The Pre-Orientation Adventure Program (POAP) is an optional, five-day outdoor experience offered from August 18-22, 2018 to incoming first-year Hobart and William Smith students. The program provides the chance to experience hiking, kayaking, or participating in a community service program in the greater Geneva area. Students will also get a chance to meet classmates, learn new skills, ease into the collegiate lifestyle, and have a bit of fun before formal Orientation and classes start.

The people you'll meet during the Pre-Orientation Adventure Program may turn out to be some of the best friends you'll make in college. The trip leaders foster an open and comfortable atmosphere regardless of experience level, background, race, sexual orientation, culture, or religion.

Students of all experience levels are welcome! So if you've hiked the Presidential Range or only camped out in your backyard, that's OK! We offer 11 concurrently running trips, each made up of a small group of first-year students and two upper-class guides. Backpacking and kayaking trip destinations include the Adirondack Mountains and Finger Lakes Region. A Geneva-based service-learning trip will also be offered.


While on your Pre-Orientation adventure, you might learn more about:

  • Basic and Advanced Backpacking
  • Basic Kayaking Technique
  • Wilderness First Aid
  • Orienteering and Backcountry Navigation
  • Outdoor cooking
  • Wilderness ethics and Leave No Trace camping
  • Ecology of New York State

To apply for POAP, log in to the Orientation website and complete the Pre-Orientation Adventure Program Task.

If you'd like to learn more about the program, read testimonials from last year's POAP students. If you think you're interested, please read about the Pre-Orientation Trips and learn more about what to bring, where we’ll be going, what forms to fill out and what to expect!

Good luck, and welcome to Hobart and William Smith Colleges!


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.