Q. How do I sign up for Ascent?
A. To sign up for Ascent, you will need to access our registration form located in the myFirstYear Dashboard system. You will be asked to list your top three choices and submit a deposit via credit card.
Q. How does Ascent help "ease the transition to College?"
A. We have two primary ways in which we attempt to assist students transition to Gettysburg:
By providing a forum in which first-year students may meet and interact with other first-year students in a supportive, challenging, and exciting environment. In this way, students have an opportunity to share experiences with other students before the full college orientation program begins. And you'll have a few familiar faces once you arrive back on campus!
By providing students with a cross-section of varying perspectives on the Gettysburg College experience by way of interaction with current students, faculty, administrators, and/or alumni of the college. While on Ascent, first-year students will have a great opportunity to learn about academics, student-life, and life after Gettysburg from those who know it best!
Q. Can every first year student go on an Ascent trip?
A. Registration for Ascent trips is first-come, first-served. Space is limited, so it's important to register as early as possible if you would like to participate and place your deposit within 48 hours!
Q. When will I know if I have been placed on an Ascent trip?
A. You will be notified on June 21st via your Gettysburg College email account. As we receive registrations, we will do our best to match you with one of your top three choices. It's best to register early because space is limited.
Q. If I am trying out for a sports team, can I still attend Ascent?
A. Usually, the dates of Ascent conflict with tryouts for fall sports such as football, field hockey, and soccer. Ascent does not often conflict with tryouts for winter and spring sports, but the best thing to do if you are planning on trying out for ANY sport is to check with the coach to confirm the date(s) of tryouts.
Q. If I register but then have to later withdraw from a trip, can I get a refund on my payment?
A. This depends on how early you withdraw. Your deposit and payment are fully refundable if you withdraw from a trip before July 1, 2012. If you withdraw from Ascent between July 2th and July 14th, the final payment minus the deposit will be returned to you. If you withdraw from ASCENT after July 15th, your deposit and payment are non-refundable--by this time, we have secured all necessary permits, food, and supplies/equipment based on the number of registered participants. Most people on the waiting list have already begun to make alternate plans and are not able to fill vacant spots.
Q. What type of equipment will I need for Ascent?
A. Part of this answer depends upon your trip. For example, Ascent participants going kayaking will not need the same gear as those who are going backpacking. Take a look at your specific trip on the website, and you will see the equipment list.
Q. Is equipment available to rent?
A. If you are interested in renting equipment from our office, we do have a limited supply of internal frame backpacks, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags available for a rental fee of $5.00 per item. This gear will be rented on a first-come, first-served basis and must be reserved prior to your arrival at Gettysburg. Due to limited supplies, we cannot guarantee that each person who desires to rent equipment will be able to receive it. When you make arrangements to rent gear from the program, you will receive a confirmation number.
It is important to note that if a participant arrives on the day of Ascent and is in need of a piece of equipment (i.e. sleeping bag), but did not reserve the item with our office prior to arrival (and we do not have it in stock), then we reserve the right to charge full retail price of that item if we have to purchase it in order to properly outfit that participant.
Q. When I arrive to check-in on August 16th, am I allowed to move all my things into my room?
A. Absolutely! You may bring everything you would like to have at college with you to move into your room and get settled before going out on the ASCENT trip. Please see information on Early Check-in and Housing for more information.
Q. How many first-year students are there on each trip?
A. On average, there are 6-10 first-year students on each trip, depending upon the trip and the location. We keep the number of students on each trip small for a few reasons: First, students are able to interact more openly with one another in smaller groups. Secondly, backcountry permit regulations and travel policies limit our total number of people allowed on each trip to 10.
Q. Who will be leading my trip?
A. Each trip will be led by two of our qualified trip leaders (see below for information on trip leader qualifications). In addition to the two trip leaders, some trips may have 1 faculty, administrator, or Gettysburg alumnus participating to offer a different perspective on Gettysburg. Including the 6-7 first year students on each trip, the average group size is 9-12 people.
Q. What qualifications do the ASCENT trip leaders have?
A. Each backcountry Ascent trip is lead by a GRAB staff member who is either a sophomore, junior, or senior student at Gettysburg. Each facilitators has received between 350 and 1,000 hours of both field and classroom training in the following areas.
Group Facilitation and management
Wilderness Medicine - All of our student facilitators are certified as either Wilderness First Responders (72-hours of training), or EMTs (126-hours of training)
Ropes Course Programming
Backcountry Living Skills
Rock Climbing / Top-Rope Anchor Building
British Canoe Union Kayaking Certifications
Driver Certification Training