity and gain new skills, friendships, and valuable strategies to help you have a successful first year of college.

Jae Ellison, the College’s director of Outdoor Leadership and Education, and a trained student instructor will guide students through each 5-day program suitable for outdoor adventurers of all levels. Ellison is a certified Wilderness EMT and has extensive experience guiding in wilderness settings.

The number of participants is limited to 15 each week and will be selected from applicants who submit a letter about how this experience will help with the transition to college.

Selected participants will be sent via email:

  • An information sheet including location and contact information
  • Suggested personal packing list
  • Medical form
  • Informed consent and assumption of risk forms

Program cost of $50 per participant includes all food and industry-leading equipment incuding:

  • Healthy, energy-filled food, with care taken for dietary restrictions
  • Tents and sleeping bags
  • Cooking gear
  • Safety equipment

Participants will be required to bring clothing appropriate for the weather, personal toiletries and proper footwear. A light-weight but sturdy hiking boot is recommended; students arriving without proper footwear will not be allowed to participate.

Participants must mail the medical and consent forms along with a payment of $50 made out to Lycoming College by:

July 3 for the July trip
July 24 for the August trip

Forms and payments not received in time will forfeit a participant’s spot, which will be offered to other applicants. No refunds will be provided after the deadline for each program.

Program Overview

July 24 – 28

  • Arrive at Lycoming College on July 24 at 10 a.m.
  • Introduction activities, inspections, and packing equipment
  • Leave at noon for a local state forest area
  • Remaining days will be spent hiking and camping
  • Leave forest area on July 28 at noon and arrive at 1:30 p.m.
  • Unpacking and debrief activities
  • Students available for pick up at 3 p.m.

August 14 – 18

  • Arrive at Lycoming College on August 14 at 10 a.m.
  • Students given time to put personal belongings into a temporary location while on the trip
  • Introduction activities, inspections, and packing equipment
  • Lunch
  • Leave at 3 p.m. for local state forest area
  • Remaining days will be spent hiking and camping
  • Leave forest area on August 18 at 3 p.m. and arrive at 4:30 p.m.
  • Unpacking and debrief activities
  • Students released to their respective rooms at 6 p.m.

Apply today