FAQ

Adventure WV Orientation Trips

General FAQs 2014

Clicking on a question will navigate you to the answer.

General

Trip Design

Registration and Payment

RPTR 140

Day of Service

Equipment

Many of your equipment questions will most likely be answered in the Equipment Information & List document, available in the program packets for download on the trip-specific pages of the Orientation Trips website (i.e. for information on Wilderness equipment, visit the Wilderness page). Here are some general FAQs:

Rules & Expectations

Communication during the Trip

Food

Hygiene and Health

Preparing for your Adventure WV Orientation Trip

What are Adventure WV OrientationTrips? Who runs them? Adventure WV Orientation Trips are WVU’s outdoor orientation program. They are run by the Adventure WV program (which also runs international programs and operates a challenge course and canopy tour throughout the school year). The trips are run by a collaboration of trained student leaders and professional staff. Typically, trips leaders are current WVU students trained in outdoor skills, wilderness medicine, leadership, and orientation to the university. These leaders are supported by professional staff, who do much of the “behind the scenes” and preparation work in the off-season.

What are the benefits of participating in a trip? No prior experience in the outdoors is necessary for participation in the trips. In fact, while the majority of the trips take place in an outdoor setting, this is not the main focus of the trips. As an incoming freshman to WVU, the benefits of participating on an Adventure WV Orientation Trip are three fold: 1) whether in-state or out-of-state, students will have the opportunity to learn about the many natural and cultural resources West Virginia has to offer 2) students will have the opportunity to learn all about WVU as an institution and be able to ask the many questions they have prior to actually living on campus in the fall 3) students will have the opportunity to engage with their peers (other incoming freshman) to create bonds and form friendships. This sense of belongingness will help to ease the students’ transitions to WVU and allow them to experience what is like to be a part of a larger community.

How many people are on each trip? Enrollment depends on trip-type and specific trip. Enrollments are subject to change. Typical numbers are as follows:

  • Wilderness: 16 students and 4 leaders, split into two groups of 8 students and 2 leaders for most of the trip
  • Habitat & Habitat Engineering: 12 students and 2 leaders
  • Odyssey: 22 or 19 students and 4 leaders
  • Explore and specialized programs (Honors, College of Engineering & Reed College of Media): 22 or 19 students and 4 leaders
  • Service: 9 with 2 leaders
  • Explore 4A,Transfer, College of Arts & Design, and Veterans trips: 10 students and 2 leaders

What is an early move-in trip? Early move-in trips allow participants the option of moving their things into their dorm before move-in day. These trips all start in the afternoon of Friday, August 7. During the morning of the 7th, students move their belongings into the dorms. Please note: the residence halls will only allow students to move their belongings into their dorms on this day. Dorm decoration and set up must be done when they return back from their trips. The trips all run from the afternoon of the 7th until move-in day, Friday, August 14. Students do not sleep in their dorms until the 14th. These trips are extremely popular and fill up quickly. Please first contact WVU Housing at http://housing.wvu.edu/residence_halls for information regarding move-in to specific resident halls.

When and where do I need to show up for my trip? Please refer to your trip’s itinerary, found in each trip’s program packet, for details on when to meet (program packets are available online and through download upon completing registration). Most trips start at 9am, although certain trips meet in the afternoon. Trips all start at Outdoor Recreation Center, located within the Student Recreation Center on WVU’s Evansdale Campus.

How do you recommend I get to and from Morgantown? Is there somewhere to stay if I arrive early? Please refer to the Directions, Lodging, and Transportation section of the program packet (program packets are available online and through download upon completing registration).

How does Adventure WV communicate with me? Adventure WV will communicate with you via your (the student’s) MIX email account. You MUST check your MIX account! If you are unsure of how to check your MIX email, please contact the help desk at 1-877-327-9260 or oithelp@mail.wvu.edu.

How do I register for the programs? Register online at http://adventureorientation.wvu.edu. Programs are first-come, first-served. You must have your WVU ID # and password available to register (this number will be listed in your WVU acceptance letter). Please note registering for a trip will NOT automatically register you for the academic fall class associated with the trip, RPTR 140. Please see the RPTR 140 section below for details on class registration.

