Inside USD

Apply Now for August Outdoor Adventures Trips

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Are you an incoming freshman at the University of San Diego this fall but you’re already thinking about the adjustment to college, how to find a way to fit in quickly, meet new people and do it in a setting that’s fun, a little adventurous and even educational?

If you said yes, then there’s something you should be looking at now — and be prepared to apply for it on Monday, June 10. That’s the start of a four-day online lottery application process to participate in one of four pre-fall semester orientation trips hosted in late August by USD’s Outdoor Adventures (OA) program.

Outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, backpacking and sailing highlight the choices for a limited number of USD freshmen-to-be for the 23rd annual Pre-O Adventure trips. While a trip to the Laguna Mountains is the original and a signature trip, the organization has added a few popular destinations that OA runs for shorter times during the school year. One unique experience that’s only being offered during Pre-O is to explore the sea aboard the Irving Johnson, a 90-foot long and 129-ton Brigantine, as a crew member, along the California Coast.

The trips vary in dates, location and price. The ship sailing expedition runs from Aug. 24-29 and costs $625 per person. The chance to backpack in Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains/Sequoia National Park and camp near alpine lakes runs Aug. 25-30 for $425. The trip to the Channel Islands, where students can hike, snorkel and kayak on Santa Cruz Island, also runs Aug. 25-30 and costs $525. The Laguna Mountains trip, OA’s original and signature pre-orientation trip is Aug, 28-30 for $265. Each trip ends just prior to USD’s official orientation programming, “Ole! Weekend,” Aug. 31-Sept. 2.

“Every year, students tell us that Pre-O Adventure is the best way to transition from high school to USD,” OA Program Manager Mark Ceder said. “After this trip, new students have strong bonds with new friends, have connected with amazing student leaders and have discussed many of the transitional issues that can be challenging for first-year students. Students have a support group for their first few months on campus, which can be invaluable. That’s all in addition to the fun, excitement and adventures that will be shared.”

Cedar adds that OA has a very limited number of scholarships, as much as $200, that students can apply for online, thus significantly lowering the cost to have a fun adventure, meet new people and get ready for a great first year at USD.

But don’t just take Ceder’s word for how fun and helpful an OA trip can be to ease the adjustment to college life. Listen to USD student video testimonials and learn more about the pre-orientation programs with information, photo galleries and video. Following the lottery application process June 10-13, selected applicants will learn on June 14 which trip they’ve been assigned to based on their stated preferences. Any remaining spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Space is limited.

For more information or to register, visit

— Ryan T. Blystone

Photos courtesy of Outdoor Adventures

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