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What is the Madison Orientation Adventure Trip (MOAT)?

MOAT is a three-night, four-day adventure program designed for new JMU students. Move into your residence hall early, then meet up with welcoming and knowledgeable student trip leaders to tent camp, rock climb, hike and canoe in the Shenandoah Valley. No experience is necessary! It's a great way to make connections with other students before classes start.

Trip Details
Who may attend?

All new JMU students are welcome. This includes both First-year and Transfer students.

What do you do at MOAT?

All trips involve tent camping, teambuilding and additional activities such as rock climbing, hiking, canoeing or standup paddle boarding. MOAT trips do not require any previous experience.

When is it?

The trip begins on Thursday, August 17, 2023 and ends on Sunday, August 20, 2023. All MOAT participants will be able to move-in to their residence halls early on Thursday before leaving for MOAT. Once you have moved-in to your residence hall, you will walk or drive to UREC between 3 - 3:30 p.m. to meet your Trip Leaders and other participants before heading out to the campground together.

Where is it?

MOAT trips are based out of Stokesville Campground in Stokesville, VA. It is a 30 minute drive from JMU and just minutes away from the George Washington National Forest. 

How much does it cost?

The cost of MOAT is $325. This includes equipment, meals, instruction and leadership for the three-night, four-day trip. Full scholarships are also available, please see the financial assistance section below for more details.

Who leads these trips?

The trips are led by JMU undergraduate student employees who are trained as trip leaders in the UREC Adventure Program. At a minimum they hold a certification in Wilderness First Aid. They are supervised by a professional staff member with years of experience in adventure trip and travel programming.

What about cell phones?

Cell phones are not permitted on MOAT trips, they will be stored securely at UREC. If a family member needs to contact a participant and in the event of an emergency, you may contact UREC Adventure staff and we will put you in contact with your family.

What should I pack?

You are going camping and hanging out outside for a few days so we put a list together for you: Here's a MOAT packing list!

Registration Info
When can I register?

Registration goes live Monday, April 3, 2023 at 9 a.m. and will remain open until filled or until 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 13, 2023. There are approximately 100 spots for students. A waiting list feature has been enabled should spots fill up. Once the initial 100 slots are filled, please submit your interest via the waiting list. We will inform those on the waitlist if someone drops and a spot becomes available.

How do I register?

Students will need to create a guest account here in the student’s name (with a non-JMU email address) in order to register. Please follow these instructions:

  • Go to and select the gold "SIGN IN" in the top right corner
  • Create a guest account by selecting "SIGN UP" in the bottom right corner, enter your name, email and select a password
  • Once your account is created, register and pay for MOAT here.
  • You will receive a confirmation email, please allow a few minutes for it to come through. 

REGISTER FOR MOAT (coming soon!)

Financial Assistance

UREC has a MOAT Financial Assistance Application process to allows students with financial need to participate in the MOAT program. Our hope is that this support permits students from diverse backgrounds to have a shared MOAT experience.

To apply for full financial support, please complete the MOAT Financial Assistance Application. UREC will process these requests on a rolling basis up until Friday, June 30, 2023 at 5p.m. or until the grant has been fully dispersed.

Past MOAT Photo Galleries

Check photos from previous MOAT trips: 2022 / 2021 / 2018 / 2017 / 2016 / 2010 / 2008

Cancellation and Refund Policy

MOAT Program Cancellation Policies
Occasionally, we have to cancel MOAT trips due to low enrollment or other factors. In the event this happens, participants may choose to transfer to another MOAT trip or receive a full refund. Decisions regarding cancellations will be made seven days prior to the trip. It is suggested that participants who will be flying to Harrisonburg purchase travel insurance in the event of a trip cancellation.

Participant Cancellation Policies
Requests to cancel a MOAT trip registration must be made at least 7 days prior to the registration deadline to allow time for participants on the waitlist to be contacted. Therefore, we ask that all cancellation requests be made before 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 6, 2023 to guarantee a full refund. Refund requests made after this deadline will be handled on a case-by-case basis and will depend on alternates from the waitlist being available to take your spot.

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