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!


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.

UPDATE 6.29.2020: Due to anticipated challenges related to safety and physical distancing, we are cancelling the Summit and Quest extended orientation programs. As an alternative this fall, the Blue Hen Leadership Program (BHLP) and Orientation and Transition Programs staff members will offer a number of exciting and engaging opportunities that will allow first year students to connect with classmates and explore issues of self-awareness and personal leadership. Additional information will be provided later this summer.

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. Get an early start in self-discovery and leadership development, and build confidence that supports a successful student experience!

To learn more, you are encouraged to register to participate in one of three QUEST Information Sessions:

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.

Although the traditional QUEST program has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, a new QUEST, a leadership development-based program hosted by the Blue Hen Leadership Program (BHLP), is being created to offer students similar opportunities to engage in activities that relate to their individual interests and needs, form friendships, and begin finding their place within the University of Delaware community.

QUEST participants will meet at a kick-off event in early September, and then continue to meet throughout the school year in small QUEST Teams led by peer mentors. During the spring semester break, there is a plan to get the entire QUEST group together for an off-campus retreat experience that includes many of the elements of the traditional QUEST program.

Program cost: FREE for the fall semester; $150 for the spring semester experience
*Limited financial assistance available to those with demonstrated financial need – contact sluchey@udel.edu for more information.

More information about QUEST and BHLP can be found here on the University Student Centers site.

The new early-bird deadline to participate in QUEST is August 24, 2020. Applications will continue to be accepted past this date until all spots are filled, but you must apply by this date to be fully considered.

The new early-bird deadline to participate in QUEST is August 24, 2020. Applications will continue to be accepted past this date until all spots are filled, but you must apply by this date to be fully considered.

Apply today!