Class of 2018 - Pre-Orientation Programs Skip Navigation

Pre-Orientation Programs

Colgate offers six different optional pre-orientation programs during the summer weeks leading up to your first semester.

There are programs in everything from outdoor adventures, to volunteer work, so there is something for everyone! Students can also connect with the Colgate community by attending a Summer Send-Off event with Colgate alumni and current students in their region (more information in June).

If you're interested in learning more about your new home before you arrive, check out the campus map.

Wilderness Adventure hiking group

Wilderness Adventure

Wilderness Adventure (WA) is Colgate’s largest pre-orientation program. Each year in August, 125 to 150 first-year students come to campus early to make friends, learn about Colgate from upper-class student leaders, and have an absolute blast! Living and traveling with a small group of other first-year students and two or three highly trained leaders, you’ll work together to hike, paddle, climb, cave, bike, or sail through stunning New York wilderness. No previous technical or wilderness experience is needed for any of our trips, just a willingness to have fun, learn, and meet new people. Not really interested in spending time in the woods? No problem! We have a local adventure sampler course and a sailing trip on Clearwater Sloop on the Hudson River. No experience necessary- just a sense of adventure!
  • Learn more about Wilderness Adventure

  • Session I*: August 6 – August 11

  • (6-day trip with 4-day wilderness component) 

  • Session II*: August 16 – August 23
    (8-day trip with 6-day wilderness component)

  • (*Arrangements can be made for early arrivals on August 5th and 15th)
Application & Information: and click on the “Wilderness Adventure” link. Payment must be via Credit Card or digital check.

A student smiles as she speaks with local senior citizens as part of the Outreach program

Outreach Community Service - Max Shacknai COVE  

Get ready to get to know your new community and make new friends. Outreach is a 3-day volunteer service experience that immerses students in the greater Hamilton and Utica areas through work with community organizations. Evening activities allow students to build friendships with other first-years before Orientation even starts while you learn all about the Hamilton area. Drawing on the Max Shacknai COVE’s relationships with community organizations and local activists in Hamilton and Utica, students find the work rewarding and fun.

Students working in the Maroon-News Office


Join the staff of the oldest college weekly newspaper in America to put together a special issue just for your incoming class! We welcome anyone with an interest in writing, editing, layout, photography, business, online design, or videography. Prior experience is helpful, but not necessary.

A student speaks into a microphone for a program on Colgate's radio station, WRCU


Spend three days with WRCU, Colgate's own non-commercial, class-C licensed radio station. Learn all things radio, from how to be a DJ to the behind-the-scenes operations of the station. No prior radio experience required. Check out WRCU’s website,

The Colgate pep band fires up the crowd at a football game

Raider Pep Band – Band Camp

Become acquainted with the Raider Pep Band as you get to know Colgate. Students spend the days working on new music, getting oriented to the Colgate campus, and forming lasting friendships. All levels of musical experience are welcome.

Student members of the Masque and Triangle Student Theater Society

Masque and Triangle Student Theatre Society – New Expressions Camp

Want to indulge your theatrical side? Want to play with scenes and monologues? Want to make best friends? This one-of-a-kind experience offers workshops in stage movement, directing, dance, writing, improvisational comedy, technical theatre, and more. Whether theatre is your thing and you dig all things theatrical, or if you want to try something completely different, Masque & Triangle’s program is for you. No prior experience necessary (no really, we mean it).