University Recreation

Madison Orientation Adventure Trips

Meet other incoming students and explore the Shenandoah Valley


The Madison Orientation Adventure Trip (MOAT) is a three-night, four-day pre-orientation program for incoming students. All trips involve primitive camping and additional activities such as rock climbing, hiking, stand up paddleboarding, and canoeing. No prior experience is necessary.

“The goal is to provide a unique experience that will set incoming students up for success as they begin college through building social connections with other students and introducing them to the amazing local natural areas surrounding Harrisonburg,” said Guy Debrun, the Assistant Director for Adventure and TEAM Programs.

This year's MOAT trip will take place Saturday, August 18, 2018 through Tuesday, August 21, 2018. The cost for the MOAT trip is $225 which includes instruction, leadership, equipment, and meals. MOAT participants are also able to move into their assigned residence halls early on Saturday. 

A 2017 MOAT participant reflected, “I gained my first group of friends in college and it’s comforting to know that there’s people around campus that I know. I feel like without this trip I would have hesitated to meet new people and put myself out there." 

The trips are led by JMU undergraduates who are trained as trip leaders in the UREC Adventure Program with a certification in Wilderness First Aid. They are supervised by a professional staff member with over fifteen years of experience in university adventure programming. 

"Signing up for the MOAT trip was by far one of the best decisions I've ever made, well, after choosing JMU of course. This trip helped me find some amazing friends to hang out with on campus as well as an excellent mentor in our leader. We got to experience such a wide range of outdoor activities, not only our concentration of rock climbing, but also hiking, mountain biking, swimming and more. But the best thing I got out of the MOAT trip was the relationships we all built as a team and the advice that was given to us by all of the leaders," said a MOAT 2016 participant.

For more information and to register, check out Madison Orientation Adventure Trips

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Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Last Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2018

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