1. Union Home
  2. Offices & Services
  3. Dean of Students
  4. First-Year Students
  5. Outdoor Pre-Orientation

Outdoor Experience (optional)

Outdoor Experience is an adventure-based program with three different levels of wilderness exposure. Check out a new program this year where you can join a select group of your classmates with a small group of professors and upperclass students on a canoe-camping trip in the Adriondacks or join 100 of your classmates as you begin your college experience at YMCA Camp Chingachgook in the Adirondacks. Because of our three-tiered approach, we offer a menu of choices tailoring the intensity of the trip to your desired level. This trip is sure to be both challenging and rewarding, one you are sure to remember fondly! 

We will leave campus at 1pm on the 29th and travel directly to either the Adirondack Campsite or YMCA Camp Chingachgook where we will stay until the afternoon of August 31st. On our way home the President's Office will host our Outdoor Pre-Orientation experience group at the Kelley Adirondack Center for dinner and a tour. On Saturday morning participants will have a chance to sleep in and then will spend the entire afternoon and evening with the pre-orientation students from the other pre-orientation programs for a day of fun! Participants are required to attend all parts of the Pre-Orientation program. 

Choose one of the following programs:

Environmental Science in the Adirondacks

This trip is for those who have an adventurous spirit to explore the world around them both physically and intellectually. A small group of students will spend two nights canoe camping on the shore of a remote lake in the Adirondack wilderness with two professors and two upper class Union students. We will investigate the environmental history of the Adirondacks and explore nearby sites on canoe and foot. No camping experience needed. This three-day backcountry excursion requires moderate physical exertion. Limited to a maximum of 8 students. 

Into the Wild (main program) 

Well balanced and exciting, arrive at YMCA Camp Chingachgook and hit the ground running: low-ropes, high-ropes, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, swimming, volleyball, day and night hikes, with plenty of time to just hang out, relax, and get to know everyone. The 80 students who choose this option will stay in bunks on the YMCA campus and will spend three days getting to know their peers, enjoying the outdoors, and having a great time! This program is for those who want to be outside having fun, hike a little, but don't want to spend three days in the woods!

Iron Man (camping/canoeing intensive)

Spend three days and two nights canoeing and hiking on an island canoe trip.  Two hours after arriving at Camp Chingachgook, you will head to the Narrows on Lake George. Lead by Chingachgook trip leaders, students will be paddling to a state owned island campsite in 15 ft. voyager canoes. Spend part of the next days exploring the several hiking options close by or checking out Shelving Rock Falls before heading back to Camp Chingachgook to wrap up the trip. No camping experience required, but this is a demanding experience that requires moderate physical exertion for three days straight. Only 20 spots available!


See the separate packing lists for the Into the Wild ProgramIronman Program, and Environmental Science in the Adirondacks Program. Things not to forget for both include bedding/sleeping bag, back pack, water bottles, a flashlight, and appropriate clothing/footwear!

Deadline to apply is August 10, 2018

Registration will remain open until August 10 or until the program fills.

Deadline to cancel and still receive a refund: August 10, 2018 (after that date no refunds are available)

Cost and Payment:

The charge ($350) is applied directly to your tuition, and covers all transportation, meals, lodgings, and activities over the three days, as well as two meals at Union. Charges are applied after the program date and cancellations are allowed up to August 10th 2018. All charges are NON-refundable after August 10, 2018, due to YMCA contracts, cancellations must occur before that date or charges will be applied.