302-831-3313 otp@udel.edu

Extended Orientation

Want more than just one day? Then apply for an extended orientation! These dynamic opportunities provide incoming first year and transfer students with the ability to strengthen their transition to the University of Delaware through experiences that match their interests and abilities. While the approach may be different between the programs, the benefits are the same – new friends and mentors, great conversations and an opportunity to kick off your college experience with an adventure!

Summer 2020

NOTE: We are currently planning to offer in-person extended orientation experiences this August. However, in light of the uncertainty of the pandemic situation and with safety and health as a top priority for all students, these plans may change based on UD’s operating status. We will have more information about our ability to offer these in-person experiences by the time we begin the participant selection process in early July.


Extended New Student Orientation for New First Year Students

Our Summit programs provide an extended orientation experience to new first year students at the University of Delaware, designed to further ease the transition into the campus community through outdoor exploration. Summit is led by student leaders dedicated to fostering an environment where students can connect with their new peers in a fun, challenging and meaningful way.

Whether a student participates in Summit: Adventure, a 6-day experience including 4 days along the Appalachian Trail, or Summit: Basecamp, a 5-day experience including two and a half days at Trap Pond State Park in southern Delaware, they will learn about themselves, each other and the tips and tricks they need to be successful on their college journey.

As a result of this on- and off-campus adventure, you can:

  • create strong meaningful relationships with diverse peers and mentors, kick-starting your welcome to the University of Delaware community
  • engage in a process of self-discovery, considering what this next step in your life may mean to you and how you may choose to manage new opportunities and responsibilities
  • learn how to meet challenges with innovation and Fightin’ Blue Hen spirit, identifying the skills and resources you’ll need to be successful

Each Summit experience will consist of up to 12 first year students, as well as three of our Summit Leaders. These trained student guides, who are both Wilderness First Aid and CPR certified, will lead you through the experience and into your first year of college. Each Summit experience will start with two days of on-campus activities and backcountry lessons to prepare you for the adventure ahead.

After the two days on campus, the real fun begins! Summit: Adventure participants will spend the following five days trekking the entire Maryland portion of the Appalachian Trail, while Summit: Basecamp will spend the following three days base camping at Trap Pond State Park, a beautiful Delaware State Park in the southern part of the state.

Summit is available to all incoming first year students. Although you do not need to be an experienced backpacker or camper to participate in Summit, you must be physically able to walk 8-10 miles per day if you choose to participate in the Summit: Adventure experience. Over the course of the 5 days on the trail, students will hike approximately 50 miles and will be carrying all of their supplies in a backpack. The Summit: Basecamp experience is perfect for students who are less experienced with wilderness exploration and looking for a low-pressure way to enjoy the outdoors with new friends.

Trip Dates for Summit 2020
•Summit: Adventure – August 11-16 and 21-26
•Summit: Basecamp – August 8-12 and August 18-22

The 2020 Summit Application will be available May 1. Students selected to participate in Summit will be placed in one of these four trips based on the availability they indicated on their application.

Participant Fees for Summit 2020*
•Summit: Adventure – $250
•Summit: Basecamp – $250
*Limited financial support is available to those who qualify. Email otp@udel.edu for more information.

Outdoor Gear:
Summit is available to all incoming first year students of every experience and skill level! As an extended outdoor orientation program, Summit will require students to use both simple and technical backpacking equipment. During the experience, students will be separated into tent groups and provided with the necessary gear to function on the trail as a team. However, there will be a number of personal gear items that students must either bring themselves or rent from the Office of Orientation & Transition Programs. We will have backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and headlamps available for rent. You must have your own hiking boots and appropriate clothing for the trail.

A packing list of the clothing and equipment you will be expected to bring can be found in our Gear Guidelines [PDF]. If you are unsure whether what you already have is adequate after reading the Gear Guidelines, email us at otp@udel.edu.

Still have questions?
If you have additional questions about Summit, feel free to call us at 302-831-3313 or email otp@udel.edu.

To make the application process easier, please have responses prepared for the following questions prior to accessing the online application:

  • Why are you applying to attend an extended orientation/transition program, and what are you hoping to gain from participation?
  • As you prepare to enter college, what are you most anxious about? Most excited about?
  • Please rate your level of experience with outdoor activities (i.e. camping, backpacking, hiking, etc.). Attempt to rate your experience as accurately as possible, and please note that Summit seeks to include participants of all skill levels!
  • Please describe your rating above in greater detail. If you have outdoor experience, in what ways could you benefit/grow from the Summit experience? If you don’t have outdoor experience, what makes you excited about the Summit experience and exploring the outdoors?
  • If you could be any type of shoe, what shoe would you be and why?
  • Please add anything you would like us to know about you that we should consider in evaluating your application to be a Summit participant (optional questions).

Apply today!

QUEST Summer Leadership Experience

Extended Orientation/Transition Program for New First Year Students

Question in order to challenge the process
Understand that leadership is a quest, a journey towards self awareness
Explore possibilities
Serve others
Transform yourself and impact the world in positive ways

QUEST is a year-long transition and leadership opportunity for incoming first-year students that begins with a 4.5 day program preceding 1743 Welcome Days. Get an early start in self-discovery and leadership development, and build confidence that supports a successful student experience!

QUEST is ideal for students who are interested in developing leadership skills, and have a desire to engage in the UD community. As a result of this on- and off-campus adventure, you can:

  • foster connections among first year students, leadership mentors and staff
  • engage in experiences that contribute to an understanding of what it means to be a respectful and contributing member of a diverse community
  • identify personal goals and learn how personal awareness and decision-making can impact one’s ability to achieve success
  • understand that developing as a leader is a process that involves self awareness, relationships, skills, service to others and transformation.

Trip Date:
QUEST 2020 will take place Tuesday, August 25-Saturday, August 29.
The 2020 QUEST application will be available May 1. The cost to participate in QUEST is $350. Limited financial assistance may be available to students who qualify.

QUEST is offered through the Blue Hen Leadership Program within University Student Centers. Applications for new QUESTers are accepted for incoming first year students each summer. More information can be found on the USC’s QUEST page.

To make the application process easier, please have your responses to the following questions prepared prior to accessing the online application:

  • Why are you applying to attend an extended orientation/transition program, and what are you hoping to gain from your participation?
  • As you prepare to enter college, what are you most anxious about? Most excited about?
  • What do you think are the 3 most important skills or characteristics for a leader to have? Discuss which of those skills/characteristics you have, and provide an example of how you have demonstrated one of them.
  • Developing as a leader is a continual process. Discuss your “leadership gaps.” What leadership skills do you need to develop and why?
  • If you could be any part of a sandwich, what part would you be and why?
  • Describe a situation where you experienced failure. Discuss how you handled the experience and what you learned from it.
  • Please add anything else about you that you feel we should know and that would make us want to choose you as a QUEST participant. (Optional)

Apply today!