Whiteface Hike


We hope the following frequently asked questions will help answer many of the questions you may have! If you have more questions about the Pre-Trip experience, please email outdoorprogram@stlawu.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pre-Trips 2024 start on Tuesday, August 20th at 5pm and end mid morning on Saturday, August 24th.

If you want to request participation in a Pre-Trip, you must fill out a request form found on your Application Status Page. In trying to be as equitable as possible, we will use a lottery system for registration. While we will try to honor your preferences, trip assignments will depend on availability and ensuring inclusive experiences for all trip members.

Trip applications will be available once you pay your deposit to enroll at SLU and will be open until May 30th.  

Everyone who applied for Pre-Trips will be notified of their status by early July.


If selected through the lottery process, we will try to honor your preferences. However, trip assignments will depend on availability and ensuring inclusive experiences for all trip members.

In past years, the average number of people on a trip includes six first years, and two student leaders.

There will be between 12-14 groups.

Trip fees will be assessed on a sliding scale between $50 and $400 based on demonstrated need.

On your request form, please indicate your top three trips that you would like to attend. From there, we will review all the request forms and place students in the appropriate trip.


All trips are based in the Adirondack State Park but specific location depends on the trip type.

Pre-Trips are available to all first-year students and transfer students. Regardless of previous experience in the outdoors, there is a trip for you! This is a unique opportunity to connect incoming students with the St. Lawrence community. The trips will have upperclassmen student leaders guiding the first-years and create relationships within the community before the first day of classes. Throughout the academic year, all students are encouraged to participate and get involved with the Outdoor Program to hear about all the upcoming trips and leadership opportunities.

Upper-class students apply to work as trip leaders through the Outdoor Program. Each has demonstrated experience and skill in the specific type of activity for which they have been selected as a leader. At least one of the leaders for each trip has participated in a Wilderness First Responder course and many have completed a semester-long Guide Training course. We attempt to staff trips in a positive, complementary, and gender-balanced way to provide the best possible Orientation experience for new students.

St. Lawrence University proudly presents: The Outdoor Program! Our office is located in the Newell Field House where you will find outdoor enthusiasts excited to welcome friends, new and old. Outdoor Program staff work with student leaders to plan and facilitate the Pre-Trip experience.

There will be between 75-100 Pre-Trip participants.

Our leaders will compile a meal plan based on each trip’s activities as well as any food accommodations necessary. Cooking and eating meals together is often a highlight for participants!

The physical challenge depends on each trip. Read the trip descriptions to figure out what trip would be best for you! Our goal is to place participants on a trip with an appropriate level of challenge.

As long as you feel physically prepared for the trip you are choosing, all we can recommend is to eat well, exercise daily, and be excited for a great time in the beautiful Adirondacks. A few things you can do to best prepare for the Pre-Trips are to make sure you go over all the reading material so you know all the information and expectations. Other than that, you can relax and enjoy the summer!  

There is no plumbing for most of the trips so enjoy pooping in the ground and swimming in the lakes. Trip leaders will teach you all you need to know about staying clean and healthy in the backcountry environment. Many trips will enjoy swimming in nearby lakes and streams. We will all come back smelling like trees and lakes, and probably a bit of B.O.!  

You will arrive to campus on the morning of Tuesday, August 20th and move into your residence hall. At 4:15pm, there will be a Parent Welcome Session and Welcome from the Deans in the Winston Room. At 5pm, there will be an Outdoor Program welcome meeting with all the Pre-Trip participants and families. This is when you will meet your leaders and fellow trip participants. You will depart campus on the morning of the 21st and return in the early morning of Saturday, August 24th. 

As is the case everywhere, the weather can be hard to predict! You can expect a range of warm temps with cooler evenings and maybe some rain. Refer to the packing list to make sure you have all that you need to stay warm, dry, and comfortable.  

When you arrive on campus on the morning of Tuesday, August 20th, you will check in at the Student Information Desk located on the main floor of the Sullivan Student Center. Here you will get all the information you need to enter your residence hall.  

