Pre-Orientation Frequently Asked Questions

What level of physical activity does each program entail?

Each program entails at least a moderate level of physical activity every day throughout the day. The urban programs engage in several walking tours through areas of both urban and wooded areas.  These programs are designed to be tightly coupled from activity-to-activity so that you can experience as many opportunities as possible — please be prepared to be physically active throughout the day. The outdoor programs engage in hiking through outdoor trails throughout the week, carrying day packs for BRE or backpacks for WE. Both programs require at least moderate physical activity, so be sure to get physically and mentally prepared for an engaging and fun week!

Please be sure to indicate on your health forms if you have any physical limitations. If you do not indicate a physical limitation in advance, we will be unable to accommodate your needs.

I filled out my health forms but now my details have changed. (meal preferences, physical ability, medications, etc)

Please make any updates to your health form in the your registration form before the deadline. Any changes made within 4 weeks of the program might not be accommodated, so make sure to let us know as soon as possible of any changes.

Because we must coordinate with restaurants, stores, and our trips, meals are planned well in advance of the program, if you change your meal preferences or restrictions after you’ve filled out the health forms, we might not be able to accommodate changes requested after August 1. Additionally, if you do not indicate that you have a meal preference or restriction, we will not have specific meals for you and your preferences or restrictions will not be accommodated. Please indicate vegan, vegetarian, etc. on your health forms and please indicate any physical accommodations including any consideration that might impact your group (slow walker, back issues, knee surgery, etc.). We are happy to accommodate, but if you do not indicate a need or consideration in advance, we will be unable to do so upon your arrival.

How important is it to fill out the health forms accurately and honestly?

The health forms are the single most important piece of information you give us in preparation for the program. If you do not indicate a preference, restriction, or consideration in advance, we will be unable to accommodate you and this will impact your group’s experience. We can only accommodate a meal or physical preference or restriction if you have informed us of that restriction or preference. 

Urban program participants: Please keep in mind that the Pre-Orientation program is built to introduce you to new experiences, including critically acclaimed local restaurants (possibilities include Indian, American, Southern, Japanese, etc., to name a few) and engaging and physically active tours and classes such as downtown walking tours, yoga classes, and community service activities. If you do not indicate on your health form that you have a physical restriction, we will be unable to change the planned experiences and you will impact your group’s experience. Please also keep in mind that these programs require at least a moderate level of physical activity, so you will need to be prepared both physically and mentally to be engaged throughout the week and prepared to keep up with your group. Again, we are happy to accommodate, but we must know in advance of the program of any considerations.

Will I have time to take care of on-campus paperwork?

If you need to take care of on-campus paperwork, please do so either before or after Pre-Orientation. By registering for Pre-Orientation, you are committing to the program for the entire day.

There will not be time to take care of paperwork or other on-campus obligations outside of your Pre-Orientation program.

The program I want is full. Is there a wait list?

There are no wait lists for each program. Please check out some of our other great programs that still have space left.

What is the difference between Blue Ridge Experience and Wilderness Experience?

Blue Ridge Experience will spend the five days traveling around Western North Carolina doing activities each day like canoeing, hiking, and rafting etc. Instead of sleeping outside in tents, the participants will spend every night in a cabin at a local summer camp. On the first and last day, Blue Ridge Experience will be joined by the Wilderness Experience participants at base camp, giving everyone an opportunity to meet other students during a Pre-Orientation picnic, a campfire, pool party, etc.

If you’re interested in the outdoors and getting to know the local area of Asheville,  but not too sure how comfortable you’d be backpacking or sleeping outside in a tent, then Blue Ridge Experience is the program for you. This trip allows the participants to get their feet wet through a variety of activities and enjoy a rewarding outdoor experience that they can revisit throughout their college career. Blue Ridge will still experience full, adventurous days with memorable hikes in the mountains and paddling on lakes and rivers.

Wilderness Experience will spend the first and last day and night at basecamp with Blue Ridge Experience camping in tents, and the middle of the week backpacking in Pisgah National Forest. Before returning to basecamp for grand finale events, participants will enjoy rock climbing with their group.

Both of these outdoor programs will disconnect to connect, meaning this week will be a break from cell phones and technology which can be a tough move but students who return for the Outdoor Leadership Training Program or other programs look forward to their digital detox time.