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Pre-Orientation Program Helps Acclimate New Students

August 11, 2015

Laura Lemire
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7240

Sixty-four first-year students got a head start on making friends, seeing new places, and challenging themselves to try new things, all before they arrived on campus for New Student Orientation this fall, thanks to Passages, Saint Anselm College's adventure leadership program for new students.

Four trips were offered through the Student Activities and Leadership Programs Office this summer, with upperclassmen and members of the faculty and staff guiding students to the Adirondack Mountains of New York, historic Gettysburg, and two trips to the White Mountain Region of New Hampshire.

"Passages is a unique opportunity to meet an amazing group of friends to start college with, get acclimated to being Anselmian, and spending time learning and having fun in extraordinary locations," says Jean Couture, Director of Student Activities and Leadership Programs. "I was very excited about the interest students showed in the program this year, and look forward to the continued growth of the Passages Program in the years ahead."

Seventeen students participated in the first trip of the summer to the Adirondacks, and spent their week trekking to waterfalls, visiting Lake George for a fireworks show and living in community in the middle of the Adirondack wilderness. Two seniors, Meghan Rich and Dan Peltier, both of whom participated in Passages trips as incoming freshmen, guided the trip.

Passages, Adirondacks 2015

"It was awesome to begin my senior year by revisiting the Adirondacks as a student-leader on this year's trip," says Dan Peltier '16. "This trip definitely impacted me as a freshman. I hope we made the transition to college a little bit easier for our participants."

First-year student Kelsey Kurtz '19 blogged about her Passages experience, and reflected on how the experience helped prepare her for the next four years: "I learned so much about myself this week. I learned that I have the ability to do a lot more than I often let myself believe. I know now that I should try new things that are thrown my way at school and fully embrace the experience. I learned that I really need to test things out before I can just categorize them as something I like or dislike."

BLOG: "Ready To Make My Mark" Kelsey Kurtz '19 reflects on her Passages experience

Additional trips have visited the historic battlefields of Gettysburg, where participants had the opportunity to dig deeper into Civil War history, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where outdoor enthusiasts trekked across the state's iconic granite peaks, while staying in backpacking lodges.

The full Class of 2019 arrives on campus Thursday, August 27 for New Student Orientation.

Story and photo by Cory True '09.

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