The next important step in the online registration is submitting the Program Billing Agreement. If you are 18 or older, you may sign the online billing agreement without a parent/guardian. If you are under 18, please make sure a parent/guardian is with you (both you and your parent/guardian will need to sign). If you are under 18 and a parent/guardian is not available at the time you register, you will be given 10 days to have a parent/guardian sign the online billing agreement. If a parent/guardian does not sign the agreement within 10 days, you will be automatically removed from the trip.

The next step is to download the paperwork for the trip. Each trip has a series of forms that must be completed and submitted to the Adventure WV office within ten days of completing the on-line registration through the website. If you have difficulties signing the on-line billing agreement or downloading the trip program forms, please email adventurewv@mail.wvu.edu. If you do not send in your trip paperwork forms within 10 days, we will send you an email requesting your paperwork. If you do not make efforts to submit your paperwork at that time, you will be automatically removed from the trip and the non-refundable $95 commitment/processing fee will still need to be paid.

Your registration is confirmed once you have completed the online registration process, the billing agreement, and all of your trip program forms have been received. You will receive a confirmation email notification upon successful completion of the process.

What is the cancellation policy? How do I cancel my trip? Once the billing agreement is properly signed, you are obligated to pay the non-refundable $95 commitment/processing fee for your trip. If you find you need to cancel, you are still obligated to pay the non-refundable $95 commitment/processing fee.

How do I cancel my trip on-line? What do I need to do if I decide to withdraw form WVU after I register for my trip? The registrar’s office will not contact our office if you withdraw from WVU. Therefore, you MUST withdraw from your trip via our website. This process will not automatically take place once you withdraw from WVU.

In order to withdraw or cancel your trip, please log back into our website. Click on register for a trip. Next, select the trip you registered for. Then, instead of registering for the trip, select the cancel tab. This will cancel your spot. Please don’t wait to cancel your trip. We have a lot of students on our waitlists. By waiting to cancel, you are preventing our waitlisted students from enrolling.

Only you can cancel your trip. Cancellations must be done through our online registration system. Cancellations will NOT be accepted by phone, email, fax, letter, etc.

How much do trips cost? How can I pay for them? The only cost, for any of our trips, is the $95 non-refundable commitment/processing fee. Students who qualify for additional financial assistance will have that fee removed once they complete the summer portion our program. Trips are all-inclusive: food, transportation, lodging, etc. As soon as you register for the trip, the $95 fee will be applied directly to your student account. Adventure WV does not accept payment in any other form. Each Adventure WV Orientation trip is recognized as a fall course. Hence, you will pay for this $95 fee at the same time you pay for all of your fall courses. Your fee will appear in your STARWEB account as a MAVT SRC AdventureWV charge. You will receive an email to your MIX address from the Office of Student Accounts, letting you know the balance of your account. Typically, students are able to view and page pay for changes to their accounts at the end of July.

If I am on a waitlist, how will I know a space has become available? Is it likely I’ll get off the waitlist and onto a trip? All correspondence is done via your MIX email account. We will alert you and others on the waitlist of available spaces via an email to your MIX account. The space is given to the first person who responds to the email.

Your likelihood of getting a waitlist depends greatly on the trip. We do encourage you to look at other trip options and try to find another one that fits your interests and schedule, as there is no guarantee you’ll get off the waitlist. Please contact us if you’d like to switch onto another trip.

Note: In our on-line registration database, students cannot be registered for a trip and be on a wait list(s) for another trip(s). However, if you are registered on a trip, by request, we can put you on a separate wait list spread sheet. This spread sheet has been created for those students who are currently registered, but would like to switch to a different trip if a space becomes available. This request can only be submitted by email to adventurewv@mail.wvu.edu. When or if a space becomes available, Adventure WV emails each student’s MIX account on the database wait list, as well as, those currently registered who have requested to switch to a different trip. Regardless of whether you are currently registered or on the database waitlist, the first student to respond will be registered for the open spot.

Is it true I get academic credits for going on an Orientation Trip? Even though trips take place during the summer, each Adventure WV Orientation trip is considered a fall course. All students who participate on their summer Orientation Trip, attend four fall class sessions, and complete relevant coursework (reflection papers and a service-learning assignment) will receive three GEC-6 credits through the Recreation, Parks, Tourism, and Resources Department. The class associated with the Orientation Trips Program is RPTR 140: Outdoor Orientation.

