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 first Orientation Trips went out in 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 Joseph 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. Since 2012, Orientation Trips have been a mandatory part of all first-year students’ orientation experiences. We are excited that all first-years will share a common introductory experience, whether taking part in the Bowdoin Science Experience or participating in one of the many different experiences offered by the Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) and the McKeen Center to explore the great state of Maine!
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, canoeing, whitewater rafting and kayaking, mountain biking, stand up paddle boarding, and more. No outdoor experience is necessary to participate in any of our Orientation Trips. 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. In addition, some students will participate in the Bowdoin Science Experience.
This site has lots of important information about your Orientation Trips. Please read through the trip descriptions carefully, and take a look at the equipment lists.
If you have any questions about your Orientation Trip, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
We hope you have a wonderful summer and we look forward to meeting you in August!