ABOVE is designed to ease the anxieties of transitioning into the college environment through a five-day outdoor camping experience.
The ABOVE experience is divided into large and small group experiences, each of which pairs a group of first-year students with several upper-classmen program leaders. The leaders act as mentors for the first-year students, ensure safety on the trip, and create a comfortable environment in which first-year students can ask questions, express concerns, and get to know one another.
Please note: Your student should plan coming to the course healthy. If he/she is ill, has recently had surgery including removal of wisdom teeth, or has other medical concerns, he/she should have these issues completely resolved and healed prior to arrival.
If you should have further questions or concerns, please contact Coordinator Paul Stern. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.
How can I get in touch with my son or daughter while he/she is on the ABOVE Program?
Once a student has left the campus for the trail, we can only pass on emergency messages. Emergency contact can be made through the Office of Student Activities at: 434.544.8254.
Please be aware that there is a lag time between when you leave your message and when an ABOVE staff member receives it at camp or on the trail. Additionally, as noted above, there is an additional delay between our receipt of your message and relaying it to your son or daughter on the program.
Can my son/daughter take a cell phone with them on the trip?
Yes and no. Our program's philosophy involves a complete immersion in nature and a small group of students. These factors foster an environment that promotes bonding. Furthermore, most of our camping and wilderness trail locations are outside the majority of network providers' signal range. There is no accommodation for recharging devices.
Can my son/daughter take books other than the required reading text and their outdoor journal?
No. As mentioned above, we are very focused on community and social interaction. Each day is focused and fully scheduled.
Can my student take medication with him/her on the trip?
Yes. Your student should bring any necessary prescribed and over-the-counter medication with him/her. Trip leaders will have the medical information that your family provided during the registration process. If medications have changed after the submission of the program registration, students should submit that information to Paul Stern, the Coordinator. He will advise your student's program leader of the change.
Please note: Your student should plan coming to the course healthy. If he/she is ill, has recently had surgery including removal of wisdom teeth , or has other medical concerns, he/she should have these issues completely resolved and healed prior to arrival.
How can I be sure that my child is safe?
ABOVE staff takes safety precautions very seriously. ABOVE staff are Wilderness First Aid certified. We train new leaders every fall to make sure that they know how to keep students both safe and comfortable on the trail and in the wilderness. We review actual risks, perceived risks, and managed risks before and throughout the program.
What about move-in day?
Check-in will be in Schewel Hall at 9 a.m. Have no fear! In addition to the group of ABOVE student leaders storming around in ABOVE T-shirts, there will also be lots and lots of other student leaders pointing you in the right direction. You can move your student directly into his/her fall housing early (and this is a major plus ... trust us), so pack all your student's stuff (or as much as you can carry), and not just the ABOVE gear.
If your student is accepted into the ABOVE program, please plan to arrive on campus on August 15, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. for a meeting at Friendship Circle, in the center of the Dell. Call Paul Stern at 434.544.8224 if you are running late.