Do I need to register for RPTR 140? Yes, you need to register yourself for RPTR 140. Due to university regulations, Adventure WV cannot register you. Once your registration is complete (you have filled out the online registration AND returned your written paperwork to Adventure WV); you will receive an email to your MIX account with instructions for registration. Most incoming freshmen will need to register at their New Student Orientation (NSO) session during the summer. Be sure to bring the information you receive about RPTR 140 to NSO so your advisor can help you register. You will NOT get academic credit for your Orientation Trip experience if you do not register yourself for RPTR 140.

Does my Adventure WV Orientation Trip count as a freshman seminar? No, it does not. In 2012 and prior, Orientation Trips had counted as a freshman seminar, but this has not been the case since 2013. However, RPTR 140 is considered a GEC-6 three credit course.

What is the Day of Service In addition to our Early Move-In Programs, Adventure WV and the Center for Service and Learning offer the Day of Service program to qualifying Adventure WV participants* (see below). This program is not required, but provides interested Adventure WV students the opportunity to move into their residence halls on Thursday, August 13. Interested students need to register for this program by submitting a completed program agreement to our department. Day of Service Program Agreements must be received no later than 4pm on July 29, 2015. Please note: Adventure WV is required to submit all early move in students’ information to the Residence Halls by July 29, 2015. Otherwise, students CANNOT move in early to their dorms for our Day of Service program.

On Friday, August 14, students will travel to local non-profit organizations and volunteer their time and effort to give back to the Morgantown community. Dinner and evening activities will follow; attendance is required.

Day of Service Program Includes:

  • Priority move – in date – Thursday, August 13 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • Student lodging in residence halls Thursday night
    • Note: students will be charged one additional night stay in the residence halls on their housing contract; this charge is in addition to the $65.00 fee.
  • Thursday evening dinner and planned activities (Required Attendance) 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    • Details TBA: A follow up email will be sent to the students WVU MIX email account.
  • Adventure WV and CS&L t-shirt
  • Day of Service – Friday, August 14 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Breakfast, lunch and transportation provided
  • Participation in Day of Service satisfies the Adventure WV RPTR 140 community service requirement.

Non-eligible students: Day of Service is not available for students participating in Explore 11 & 12, Odyssey 20, Service WV, Wilderness 28, or the Adventure WV Veterans program as early move-in is already included with these programs. Additionally, students enrolled in the Honor’s College (or any other college or program that requires attendance on August 13 & 14) are NOT eligible as early move-in is required as a member of the WVU Honor’s College.

Do I really need all the required items? It’s going to be hot outside! Yes, you really need all the required items. The weather in the mountains can be unpredictable. We ask everyone come prepared for cool and rainy weather.

That’s not a lot of clothes for a week… You’re right, it’s not! Most students change their t-shit and underclothes each day, but you’ll be wearing the same long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and jackets for the whole trip. It is not necessary or practical to pack a distinct outfit for each day! Please stick to the packing list.

Why do you tell me to avoid bringing cotton? Cotton takes a very long time to dry and does not keep you warm once it’s gotten wet. A few cotton t-shirts can be comfortable for sunny days and for sleeping, but we encourage you to bring synthetics and athletic fabrics (e.g. polyester, nylon, etc.), as they will still function well when it is raining outside. Please note sweatshirts and jeans are typically made out of cotton and are generally NOT acceptable warm layers. See you packing list for more information.

I don’t see a lot of information about backpacks, sleeping bags, or sleeping pads on the Equipment Information sheet. Can you provide me with more details? Adventure WV provides high-quality backpacking backpacks, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads to all participants. We anticipate most participants will be borrowing our gear and, if needed, these items will be distributed to you as you arrive for your trip. If you have questions about using your own personal gear, please get in touch with us to see if it will be suitable for your trip.

Are there any items that are prohibited on Orientation Trips? Yes. Orientation Trips are a drug, alcohol, and tobacco-free environment. We also do not allow cell phones or personal MP3 devices (more on that below). Generally, you should not bring anything not included on the Equipment List. It is useful to have a small pocket-knife, but otherwise no weapons should accompany the trip. Any students in violation of these rules may be removed from the trip with no refund, have their RPTR 140 grades reduced, and be subject to university sanctions.

Why can’t I bring my cell phone or MP3 player? Chances are your phone won’t work where we are going and your battery will definitely die, so bringing a phone is impractical.

