Two people in a canoe on a lake

Outdoor Orientation

Due to current events, the Outdoor Orientation Experience has been canceled for summer 2020.

First Year Frontier

Fulfill your Orientation requirement while also going on an adventure of a lifetime! We have 40 spots open for your chance to take a 2-night/3-day retreat to the beautiful New Jersey School of Conservation in Sandyston, NJ for a low price of $30.00. This invaluable experience is open to all incoming freshman no matter your outdoor experience background.

During your stay, have the opportunity to:

  • Strengthen team building, goal planning and execution through activities such as rock climbing, canoeing, low rope obstacles and more!
  • Create a strong sense of community by bonding with fellow freshman and student staff in an informal setting.
  • Improve interpersonal skills like communication, problem-solving and responsibility through personality assessments.
  • Build a strong foundation of basic techniques and skills that are necessary for making your transition to college as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.


Registration Timeline

Outdoor Orientation has been canceled for summer 2020.

Orientation Itinerary

Day 1

  • 8 a.m.: Check in at Montclair State University
  • Morning: On-campus orientation and Lunch at Montclair State University
  • Afternoon: Travel and check-in at School of Conservation
  • Evening: Activities and bonfire

Day 2

  • Morning: Group activities lead by AmeriCorp Members at School of Conservation
  • Afternoon: Team building and group practice at School of Conservation
  • Evening: Orientation and skill building at School of Conservation

Day 3

  • Morning: Group activities and wilderness skill training at School of Conservation
  • Afternoon: Return to Montclair State University and dismissal
Cost Inclusion

For a low cost of $30.00 you will get…


You will be staying in a gender-identity restrictive cabin with a bed that included sheets, a blanket and a pillow.


There will be three meals a day in a cafeteria that includes a dietary restrictive friendly menu. These include, but not limited to, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and kosher. We just need to know ahead of time if any these or other dietary restrictions apply to you.


We will be transporting the students to and from New Jersey School of Conservation. The ride will be less than an hour and a half each direction.


We supply all the necessary equipment and training needed for the activities taking place throughout the orientation.

What To Bring
  • Rain jacket
  • Hat/sunglasses
  • Boots/sneakers Please Note: No open-toed shoes will be accepted during activities
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Comfortable athletic attire
  • Sleepwear

Absolutely no past experience is needed to participate in Outdoor Orientation – First Year Frontier! There will be trained professionals representing Montclair State University and overseeing participants at all times. Two student leaders are assigned to every group of eight freshmen. Also, certified AmeriCorps members will be at all activities, bringing the ratio of staff to freshmen to 1:3. The AmeriCorps members will lead all necessary training sessions for the students. All we ask you to bring is a sense of adventure and an open mind.

The Leaders

We pride ourselves in making sure you not only have a fun experience, but also a safe one!

There will be eight student leaders in total, two for every eight freshmen. These student leaders come from all different majors and backgrounds. They have had experience as either outdoor adventure guides, trip leaders and/or orientation leaders. Their certifications range from First Aid, AED, CPR, Wilderness First Aid and more. Since all have been at least one year at Montclair State University, they are excited to volunteer their time to not only help incoming students feel safe during the orientation, but also help them learn more about the University.

There will also be two professional staff from Montclair State University, one with the Wilderness First Responder certification. Most importantly, certified AmeriCorps members will be at every activity that the students attend.

First Year Frontier Values


At Montclair State University we want your college experience to be an adventure! First Year Frontier embodies this idea through outdoor activities, team building and goal setting.


Building and being a part of a community is essential to life at Montclair State University. Develop a sense of belonging and connection to your peers, staff, and Montclair State University as a whole.


Part of the college experience is to discover your true self. During First Year Frontier you’ll explore your self-identity as well as improve on interpersonal skills like communication, problem solving, and responsibility.


We know that transitioning to college can be difficult. Throughout First Year Frontier we will build upon the basic techniques and skills used to overcome the inevitable challenges we all face in times of transition. This will allow you to build a better foundation for moving into your first year at Montclair State University.