Orientation Trips

Orientation Trips at Bowdoin

You will receive your trip assignment in your July Mailer. Look at the Orientation Trip descriptions here.

Orientation Trips provide the first introduction to life at Bowdoin and are a great chance for first-year students to meet classmates, upper-class leaders, faculty, and staff members in a relaxed and informal setting. Orientation Trips are intended to help assist with the transition into Bowdoin life by providing an inclusive and welcoming small-group experience for all incoming students.

The History Behind Our Orientation Trips

The first Orientation Trips went out late in the summer of 1982, when a small group of Bowdoin first-year students and a biology professor travelled to the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy to study local ecology. Due to the enthusiastic reports of the students’ experiences and their smooth transition into college life, Bowdoin established the Orientation Trip program, which has since evolved into a proud college tradition.

In 2003, the McKeen Center for the Common Good began offering community immersion trips, allowing incoming first-years to gain a meaningful, early exposure to the surrounding communities. This year, we are excited that all first-year students will share a common introductory experience, whether taking part in the Bowdoin Science Experience or by participating in one of 51 different experiences offered by the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) and the McKeen Center to explore the great state of Maine!

Orientation Trip Options

Whatever your interests and experience level, there’s a trip for you! The Outing Club offers a wide range of trips across Maine, including day hiking, backpacking, sailing, surfing, sea kayaking, canoeing, whitewater rafting, biking, a wellness trip and more. The McKeen Center offers a variety of trips, including ones that work with rural Maine communities, native communities in Downeast Maine, underserved populations in the greater Brunswick area, and immigrants and refugees in various parts of the state.

We are so happy to have expanded our trip offerings to include all members of the incoming class this year. We hope you have a wonderful summer and we look forward to meeting you in August!

Pre-OrientationObjectives of the Orientation Trip Program

  • To assist with the transition into Bowdoin life by providing an inclusive and welcoming small-group experience for incoming students, facilitated by members of the Bowdoin community.
  • To provide an experience that encourages incoming students to challenge themselves in a manner which reinforces and builds self-confidence and social interaction.
  • To offer a selection of trips which allows incoming students to explore existing or emerging interests that they may continue to pursue throughout their time at Bowdoin.
  • To heighten awareness of the wide range of activities available through the Bowdoin Outing ClubMcKeen Center for the Common Good and the Bowdoin Science Experience.
  • To expose incoming students to the various outdoor recreational and community service opportunities available in the state of Maine.
  • To promote respect for the natural and human environment and foster relationships with those communities.
  • To offer a leadership opportunity for current undergraduates by providing them with the training and resources necessary to successfully lead trips.