More importantly, cell phones and MP3 players detract from the group experience. One of our trip goals is to get to know each other well and to share a challenging and rewarding group experience together. It’s very difficult to be fully focused on the experience at hand when you’re distracted by your phone or checked out into your music. We’ve found these devices really do take away from the shared group experience. Furthermore, even though leaving your phone for a few days may seem daunting, most people find they really enjoy being “disconnected” for the duration of the trip. It’s an experience we rarely get!

If you need to bring your phone or MP3 player to check-in; we will provide a locked space to store it for the duration of your trip.

What if there is an emergency? We will carry an emergency cell phone (in the “off” position) as well as a satellite phone (depending on the trip, if necessary) for use in case of an emergency. Adventure WV has detailed emergency and emergency communication procedures. Our staff are trained in wilderness medicine, emergency management, and evacuation planning. In the event of an emergency, our staff will contact the on-campus, on-call staff coordinator, who will in turn be in touch with relevant parties on and off campus, and your emergency contact, if applicable.

But what if my family needs to be in touch with me? Being in touch with you while you are on the trip may be difficult, depending on the specific nature of your trip. You should make sure your family and friends are aware it will be challenging to be in touch with you and should not be attempted except in the case of an emergency. In the case of an emergency, at check-in you will be given an on-call phone number. This number can be called at any time to reach an Adventure WV staff member, who in turn can determine the best way to get in touch with your trip. If your parent or guardian wishes to request the on-call number in advance (in the event they will not be bringing you to your trip); they may call the main Adventure WV office at 304-293-5221.

Do I need to provide my own meals? No. All meals and snacks will be provided as soon as your trip begins. Refer to your program packet for information on what will be the first meal provided on your trip.

What are we going to be eating? Lots of great and healthy food! We are always busy on our trips and expending a lot of energy. Your specific menu will vary by trip type. Some typical meals are…

  • Breakfasts: Pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, french toast
  • Lunch: Sandwiches and wraps
  • Dinner: Pasta, stir fry, quesadillas, burritos, cookout
  • Snacks: Crackers, cookies, fruit, veggies, trail mix
  • Beverages: Hot chocolate, coffee, lemonade, water


I’m a vegetarian. Is that a problem? No. Most meals are vegetarian friendly and we have alternatives for those meals which are not. Please include you are a vegetarian on your Participant Information Form so we can plan accordingly.

I have food allergies. Is that a problem? No. Please be sure to include information about your allergies on your Participant Information Form. If you think additional information is relevant, please get in touch with us. We may also contact you to gain more information. We can plan a menu around most food allergies.

I have another dietary restriction. Is that a problem? No. As long as you let us know what your restrictions are, we will almost always be able to accommodate them. Don’t hesitate to be in touch with us if your dietary restrictions may need an explanation. We may also follow up with you. We have accommodated many diets in the past, including Kosher, Halal, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free, along with having accommodated a wide range of food allergies.

If I have had previous or have current health conditions, who do I contact if I have concerns or questions before I register? If you have any health concerns or conditions, it is extremely important you contact the Adventure WV Office at 304-293-5221 before your register. In many cases, our trips take place in areas that are not in the immediate proximity of a hospital or medical facility. Our staff are trained in Wilderness First Aid and Emergency Management. Please call us if you have concerns about being removed from advanced medical care.

There are going to be bathrooms and showers, right? The answer to this question depends on your trip!

  • Habitat: Yes.
  • Odyssey: Yes, though slightly more rustic as Odyssey trips stay at a campground.
  • Wilderness: No, there will be no bathroom facilities during the 5-day, 4-night backpacking portion of your trip. Bathrooms and showers will be available only on your last night. But this does NOT mean we’ll totally abandon sanitation! Your leaders will teach you how to use the bathroom outside, how to clean your hands, how to brush your teeth, and other things you’ll need to how about how to stay (relatively) clean. We will carry plenty of hand sanitizer and biodegradable soap and will be regularly washing and cleaning our hands and cooking supplies. We require you bring a toothbrush and toothpaste and highly encourage caring for your oral hygiene while on the trip. You may smell a little funky, but we work hard to prevent the spread of germs while on the trail.
  • Explore: You will have access to bathroom facilities EXCEPT while on the backpacking portion of your trip. Read above about Wilderness trips to see how we’ll manage to stay relatively clean while backpacking.


Do I need to bring a First Aid Kit? No. We bring a well-stocked First Aid Kit.

