Students outdoors by river

Pre-Orientation Experiences

Jump start your Hampshire Experience with a Pre-Orientation Experience!

For August 2018, Hampshire College and the new student experience office are thrilled to offer nine pre-orientation experiences. These are opportunities for new Hampshire College students to start their college experience early all while meeting new classmates, connecting with faculty and staff, honing or learning new skills, and having a good time!

All students participating in a pre-orientation experience will be moving their belongings into their housing assignments on the morning their experience begins. Typically, students will arrive on campus, move in in the morning, and then meet with their pre-orientation group around noon. 

Each trip has a fee of $50. This fee covers all meals, accommodations, services, and more. Scholarships are available to assist students with the fee. Please email or call Elizabeth Parolski, or 413.559.6076, if you are interested in the scholarships. Your payment of the $50 fee secures your spot in your chosen pre-orientation experience. 

OPRA Canoe Trip 
Monday, August 27-Wednesday, August 29
We will enjoy two days of flatwater paddling on the Connecticut River. The first night we will camp at Barton Cove campground, which has bathrooms and showers. The next day we will canoe to Second Island, a remote backcountry campsite with no developed facilities. We’ll cook wonderful camp meals together, dip in the river, and have a campfire.

OPRA Kayaking and Ziplining 
Monday, August 27-Wednesday, August 29
Participants on this trip will be camping in tents at Zoar Outdoor in Charlemont, MA. The first day will be spent learning the basics of whitewater kayaking on the beautiful Deerfield River. Participants will travel to a calm section of the river, where they will practice wet exits, paddle strokes, and boat maneuvering in the gentle current. On our second morning, we will zipline with the outdoor professionals of Zoar Outdoor.

OPRA Rock Climbing Trip 
Monday, August 27-Wednesday, August 29
Whether you’re a total beginner or climbing advanced routes, this trip will offer you an opportunity to get outdoors with new classmates, learn some technical skills, and climb some fun rock faces. We’ll be camping out in tents at Barton Cove on the Connecticut River. Breakfasts and dinners will be cooked as a group, and lunches will be made to take to the cliff. Bathrooms with showers are available!

Radical Self-Care @Hampshire
Tuesday, August 28-Wednesday, August 29
The Radical Self-Care @ Hampshire pre-orientation program will offer incoming students an opportunity to prepare themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually/energetically for their college journey ahead. Specifically, students will explore different ways they can support their own wellness through learning techniques and modalities of care. Upon completing the program, students will know how to embrace the Hampshire campus as a place to work, rest, and develop a healthy body and academic practices.

Center for Design Pre-Orientation 
Tuesday, August 28-Wednesday, August 29
Come explore with your hands at the Center for Design. We will guide students through a number of metal fabrication experiences including jewelry work, blacksmithing, and welding. Get a taste of this exciting facility and take away some projects to impress your new friends.

The Hampshire Farm Experience
Tuesday, August 28-Wednesday, August 29
Have you ever wondered where and how your food is grown? Are you interested in local, sustainable agriculture? Located right on campus, the Hampshire College Farm is one of the many sustainable farms that make up the rich agricultural community of the Pioneer Valley. During the day, come and learn to farm! You will get the opportunity to harvest tomatoes, hoe and hand-weed crops, bask in the sun, share good conversation, and then in the evening cook with rich, delicious fresh ingredients and camp overnight right on the farm. And like all good farmers, we will eat some refreshing ice cream and find a swimming hole.

Community Engagement Trip: An Urban Experience 
Monday, August 27-Wednesday, August 29
During this trip, we'll visit the nearby city of Holyoke, Massachusetts. Holyoke is a post-industrial urban area 15 minutes south of Hampshire College. Holyoke, rich in activism, culture, and history, has been affected by the challenges rooted in the economic decline of most smaller cities in the US. The goal of this trip is to introduce Hampshire first-year students to this local, vibrant community. Community Partnership for Social Change (CPSC) supports students to think about the role they play in partnership with local communities and to ground their collaboration in more long-term movement building. We’ll move from the ideologies of service, community engagement, and activism by learning from local activist and policymakers that shape the city. We’ll build community with our cohort of students, orientation leaders, and staff. We’ll dance a little, share stories, cook together, and build connections that will carry and support us during our time at Hampshire and beyond. Orientation hosted by CPSC staff Maria Cartagena, long-term activist, people’s historian of Holyoke, and CPSC Program coordinator, Mary Bombardier, CPSC director, and Andie Ramirez, CPSC student leader.

How to sign up for Pre-Orientation Experiences

To register for a pre-orientation experience you will use Hampshire's TeamSports website. Choose the "Fall OPRA 2018 offerings" link in order to sign up. Create an account with your Hampshire email. When signing up you will need to provide emergency contact information and some other information. The sign-up process, including payment, will take approximately four minutes. 

Pre-Orientation Sign Up

Already registered for a Pre-Orientation Experience?

Your pre-orientation experience staff and faculty leaders will be in touch with you soon to share packing lists and more. To ensure that you Hampshire OneCard is ready for you at move in, be sure to submit a photo in advance! 

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New Student Experience Office
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002