Frosh Trip - Information for Parents
Welcome Class of 2024 to your next Adventure at Princeton!
We are so excited that your child will be participating in the Outdoor Action (OA) Program for your small-group orientation experience. The Outdoor Action Program is one of the small-group Orientation programs and we have been welcoming incoming students to Princeton through small-group adventures since 1974.
To help your new student prepare for the unique adventure you will have during the next four years, we have developed a special virtual program for this year that combines getting to know their new classmates, learning about Princeton from your upperclass OA Leaders, and experiencing a bit of ‘virtual adventure.’
The guiding principles of OA are that a group, working together to accomplish a shared goal, can accomplish amazing things. This year our theme is Expedition 2024, the journey that members of the Class of '24 will take together over the next four years. Being part of an ‘expedition’ means getting to know your teammates, sharing your stories and goals, and learning how you can support each other. Each day will bring chances to meet to build relationships with the other members of their group, explore some new things, and come away with a ‘spirit of adventure’ that we hope they will carry with them throughout Princeton. We will bring in lessons on leadership and as much virtual outdoors as we can.
Each student will be in an OA group of 10-12 first-year and transfer students along with 2-3 upperclass Outdoor Action Leaders. OA Leaders are some of the most energetic and engaged students at Princeton. They are also leaders outside of OA through their involvement in performing groups, student organizations, student government, athletic teams, community service, and the full spectrum of academic majors.
We will be setting up times for groups to meet live via videocalls (Zoom) for several hours each day Friday, August 21 – Tuesday, August 24. Students will be assigned to a group based on their time zone and the preferred time of day that indicated on their orientation registration. There will also be opportunities to explore things outside of the group events and then share their ‘mini-adventures’ with the rest of your group.
We will be in touch later in August to provide each student more information about the exact times that their group will be meeting, along with details about how to access the video calls and other materials. There is nothing that they need to do now. We’ll send links to some fun introductory materials in mid-August so they will be ready for their Expedition 2024 adventure.
A first year student talks about her Frosh Trip Experience
I was extremely scared about beginning college and the OA trip really helped to allay most of my fears. I got to become really close with a group of 10 people, all of whom I’ve remained friendly with on campus. In the wilderness atmosphere you get the chance to learn so much about these people who all seemed so strange and different. I learned that all ten of us had the same fears and insecurities about starting college; making new friends, handling schoolwork, becoming small fish in an incredibly large pond. The OA trip really taught me that first impressions mean absolutely nothing, that I should place more faith in my physical abilities (I never thought I could survive a backpacking trip), and interpersonal abilities (I usually consider myself shy and reserved, but my group members didn’t see me that way at all), and that no matter how alone I may feel sometimes, everyone is really feeling just as scared and unsure of themselves as I am.
One of the most valuable aspects of the trip for me was the nightly debriefings. These really gave our group a chance to reflect on the challenges and triumphs of the day and observe how our relationships with each other and with ourselves were changing. Our final night debriefing on the trail, during which we all went around saying things we liked/admired about each other, was especially valuable. So much of your self-view depends on how you think others view you, and hearing positive feedback from the people you’ve opened up and exposed your vulnerabilities to was just so incredible.
The most incredible part of my trip though, had to have been my fearless leaders, Andrew and Erin. I have so much respect for them and for the way they handled themselves throughout the trip. I really feel like we all became good friends with them, we joked around on the trail and genuinely had a good time. But both knew when and how to appropriately assume the role of leaders. They carried far more than their share of weight on the trail, responded to our complaints, motivated us, made sure we ate and drank enough, mediated small disputes that arose....What really amazed me about these two was how they fit perfectly into the dual roles of friend and leader, and could transition effortlessly between the two without compromising either. Erin and Andrew were also invaluable resources for everything we wanted to know about Princeton. They tirelessly fielded all our questions answering honestly and helpfully.
In conclusion, I want to reiterate what an absolutely incredible experience OA was for me. I am so glad I decided to participate in the program. The trip exceeded my highest expectations in every way. Thank you for facilitating such a wonderful program here at Princeton.
OA can accomodate students with many different concerns, including medical issues, religious practices, and internet/technology accessability. Our goal is to do our best to make this experience as accessible as possible for all students, especially in our current global health crisis. Please contact us to let us know about your specific needs so we can try and find a trip that will work for you.
OA Frosh Trip is a different experience for everyone. Here, a collection of participants and leaders reflect on what made their Frosh Trip experience so valuable and memorable.
There are so many great moments that happen on Frosh Trip! From learning to rock climb to connecting with new peers, there are countless stories from the past 4 decades of Frosh Trip. We've captured some of our favorite moments and memories in video, photos, and quotes from participants and leaders.