University of Delaware

NSO Trip Opportunities

We encourage you to make a bold leap into your college experience by participating in one of two additional programs before 1743 Welcome Days, Summit and Quest, which both allow students the opportunity to start a journey towards self-discovery and personal development.

For information about Quest, visit

NSO Presents


Summit is an outdoor orientation experience at the University of Delaware designed to further ease your transition into our campus community and your college experience. As part of the First Year Experience (FYE), this outdoor excursion offers you the unique opportunity to connect with your new classmates in a fun and challenging environment, allowing you to learn more about yourself and develop the confidence and skills you need to successfully navigate your first year at UD.

Here's what Summit will do for you:

  • Create strong meaningful relationships with peers, mentors and faculty, so as to begin integrating into the social fabric of the institution.
  • Identify communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills needed to accomplish tasks and goals.
  • Identify how your personal decision-making skills can impact your wellbeing and ability to reach goals.

Each Summit experience will be consist of up to 12 first-year students, as well as three of our Summit Leaders. These trained student guides, who are both Wilderness First Aid and CPR certified, will take you safely across Maryland and into your freshman year of college. The Summit experience will start with two days of on-campus activities and backcountry lessons to prepare you for the adventure ahead. The next five days will be spent trekking the entire Maryland portion of the Appalachian Trail.

Summit is available to all incoming freshmen. Although you do not need to be an experienced backpacker to participate in Summit, you must be physically able to walk 8-10 miles per day. Over the course of the 5 days on the trail, students will hike approximately 50 miles and will be carrying all of their supplies in a backpack.

No Gear? No Problem!
Equipment rentals are available if you do not already own the appropriate gear. If you are unsure whether what you already have is adequate, check out our Gear Guidelines (coming in late June!). We have backpacks, headlamps, sleeping bags, and sleepings pads available for rent. You must have your own hiking boots.

Trip Dates for Summit 2015:

  • Trip 1: Sunday, August 9 - Saturday, August 15
  • Trip 2: Tuesday, August 11 - Monday, August 17
  • Trip 3: Wednesday, August 19 - Tuesday, August 25
  • Trip 4: Friday, August 21 - Thursday, August 27

Students selected to participate in Summit will be placed in one of these 4 trips based on the availability they indicated on their application.

Application Information:

Applications for Summit are due by 5pm on Friday, June 19. If you are selected for the program, you will receive additional detailed information about all aspects of the trip from the NSO Staff and Summit Leaders by mid-July, including a series of required forms. Late applications will not be accepted due to the limited number of spots available on the trips.

Selected students will be notified by Thursday, July 2.. Because of the limited number of spaces available on Summit trips, your application does not necessarily guarantee a spot on a trip.

If selected as a participant for Summit, you will be expected to:

  • Be a fully engaged and enthusiastic participant, learning from your fellow participants and your surroundings.
  • Commit to a substance-free policy throughout the Summit experience.
  • Abide by all University policies.

The cost to participate in Summit is $300. Please do not make travel arrangements before you are notified that you are able to participate in Summit. Some financial assistance is available; if you have questions about this assistance, please email

Contact the NSO Office with additional questions about Summit at


  • New Student Orientation  •   231 Trabant University Center  •   Newark, DE 19716  •   USA
    Phone: (302) 831-3313  •   Fax: (302) 831-3308  •   © 2011