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    • First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips
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Dear F&M First-Year,

Welcome to Franklin & Marshall! We are thrilled that you have decided to join our outstanding college community.  Though the summer is just beginning, we know many of you eagerly await the start of your college adventure.  While First-Year Orientation -- August 28 - Sept. 2 -- is your formal introduction to Franklin & Marshall College, the college offers several pre-orientation programs that will help you start your college journey in a meaningful and engaging way.

FOOT (First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trip), as we call it, is a pre-orientation program for students who are interested in becoming leaders in sustainability and environmental education during their next four years on campus.  FOOT is a four-day, three-night backpacking trip on a section of the Appalachian Trail that includes Pennsylvania’s beautiful rolling hills.

Led by F&M upperclassman, FOOT is an incredible opportunity to immediately connect with other incoming students who share your passion for outdoor adventure and your respect for the natural world.  Furthermore, you get to spend a few days hiking the locale you’ll call home for the next four years!

For planning information, FOOT officially begins on Saturday, August 23. You can move into your dorm room in the morning and enjoy lunch in downtown Lancaster in the afternoon.  In the early evening, we’ll officially kick-off FOOT with a mini-convocation event in conjunction with the other pre-orientation programs.  The program ends when we return from the trail, Wednesday, August 27, the night before the start of First-Year Orientation.  All FOOT expenses (early move-in, food, transportation, activities, etc.) are covered by a $200 registration fee and there will be no additional expenses during the week.  The registration fee is collected after you have been accepted into the program.  

Interested?  Join us on this ecological escapade by filling out an application online here.  Applications are due by midnight on June 30.  Unfortunately, we can only take non-international students.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at I look forward to hearing from you!

Have a good summer and hike on,

Liana Hershey '17 (Planning Director)

Sam Alter '15, Eila Miller '15, Rosie Blair, '15, Larissa Kehne '16, James Nelson '17, Luke Bengel '17, George Ketterer '17 (Trip Leaders)

P.S. Check out the video below from the 2012 trip to see what we're all about!