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First-Year Trips

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Extra Info and FAQs for Volunteers



To help you navigate the volunteer application process as well as provide some information regarding updates to our program, we've compiled this list of frequently asked questions. If you have any additional questions, please send them to anytime!

General FAQs


General FAQs

Are volunteers provided housing when serving in their roles? What about interim housing between Trips and the start/end of a term?

For trip leaders, First-Year Trips will provide housing for you during your trip and during leader training immediately before your trip. For support croo members, First-Year Trips will provide housing for you during the entire time you're on campus serving in your role as a croo member.

Trip Leaders can secure interim housing before their trip and usually after their trip through the College, but it depends on what section you are leading on, your D-Plan, and what building you are moving into. In order to secure interim housing after your trip, you MUST be living in College housing this fall. Students who are not in College housing this fall are NOT eligible for interim housing after their trip.

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Are there costs associated with volunteering for Trips, and what does Trips cover?

Trips provides food and housing for leaders during Trips, as well as meal vouchers for leaders who must stay on campus after their trip. Trips can also help with the cost of First Aid or CPR certification courses--we will be in touch about this once you are selected.  We also lend all sorts of gear to volunteers and can work with you to ensure you have the right stuff.

While we try to cover all hidden costs, please email us at if you have concerns we may be able to address. 

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Why can't those taking classes during the summer be on croos?

Unfortunately, due to the start dates for croos and the end of the summer finals period, anyone taking classes during the summer will not be available to be on croos. Due to the volume of training and behind-the-scenes work croos must complete before trippees arrive in Hanover, even a few days is too much overlap for a smooth transition into volunteering as a crooling. Sophomores not taking classes during the summer are still eligible to apply for croo! Also, sophomores, regardless of whether they're taking summer classes, can and are encouraged to apply to be trip leaders. 

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Why can't I apply to a specific support croo?

In order to create the most balanced, diverse, and effective teams for each of our six support croos, it is incredibly important that the Trips Directorate be able to place selected applicants on the croo we believe suits them best. Since croos consist of 4 to 16 people working closely together for three consecutive weeks, croo assignments must be made very intentionally with group dynamics, diversity of experience, and skillset distribution borne carefully in mind. And most importantly, with the exception of a handful of skill-specific jobs on each croo, the croos share more similarities than differences in their roles and responsibilities within the Trips program. An applicant who is a good fit for one croo will be a good fit for any croo, so in your application, you should reflect on how you envision the role of croos overall and what you hope to contribute in that role.

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Can students with atypical enrollment patterns apply (fifth-year engineers, students graduating during the year, etc.)?

Following up with trippees and volunteers after First-Year Trips is a critical part of our program, and because of this, we seek to ensure all volunteers can do so. Students taking a full fifth year (on-campus for the entire academic year) may apply to lead a trip. Students on-campus for a portion of the year after they graduate may apply for a support croo position, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

When will I receive a decision about my application?

Volunteer selection will occur over the third and fourth weeks of April. We will notify all applicants about application decisions as soon as all volunteer selection is complete in late April.

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What should I do if I get placed on the waiting list to be a volunteer? How likely am I to be accepted off the waiting list?

There is a very high likelihood of getting pulled off the waitlist! In the past four years, almost all leaders initially placed on the waitlist have been asked to lead. Leaders get pulled from the waitlist when selected leaders' availability changes and we have to shuffle leaders around. 

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Is there anything I should know before writing my application?

We would recommend reading the "Qualities of a Trips Volunteer" and the "Application Tips" on found here before starting your application. Additionally, you should be aware of the required commitments and trainings for trip leaders and croolings; however, if you're hesitant about your eligibility, please email us at and we can provide more information!

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What are some resources that can assist me in writing my application?

Besides the information on this web page, RWIT is an excellent resource that you can use to help edit your application. Additionally, the Trips Directorate will be holding office hours that you can use as a resource. Or, email! We'd be more than happy to chat about applying.

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What is the process for grading applications and selecting trip leaders and croolings?

The application has two clearly-marked portions (graded and non-graded). The graded portion of the application will be read and scored at least three times by directorate members and a diverse team of seniors with prior involvement in the Trips program who have been trained on the grading system for Trips applications. Once all applications have been scored at least three times, Trip Leader Trainers (TLTs) and Croo Captains will begin selection (based on the average scores) and Trip or Croo assignment, at which point the non-graded section (including identifying information) is available to the Trip Leader Trainers and Croo Captains. The non-graded section of the application is used for making sure our Trip Leaders and croos are balanced and diverse, not for deciding whether or not a certain application is accepted. By late April, all applicants will be notified of their acceptance, placement on the waitlist, or denial.

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I've already taken Risk Management and Group Dynamics to become a DOC sub-club leader/ I previously underwent Trip Leader Training. Do I need to take these again to be a trip leader this year?

Yes and No. Although the role of DOC leader and Trip Leader are similar, the Trip Leader Training curriculum does prepare you for a different role than DOC sub-club training. It is required that you complete the full Trip Leader training. If you are a leader in a sub-club or particularly skilled in an activity, you may also be exempt from trip-specific training for trips that this applies to.

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What if I've never led an outdoors trip? What if I've never even gone camping? (I don't know how to read maps, canoe/climb/bike/hike, etc.)

No wilderness experience is necessary to lead a First Year Trip, and we are seeking volunteers with all levels of exposure to the outdoors! If you don't have experience in the outdoors, there are options to lead trips that do not require previous experience, such as Cabin Camping, Community Service, and Nature Photography. However, the Trip Leader Training curriculum will equip all trip leaders with the wilderness skills required to lead most of the trips. Your previous outdoors experience will not affect whether you are selected to lead a trip, though it may affect which trip you lead.

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Can I get PE credit for volunteering as a trip leader or croo member?

Trip Leaders and Croolings who complete all their trainings, lead their Trip/fulfill their role on croo to completion, and meet certain enrollment criteria are eligible to receive PE credit. Unlike in past years, PE credit will be handled after Trips this year, so no action is required until September 2020 on this front. We'll be in touch over the summer about this.

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Last Updated: 6/3/20