What if I take prescription medication? Please be sure to take them with you, take them as prescribed, and keep them accessible. Take special care to bring and keep accessible epi-pens and/or asthma inhalers if you have had these prescribed to you for any reason. Also, be sure you have noted these medications on your Participant Information Form. If you get new medication after filling out and sending in your form, please let us know.

What if I use contacts? You can definitely bring and use contacts while camping and/or on the trail. Be sure to bring 1-2 extra pairs, plenty of solution (usually a 4oz travel size is sufficient), and definitely bring your glasses as a back-up. Some people like to bring a travel-size mirror, as well. Your leaders can show and help you wash your hands with our biodegradable soap before putting in and taking out contacts.

Females: What if I might get my period while backpacking? We encourage ALL female backpacking participants (Wilderness and Explore) to make and pack a “period kit.” The changes in diet and activity level often cause females to get their period when they are not expecting it. Even if you recently had your period and/or are on birth control, pack a kit just in case. We will NOT be carrying extra supplies and you will NOT be able to swing by a store to buy them!

Having your period while backpacking does not have to be a bummer and is in no way a reason not to come on the trip.

You can construct an easy backcountry period kit with:

  • 1 small, lightweight, opaque (non-see-through) bag/stuff sack
  • 3 zip-loc baggies
  • Baking soda (few teaspoons) or a few crushed aspirin tablets
  • Tin foil (about 2 square feet, folded, is plenty) (optional)
  • Travel pack of baby wipes
  • Generous supply of tampons or pads. We recommend using tampons without an applicator (like OB); these take up less space and create less waste. Pads can be bulky and take up a lot of space. Really though, it is most important to use a product you’re comfortable with.

Take the baking soda/aspirin and put it in one of the zip-locs. This will be your waste bag (the baking soda/aspirin controls odors). Put the tampons/pads in another zip-loc (to protect from rain) and the baby wipes in the third (to retain moisture). Put everything in the opaque sack. Voila! Your pack is complete. In the woods, any trash, used baby wipes, and used tampons/pads may be wrapped in foil (optional—so you don’t have to see them) and then dropped in the bag with the baking soda/aspirin.

I’ve never been backpacking, built a home, been rock climbing, been whitewater rafting, been camping…etc…before. Is that a problem? No! Our programs are designed for beginners. We do not expect you to have experience or be proficient in anything we do. Your leaders will teach you what you need to know for your trip. You should anticipate the experience will be a genuine challenge, along with being a wonderful, fun, and valuable experience.

Is there anything I should do to prepare for the trip? Doing some type of regular exercise may help you feel more comfortable with the activities on trip. But really, the only thing you need to do is get excited!

Where can I get the clothing and equipment I need? Adventure WV recommends Pathfinder of Morgantown WV as a great place to get some of your gear! Pathfinder is offering Adventure WV Orientation Trips participants 10% off all purchases made through August 18th, 2015. All of Pathfinder’s staff is familiar with the equipment needed on trips and can outfit you with the gear you will need to make your adventure this summer a success. This shop is located at 235 High Street and is locally owned and operated. They can be reached at 304-296-0076 or you can find out more on their website at http://pathfinderwv.com.

Not going to be in Morgantown? For your boots, we recommend going to an outdoor store in your area. Outdoor stores will have a better selection of hiking boots than a regular sporting goods or shoe store might. Some good outdoor retailers are:
  • REI (www.rei.com)
  • Eastern Mountain Sports (www.ems.com)
  • Bass Pro Shops (www.basspro.com)
  • Many locations also have privately owned outdoor stores There are many online outdoor retailers as well. We do not recommend buying boots online, as fit is very important. Other clothes and gear may be easily purchased online at sites such as:
  • www.backcountry.com
  • www.sierrratradingpost.com
  • www.llbean.com
  • www.campmor.com Basic sporting goods stores (Dick’s Sports Authority, etc.) can be great resources for basic synthetic shorts, t-shirts, pants, long sleeved layers, jackets, hats, and underwear. There is no need to buy pricy “outdoor-specific” basic clothing items; any synthetic sportswear will work just fine, as long as you don’t mind getting it dirty!

Finally, don’t overlook your local Goodwill other thrift or second-hand stores. If you dig a little, you can often find great sports and synthetic clothing at rock-bottom prices.

As with everything do not hesitate to contact us if you’re having trouble finding something or if you have any questions: adventurewv@mail.wvu.edu or call 304-293-5221