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Outdoor Action

Leadership Starts Here

Outdoor Action is now an integrated part of Orientation for the Class of 2020

Starting in 2016 the OA Frosh Trip will be an integrated part of the orientation process for incoming students. Next fall students will arrive on September 3 for two days of orientation in the residential colleges followed by either a 5-day Outdoor Action or Community Action trip or a program for fall student-athletes.
This is a momumental step forward for OA. It recognizes and applauds the impact that OA has had for incoming students for over forty years and transforms the program from 'optional pre-orientation' to an integrated and integral part of the orientation process. I want to say thank you to the thousands of OA Alumni Leaders who dedicated themselves to helping incoming students get the very best start at Princeton. You created the model that the University has chosen to implement.
Going forward the OA Frosh Trip will be offered at no charge to all participants. Also, the OA Leader Training Program will now be free to all participants.

Share your thoughts about this great news

Frosh Trip - Information for Parents

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.


Starting in 2016 Outdoor Action is now an integrated part of Orientation. There is no fee to participate.
Orientation 2016 - September 3 - September 13
  • Late May 2016: Online Registration for Small Group Orientation Experiences: Outdoor Action, Community Action, Fall Student-Athletes

  • Saturday, September 3: Arrival for Class of 2020

  • Saturday, September 3 - Sunday, September 4: Orientation
These are the Dates for the Princeton Class of 2020
The Online Registration will be available online to all incoming students in late May when the Matriculation Portal goes online. Students will need their University NetID and Password to access the online registration.
Orientation 2016 - September 3 - September 13
  • Late May 2016: Online Registration for Small Group Orientation Experiences: Outdoor Action, Community Action, Fall Varsity Athletes
Outdoor Action Check-in is Sunday, September 4 at 6:30 PM at Dillon Gym

At Check-in you will meet your trip leaders and the other students in your group and we'll distribute any equipment (like backpacks or sleeping bags) that you'll need for your trip. Sunday evening you'll meet as a group to learn more about your trip and the other people in your group, pack up and prepare to depart campus on Monday morning.

Tasty, satisfying, and healthy meals are what fuel the group for the week, so we ensure that everyone eats well on OA trips!  Every meal is a collective effort, with the group coming together to chop, season, and cook their way to a delicious end product.  This also allows the meals to be very customizable to your group's preferences.

OA can accommodate students with many different needs. Our goal is to do our best to make this experience as accessible as possible. Please contact us to let us know about your specific needs, and we will work with you to find a trip that will work for you.

The Outdoor Action Leave a Trace Program was developed in 1999 as part of our continued goal of providing the most effective orientation program for incoming Princeton students. Each year over 50% of the incoming class participates in the Outdoor Action Frosh Trip. These trips serve as both the transition between high school and college and their first exposure to life at Princeton.

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.

Many students with diabetes have participated in the trip or led trips. These are a few things we have learned over the years to help you have a good week on the trip.


Tell us About your Insulin Regimen

When completing your health form, let us know about your daily insulin regimen. Are you taking insulin orally, spray, by injection, or an insulin pump? What type of glucose monitoring meter do you use? What are the temperature requirements for your medication and meter or pump? All of these things can help us place you on a trip that's in the right environment for you.

Outdoor Action considers running healthy trips an essential part of our mission. We will work with you to identify a trip that's right for you based on any previous experience, your current physical condition, any special dietary needs you might have, physical limitations and medical conditions. We ask a variety of questions on our Health History form to assess your needs. Please contact us if you have questions about what trips would be best and to give us more detailed information about your special needs.