You are cordially invited to participate in our week-long wilderness trips designed to help incoming students transition to college life, while exploring some of Maine’s beautiful places, also known as the Outdoor Orientation Program (OOPs). The OOPs wilderness-based trips are a long-standing tradition at COA and a powerful way to make a successful transition to college.

The experience helps students understand the culture of COA and form strong bonds with peers and mentors in a community-focused setting before classes begin.

Recent trips have included:

  • Exploring Baxter State Park
  • Paddling the West Branch of the Penobscot River
  • Canoeing the Allagash River
  • Rock Climbing in Acadia National Park
  • Sea Kayaking Frenchman Bay
  • Backpacking the Appalachian Trail
  • Hiking the Peaks of Baxter State Park

“OOPs offered me the chance to meet people who are now some of my best friends, because we could bond in Baxter State Park for a few days before academic orientation started. I can’t wait to return to beautiful Baxter to lead a new group of incoming students.” -Abby Jo Morris ’20

“OOPs allowed me to meet some of my dearest friends at COA. OOPs was like building a little COA family. Taking a week to really get to know a group of people mindfully, away from the fast-paced academic life.” -Jessica Arseneau ’17

“COA’s OOPs program is the best way to connect to other students, the beautiful Maine landscape, and to yourself. Not all are trips are rigorous or require particular skills, but every trip leaves you with more skills and experience than you started with. The friends I made on my OOPs trip are some of the people I am closest to now. If you are debating an OOPs trip, definitely go!” -Susan Bell ’18