Orientation Trips

Orientation Trips provide the first introduction to life at Bowdoin. 

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. Trips are a great chance for first-year students to meet classmates, upper-class leaders, faculty, and staff members in a relaxed and informal setting.

The Outing Club offers a wide range of trips in Maine and New Hampshire, including day hiking, backpacking, sailing, surfing, whitewater kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, meditation and wellness trips, and more. The McKeen Center offers a variety of trips, including ones that work with rural Maine communities, native communities in Downeast Maine, and underserved populations in the greater Brunswick area. 

Whatever your interests and experience level, there’s a trip for you! Check out our Orientation Trip Descriptions to read about a trips that we have offered previously and are representative of the program. 

Objectives 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 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.

• 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 Club, McKeen 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.

We are planning traditional overnight Orientation Trips due to Bowdoin’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement and other guidance from Public Health experts.  If the COVID-19 landscape changes we may have to pivot to day trips to prioritize the health and safety of both Bowdoin and its surrounding communities.  We will inform you of any pertinent updates as our planning evolves.   

Important Trip Dates

June 6: Trip Preference Survey Opens on Campus Groups

June 20: Trip Preference Survey Closes

Mid-July: Trip assignment notification

August 23: Arrival Day!

August 24 - 27: Orientation Trips