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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. Students will 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 is a great way to make connections with other students before classes start. There are multiple MOAT trips throughout the summer, as well as an August trip that takes place just before classes start and allows you to move in to your residence hall early!

Trip Details
Who may attend?

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

That said, we ask that all MOAT participants sign up for their First-Year Summer Orientation before registering for MOAT. Additionally, your chosen Summer Orientation session needs to take place prior to your desired MOAT session. This ensures that all First-year students have an equal foundation regarding the class registration process, awareness of on-campus resources and other critical knowledge before arriving for MOAT. We will build on this foundation over the course of the MOAT experience.

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?

There are multiple MOAT trips throughout the summer, as well as an August trip that takes place just before classes start. The specific dates for the summer programs are designed to conveniently coincide with Summer Springboard visits. Those dates are as follows:

MOAT Trip #1 - June 14 - 17

MOAT Trip #2 - June 28 - July 1

MOAT Trip #3 - July 5 - 8

MOAT Trip #4 - July 12 - 15

For each of the above trips, all participants will walk or drive to UREC between 5:30 and 6 p.m. to check in and meet their Trip Leaders before heading out to the campground together. The trips return back to UREC each Saturday at 11 a.m.

For the August MOAT trip that takes place before classes start, the date is as follows:

MOAT August Trip - August 16 - 19

All participants registered for this trip will be able to move in to their residence halls early on Wednesday before leaving for MOAT. Once you have moved into your residence hall, you will walk or drive to UREC between 3 and 3:30 p.m. to meet your Trip Leaders before heading out to the campground together. The trip returns back to UREC on Saturday at 11 a.m.

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 the Wednesday two weeks prior to the trip's start date. For each of the listed trips, those registration deadlines are as follows:

MOAT Trip #1 - June 14 - 17

  • Registration Deadline of May 31, 2023 at 5 p.m.
  • Withdrawal Deadline of May 24, 2023 at 5 p.m.

MOAT Trip #2 - June 28 - July 1

  • Registration Deadline of June 14, 2023 at 5 p.m.
  • Withdrawal Deadline of June 7, 2023 at 5 p.m.

MOAT Trip #3 - July 5 - 8

  • Registration Deadline of June 21, 2023 at 5 p.m.
  • Withdrawal Deadline of June 14, 2023 at 5 p.m.

MOAT Trip #4 - July 12 - 15

  • Registration Deadline of June 28, 2023 at 5 p.m.
  • Withdrawal Deadline of June 21, 2023 at 5 p.m.

MOAT August Trip - August 16 - 19

  • Registration Deadline of August 2, 2023 at 5 p.m.
  • Withdrawal Deadline of July 26, 2023 at 5 p.m.

A waitlist feature has been enabled should slots fill up. Once the initial slots are filled for you desired trip, please either find an alternative trip date with available slots, or submit your interest via the waitlist. We will inform those on the waitlist if a slot becomes available in the order in which the waitlist submissions were received. 

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 need to submit a screen shot of your "Summer Springboard Registration Confirmation" email as part of registration.
  • You will receive a confirmation email for MOAT once your have registered, please allow a few minutes for it to come through. 



Financial Assistance

UREC has a MOAT Financial Assistance Application process that 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 financial support, please complete the MOAT Financial Assistance Application. UREC will process these requests on a rolling basis up until the registration deadline for the specific trip you are interested in or until the grant has been fully dispersed. Please note that due to limitations in our registration software, you will need to pay in full to reserve your slot and then wait for confirmation of financial support.

Past MOAT Photo Galleries

Check photos from previous MOAT trips: 2023 / 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 for that individual trip (3 weeks before the departure date of the trip) to allow time for participants on the waitlist to be contacted. 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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