You will be able to access your residence hall and start moving in at 9am on Tuesday, August 20th. 

If you expect to arrive late, then you should be in contact with the Outdoor Program and Residence Life. We can accommodate late arrivals prior to group departure, however, it will be very challenging to accommodate late arrivals after groups have departed. If your travel plans go array and flights get delayed or a car breaks down, let the Outdoor Program know as soon as you can so we can best support you.  

As much as we love our friends and family, they will not be able to move your stuff into your room while you are not there. If they are with you while moving in, they are more than welcome to help move the mini fridge or clothes, etc. up to your room. But once you leave for your trips, they will have to leave campus as well.   

The official Welcome Session will be at 5pm in the Winston Room on Tuesday, August 20th. During this time, you and your families will be introduced to the Outdoor Program and learn about additional opportunities offered throughout the semester. You will then break into individual trips and meet your leaders and fellow trip participants. At this time, your leaders will tell you what time to meet on Wednesday morning to depart campus for the field.  

After the Welcome Session on Tuesday night, you will have the opportunity to eat dinner with your trip leaders in Dana Dining Hall or you can spend one last evening with your family. Participants will spend their first night in the dorms on Tuesday before departing campus on Wednesday morning. If your family is sticking around Tuesday night, you are more than welcome to spend it with them.  

You will return to campus on the morning of Saturday, August 24th. After helping your leaders clean up and return gear, you will return to your dorm. The rest of the First-Year class will be moving in on this day but you will already have a jumpstart! You can spend the day organizing and meeting new friends before Matriculation happens in the afternoon.  

The medical forms are to inform the guiding staff of any health conditions that may occur during the Pre-Trips. The information is kept confidential and is purely just to have everyone’s best interest in mind.   

If you have any allergies or medical conditions, this will not exclude you from being able to participate in the Pre-Trips. The guiding staff just needs to be aware of the people they are guiding so they can provide them with the best experience they can.  

There will be no smoking, vaping, drinking, or other recreation drug use during Pre-Trips.  

The use of cellphones can be a big distractor on trips and can impede on participant’s ability to fully be present and engaged. Therefore, we do not allow cellphones on trip. Most of the time, you will not have cell reception anyways. We understand that this may be difficult but encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the experience. The leaders will have their phones for emergency contacts and to stay in communication with the Outdoor Program. If you want to take pictures, we recommend that you bring a camera other than your phone if you have one.  
If your family needs to be in contact with you, they can contact the Outdoor Program and the program team will find you in the woods to relay the message.  

If there were to be a medical emergency, we will do everything we can to provide the best medical care we can. At least one of the guides on each trip will be Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Certified which includes First Aid and CPR Certifications. If we need to divert from the plan to evacuate to a local health clinic, then we most certainly will.   

This depends on the trip you are doing! All the packing lists will be provided during the application process as well as once you have been assigned to a trip.

Yes! Even though it is the summertime, there can still be cooler nights. Trust us, being wet and cold is not super fun so everything we put of the packing list, we highly recommend you bring.  

This depends on the trip! Take a look at your trip specific packing list to see what we recommend. 

The Outdoor Program will provide gear like tents, cooking kits, tarps, and trip specific gear such as canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes, or climbing equipment. The Outdoor Program has a limited amount of personal gear available, and we hope to make this available to those who need it. After reviewing the packing list for your trip, you can submit a gear form for equipment that you need to borrow. Because equipment is limited, priority will be given to those receiving financial assistance.  

We ask that you don’t bring your phones on the trips.  

You might want to grab a few bucks in case your group wants to stop at an ice cream stand like Donnelley’s or snacks on the way back to campus. This is not required! 

If there are additional questions that were not answered on this list, feel free to contact us. Email is the fastest way to get in touch but please note that limited Outdoor Program Staff are in the office during the months of June and July and response time may be slow.  

Outdoor Program

FYP Office