Wilderness Adventure - First-Year Outdoor Education Pre-Orientation Skip Navigation

Wilderness Adventure

Pre-orientation program
Meet new friends, discover Colgate, and explore the outdoors. Wilderness Adventure is a great way to kick-start your Colgate experience!

About Wilderness Adventure

Each August, roughly one quarter of incoming students participate in Wilderness Adventure to make friends, learn about Colgate, and have an absolute blast! Living and traveling with a small group of new students and two or three highly trained leaders, you will hike, paddle, climb, or bike through stunning New York wilderness. 

No previous wilderness experience is needed for any of our trips, just a willingness to have fun, learn, and meet new people.


  • Start college with a group of great new friends and upperclassmen mentors.
  • Practice outdoor skills under the guidance of experienced student leaders.
  • Try something new, and maybe a little bit challenging — just like college.
  • Learn about classes, dorms, food, clubs, activities, and more from your leaders.
  • Jumpstart your entrance into community living and active citizenship.
  • Discover the Adirondack Park and Central New York – your new home.

Available Sessions

We offer two sessions of Wilderness Adventure in August, each with a unique variety of available trips, from hiking to sea kayaking.

Registration Deadlines

Select an option below to review the full registration timeline and all relevant deadlines. Registration deadlines are the same for both Session 1 and Session 2 trips. 
Early registration deadline: April 16, 2018
If you've already committed to Colgate in the spring, you have the opportunity to register for Wilderness Adventure early. When you register by this deadline, you will be notified of which WA session (though not trip a specific trip) you will be on early, which may students and families find helpful for arranging travel to campus in August.

Early registrations will find out their specific trip at the same time as regular registrations.

If you missed this deadline, don't worry, see below for our regular registration timeline.

Early registration timeline
Event Date
Early registration deadline;
Pay deposit
April 16, 2018
Students notified of their Wilderness Adventure session (1 or 2) Early May 2018
Pay balance;
gear request deadline
May 13, 2018
Students notified of their specific trip assignment mid-June 2018
Medical history and waiver due July 1, 2018
Regular registration deadline: June 1, 2018
If you missed the early registration deadline, don't worry, you've still got plenty of time. Below is the timeline for signing up for a WA trip in the regular timeline.

Note that all WA participants will find out their specific trip according to this timeline.

Regular registration timeline
Event Date
Regular registration deadline;
Pay deposit
June 1, 2018
Students notified of their Wilderness Adventure session & trip
Mid-June 2018
Pay balance;
Gear request deadline;
Medical history and waiver due
July 1, 2018
The deadline to register for WA has passed. If you would like to be added to our waitlist, please use the Register button below and then enter the code "WAwaitlist2018" when prompted to pay the deposit. This will void the deposit payment and enter you into the waitlist queue. We will contact you should a space open up.

Register for WA 2018

Pay Balance for WA 2018

Note: Only proceed to balance payment and gear borrowing after you have received a trip assignment by email.

Fees and Financial Aid

The fee for all trips is $475. Students may also borrow much of the required gear from Colgate at no charge. You may request gear after receiving your trip assignment.

Financial aid is available for those receiving aid from Colgate. We match 100% of the aid given by Colgate. For example, if you receive 80% aid from Colgate, you would receive 80% off the WA trip fee, meaning you would pay $95 for WA.

If interested in receiving aid, please indicate so when you register. You will be informed of your aid award and total due when you receive your trip assignment. If you are concerned about the amount due, please contact us.

Contact Us

We are here to help with any questions about the Wilderness Adventure experience.

Mailing Address

13 Oak Dr.
Hamilton, NY 13346