By Anabelle Harden

Coming to Colorado College as a first-year is not easy. Often, it’s hard to know where to even start with making friends. Thankfully, students have a little help: Priddy Trips. Their ORC experiences don’t have to end there, however.

First-year Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT) are held over the first Block Break and serve as another experience where first-years get to know each other, all while getting their heart rates up in a beautiful outdoor setting.

This past Block Break was CC’s 35th year of FOOT trips. This year, there were eight different trips, each of which had randomly-assigned groups of students. Some of the destinations included the Great Sand Dunes National Preserve in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Holy Cross Wilderness, Lost Creek Wilderness, Pike National Forest, and San Isabel National Forest. In each of these destinations, first-years from across the country were able to hike and camp in the mountains, while furthering their understanding of how beautiful Colorado is.

Students also learn more technical outdoor skills, like how to read topographic maps or the safety procedures for climbing a 14er. Some of the down time activities on these trips mimic those of Priddy trips, such as playing different icebreaker games or making and eating meals together.

These FOOT trips do more than simply provide outdoor experience. Upperclassmen trip leaders often serve as an ongoing mentor that younger students can look up to for social, academic, or personal advice. Additionally, students who partake in a FOOT trip might eventually decide to be ORC leaders of their own trips.

Colorado College’s FOOT trips allow first-years to get to know each other in a fun, inclusive environment, all while encouraging them to explore beautiful Colorado and its plentiful outdoor opportunities.

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