Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

First Year Outdoor Experience (FYOE) FAQ

What will I be eating on the trip?

Outdoor Leadership & Education focuses on creating delicious, healthy backcountry meals. Just because our food must be packable and lightweight does not mean we have to sacrifice quality. You will work in small groups to prepare your own meals while we’re on the trail, don’t worry, we’ll teach you everything you need to know.

What if I have dietary restrictions or food allergies?

We work with students with dietary restrictions and food allergies very frequently. We will ask you a few questions so as to best understand your needs and will build a menu around your restrictions. If you have a food allergy, we will remove that food from our menu completely to ensure your allergen is not on the trip to reduce any likelihood of exposure.

Where will I be sleeping?

You will be sleeping in a 3-person tent with your fellow FYOE participants on the trail as we travel through the beautiful Loyalsock State Forest. OLE will provide you with a warm sleeping bag and sleeping pad to help you rest easy for your next day of hiking.

Is backpacking difficult?

Backpacking is inherently challenging. You will be required to carry a pack weighing 35-40 lbs. over varied terrain in a mountainous environment. If it was not challenging, we wouldn’t do it. The shared challenge is what helps you bond with your team and gain new learning to help you start your college experience. Your instructors will be there to help you along the way and make adjustments if needed to help you accomplish your goal.

What will the weather be like on our trip?

The weather can be unpredictable in Northcentral Pennsylvania, but is usually quite warm in the summer. We will benefit, however, by traveling in the mountains, where it is a bit cooler. You can expect warm days with cooler nights. It does rain frequently in the summer so we will always need to keep our rain gear easily accessible.

Will I be able to use my cell phone on the trip?

FYOE is all about building community. You are making friends that will be with you throughout your entire Lycoming College experience. We work to support and encourage each other throughout the trip. The use of cell phones greatly distracts from that goal. We provide a secure location for students to leave their cell phone while they are on the trip. This allows the phones to be accessible to the students once we return to campus. Besides, you would not have cell service anyways. If you were hoping to take pictures with your phone, feel free to bring a digital or disposable camera with you on your trip.

What if my parents need to contact me in an emergency?

Once you are admitted into the program, you will receive an information sheet. On this sheet, OLE will provide a contact number for the College if you need to be contacted while in the field. Your instructors carry satellite devices that allow the College to contact a group at any time in the field.