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Pre-orientation Adventure Trips Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Adventure Trips?

Pre-Orientation Adventure Trips consist of 2 different optional outdoor trips from which new students can select. The options are the Sierra Backpacking Adventure or the Multi-Sport Adventure. The trips are designed to bring incoming students together, create friendships, and give participants a taste of the spectacular opportunities nature has to offer.

first year adventure trip canoe

WhY Participate in an adventure trip?

These trips combine some of the most popular outdoor activities with a classroom learning experience and are a great way to get to know your natural surroundings. Most importantly, you will meet new friends that may last throughout your Westmont career and into the future. Our main goals for each participant are to:

  • Ease the transition into college
  • Forge lasting relationships with others who share similar interests
  • Become a part of the Westmont community
  • Develop a sense of environmental responsibility
  • Enjoy an incredible adventure
  • Get an initial taste of the Christian Liberal Arts by diving into a topic with a Westmont faculty or staff

What are the Pre Orientation ADVenture Trip Options?

Sierra Backpacking Adventure:

  • Hike through the Sierra Nevada Mountains
  • Camp above 10,000 feet
  • Explore the unique geology and ecology of the region
  • Swim in alpine lakes

Multi-Sport Adventure:

  • Camp on Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Island National Park
  • Kayak through Santa Cruz Island sea caves and along the Santa Barbara coastline
  • Climb in the Adventure Climbing Center
  • Climb at premium sites in the Santa Barbara Mountains
  • Build friendships at the Adventure Ropes Course
  • Hike local canyons and trails

When are the Pre Orientation Adventure Trips offered?

Here are the dates for 2017:

  • Sierra Backpacking Adventure - August 15th - 22nd
  • Multi-Sport Adventure - August 16th - 22nd

How much does it cost?

The costs for each trip is as follows:

  • Sierra Backpacking Adventure $850 (7 days & 1 unit of credit)
  • Multi-Sport Adventure - $995 (6 days & 1 unit of credit)

What is included?

For all programs where applicable:

  • Camping and equipment for overnight adventures
  • Three meals per day (while camping) and all necessary group cooking equipment
  • Professionally trained trip leaders, rope facilitators, and hiking/kayak/rock/canoe guides
  • All kayaking, canoeing and climbing equipment
  • Transportation to and from Westmont for all activities
  • Group guidance and team building activities
  • All permits, reservations, and entrance fees
  • Leaders with Wilderness first aid and CPR training

How do I sign-Up/register?

To register for the Sierra Backpacking Adventure or Multi-Sport Adventure, visit the Adventure Trips registration page.

What Course credit is offered in conjunction with each trip?

For the Sierra Backpacking Adventure and Multi-Sport Adventure:

Students receive 1 First Year seminar credit. Prior to the trip students are sent readings and assignments from the professor. These readings are discussed on the trip. Students typically write a short paper early in the fall term after returning.

Do I need any special equipment?

The Adventure Program provides all the group camping equipment. You will need to carefully review the "personal equipment list" for each trip. If you have any questions about gear, don't hesitate to contact us.

is it safe?

As with many things in life, adventures can be dangerous. To minimize this risk, all staff members undergo specialized training that emphasizes risk management, first aid, and the importance of continuous education and development. All Adventure Programs staff are at least Standard First Aid and CPR for the Professional Rescuer certified (American Red Cross). Our outdoor leaders are certified at the Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder levels (Wilderness Medical Associates). Our greatest concern is safety.

What about drugs and alcohol?

Westmont regulations and program policies - which can be found in the Westmont Student Handbook and in the Community Life Statement - do not allow alcohol or drugs on this trip. Anyone violating this NO TOLERANCE policy will be immediately asked to leave the trip and responsible for their own transportation home. Thank you for your cooperation. Any prescription medications must be noted on the health form at the time of registration.

How do you choose who gets a spot?

All registration packets completed with enthusiasm will be placed on the trip of their choice on a first come, first served basis. Approximately 20 students will be accepted on all trips. If you are not immediately selected for your trip, you will be placed on a waitlist and contacted as soon as a space becomes available or you may be offered space in another trip. If you are ultimately not selected for a Pre Orientation Adventure Trip, a full refund of your payment will be issued.

Who Hosts the Adventure TRips?

Westmont partners with the UCSB Adventure Program to offer both the Sierra Backpacking Adventure and the Multi-Sport Adventure. UCSB Adventure Programs is a non-profit program and an official university outdoor program operating within the UCSB Department of Recreation. All trips will be accompanied by a Westmont faculty member and two trained outdoor guides.

first year adventure backpacking

How do I coordinate my move-in and arrival?

For the Sierra Backpacking Adventure, you should plan to arrive at Westmont no later than Tuesday, August 15th at 9 am. You will be able to store all your move-in boxes and gear in a residence hall until your return from the Sierra Backpacking Adventure. Unfortunately, we cannot provide accommodations for storage or housing prior to August 15th. Upon your return, you will be able to officially move into your room.

For the Multi-Sport Adventure, you should plan to arrive at Westmont on Wednesday, August 16th between 11 am - 12 pm. You will be able to store all your move-in boxes and gear in a residence hall until your return from the Multi-Sport Adventure. Unfortunately, we cannot provide accommodations for storage or housing prior to August 16th. Upon your return, you will be able to officially move into your room.

What if i've never been camping before?

No experience is necessary -- all you need is a good attitude! On the trip, your leaders will teach you the basic skills you will need to be comfortable while camping, hiking, kayaking and/or rock climbing. For those who are unsure about conditioning for the trail, hesitant about heights, or concerned with an open water kayak experience, a First Year Adventure Trip is a wonderful opportunity to challenge yourself while under professional guidance. The only prerequisite is a desire to participate.

What kind of shape do i need to be in?

The First-Year Adventure Trips are designed for beginner to intermediate skill levels. However, because the Sierra Backpacking Adventure is in high altitudes, we encourage everyone to engage in some type of regular physical activity in preparation for the trip in order to maximize comfort. Each activity is “challenge by choice.” Therefore each participant has the opportunity to choose the level at which they participate during their trip.

How do I communicate with friends and family while we're away?

Contact will not always be easy or even possible due to the very busy schedule and outdoor nature of our program. An Adventure Programs leader will ensure that an emergency cell phone will always be present. In cases of family emergency we can be contacted at Westmont Orientation (805) 565-6125 or at orientation@westmont.edu

What about spending money on the trip?

A small amount of spending money will easily get you through the week. There will likely be opportunities to purchase food, drinks or other special treats during longer periods of travel time.

I have specific food/health requirements, what will this mean?

Please note any food/health requirements when filling out the confidential health form. Our staff will take into consideration all food/health requirements for each participant during meal preparation.

What is the refund policy?

For Sierra Backpacking & Multi-Sport:

• 45 or more days before the trip date- Full refund minus $20 processing fee.

• Between 45 and 15 days before the trip date- 50% refund minus $20 processing fee.

• Less than 15 days before the trip date- no refunds available.

How do i get more information?

For Sierra Backpacking or Multi-Sport Adventures, contact: