FREQUENTly Asked Questions

I do not have much experience in camping or hiking. Is this experience for me?

Absolutely! Most of our experiences are for beginners and meant for first-timers going outdoors. Our leaders do a great job of teaching you and keeping you safe. Also, the goals of the University and OAO are to help you transition to college life by building strong connections to your classmates, meeting upper-class mentors, engaging with faculty and connecting to the University. The outdoor activities are there to create a catalyst for learning about yourself and each other. The outdoors is a great place to connect with others.

Do I need to have all of my own equipment?

OAO will provide all technical equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, climbing gear, biking gear, paddling gear, backpacks, etc. You will need to bring your own clothing, footwear, rain jacket and rain pants. Additionally, you may bring these items if you have them: sleeping bag, sleeping pad, headlamps and climbing equipment (harness, shoes or helmet).

Is Financial Assistance available?

Partial Scholarships are available to qualified applicants. Amount varied. The requirements are the following:

  • Accepted BU Student enrolled in classes in the upcoming semester
  • Registered to participate in OAO
  • Registered to participate in New Student Orientation
  • Filled out FAFSA and demonstrates financial need
  • Exemplify the values of OAO

I am trying to apply after the registration deadline. Is that still possible?

Please email Outdoor Adventure Orientation directly at

I am a transfer student. May I sign up for OAO?

Yes, we hope you sign up! You are also new to Bloomsburg. We want Bloomsburg to be your home!

I have allergies and dietary restrictions. May I still participate?

Most likely yes, unless you present an extreme case. We manage this on a case-by-case basis and prefer to be proactive. Please reach out to the Office of Outdoor Adventure Orientation (contact info is below) so we can create a menu that best fits your needs. We will also restructure the menu for your team.

It is really important to disclose your allergies and reactions to the allergies, as well as any other dietary needs such as vegan, vegetarian, etc. The earlier you tell us, the better we can accommodate you. For more information, please visit our Health and Dietary Accommodations page.

I have health-related concerns. May I still participate?

Please reach out directly to OAO so we can discuss your options. We will do our best to find an experience that will accommodate your health concerns. For more information, please go to our Health & Dietary Accommodations page.

Where can I park on campus?

Parking during the OAO session is available. Please contact our office at least 5 days prior to the start of your OAO session to let us know that you’d like to park long-term. We will need the license plate, make, and model of vehicle. We will then contact the campus police to allow you to park long-term. When you arrive on campus for the session, we will have your permit.

How might I physically and mentally prepare for the trip?


You can expect to hike anywhere from 3 – 10 miles while carrying all of your belongings (up to 50 lbs) on your back. Self-sufficiency is one of the joys of backpacking, but it does mean more physical exertion than you may be accustomed to. If you have an open mind and a readiness to challenge yourself, we have confidence that you will be able to complete the course. You will find that if you are physically fit, you will enjoy the trip that much more. Make a habit of doing strengthening and aerobic exercise a minimum of every other day for several weeks prior to the trip. Running, hiking, biking, and lap swimming are great forms of exercise. If you go on hikes, don’t forget to wear your hiking boots to break them in to avoid blisters while on OAO.

  • Be mentally prepared for all kinds of weather (i.e. sunshine, rain, etc)
  • Be prepared for a group experience. Most of the time will be shared with others and this requires cooperation, compromise, flexibility and a positive attitude.

Can I provide transportation to the trailhead for myself?

Participants are not allowed to drive themselves to and from the trailhead, in part because the University is liable if participants drive themselves. This is a complete group experience — from the ride out to the ride back. If you have further questions about your expedition, please feel free to contact the Director of OAO. We look forward to seeing you this Summer!

What happens in case of an emergency?

If a student is injured or needs to be removed from the field for any reason while on course, the staff are trained in evacuation procedures and carry a SPOT at all times. The student will be financially responsible for any medical and/or rescue fees involved.

Alternatively, it is extremely difficult to get in contact with students in the field while they are on course. The administrative staff will only reach a student in the field if there is an extreme emergency.

Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco?

No alcohol, cannabis, tobacco (smoked or chewed), or illicit drugs will be allowed at any time during the program.

Can I bring my cell phone or other technology on course?

We ask that students do not bring their cell phones, iPods, or any other technology on course with them. Cameras are of course welcome. This course is intended to be a true wilderness immersion, without the distraction of technology. Cell phone reception will be extremely limited to nonexistent. Please do not expect to be able to talk to friends and family on course. The instructors on most trips carry either or both a SPOT and satellite phone to communicate with Outdoor Adventure Orientation and 911 services if there is an emergency.

What is OAO’s Refund Policy?

All OAO programs have a non-refundable deposit to reserve your place on the trip. If for any reason OAO has to cancel the trip, this will be fully refunded.

If you notify the office of your cancellation after the full payment has been received you will be refunded as follows:

If cancellation notice is received five weeks prior to the trip departure date, you will receive 75% of the balance due after the deposit.

If cancellation notice is received four weeks prior to the trip departure date, you will receive 50% of the balance due after the deposit.

For cancellations received less than four weeks prior to the trip, there can be no refund.