Wednesday, August 14: Ascent participants can start to move into their residence halls
Thursday, August 15: 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Trip check-ins in the CUB Ballroom 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Ascent welcome lunch for families, families depart 1:00 – 10:00 p.m. Participants prepare on campus for trips in small groups, eat dinner on campus, and stay the night in residence halls
Friday, August 16 – Monday, August 19: Ascent trips in the field
Tuesday, August 20: Ascent participants return to campus for a celebratory cookout
Wednesday, August 21: Orientation begins
Each Ascent trip is built around a different outdoor activity: kayaking, climbing, backpacking, or a basecamp option that gives a taste of all three.
These programs provide a supportive, challenging, and exciting environment for students to share experiences with peers before the full campus orientation begins. A few familiar faces and strong connections can go a long way in the early days back on campus. You will also meet current students, faculty, administrators, and alumni, and get answers to burning questions about academics and student-life at Gettysburg from those who know it best.
All first year and transfer students are eligible for Ascent, but registration for these trips is first-come, first-served. Space is limited and this program is very popular. It is important to send your information in as early as possible if you would like to participate.
No. You will move your student into his or her residence hall prior to Ascent, and can depart after our welcome banquet on Thursday, August 15.
The dates of Ascent conflict with fall sports as well as the orientations for international students, the Office of Multicultural Engagement, and several other programs on campus. If you are involved in another orientation or planning to try out for a sport we recommend that you check with the organizers or our office to confirm your eligibility.
All completed registrations will be reviewed in late June and we will inform you of your status via email. As we receive registrations we will do our best to match you with one of your top three choices.
All group gear is provided by the Office of Experiential Education, and we do our best to limit the need for extra expenses for our participants. Some gear is required and will vary by location and activity; Ascent participants going kayaking will need different gear from those who are backpacking.
We have a limited supply of internal frame backpacks, rain gear, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags available for a rental fee of $5 per item. This gear will be rented on a first-come, first-served basis and must be reserved prior to your arrival at Gettysburg. We cannot guarantee that each person who desires to rent equipment will be able to receive it. If we can not meet your need you will be informed prior to arrival for Ascent.
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, 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.
On average, there are 6-8 first-year students on each trip, depending upon the trip and the location. We keep the number of students on each trip low to so students are able to interact more openly and to comply with permit regulations and travel policies.
Each trip will be led by two or three of our qualified trip leaders. Each Ascent trip leader is either a sophomore, junior, or senior student at Gettysburg. Each leader is currently an active member of the Office of Experiential Education or the Garthwait Leadership Center. Facilitators have 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 outdoor student facilitators are certified as Wilderness First Responders (72-hours of training)