Orientation Trips

Leading Edge

From rock climbing to building a Habitat for Humanity home, for many students, the Leading Edge program is one of their best college memories. Choose one of the themed program tracks and enjoy bonding with other first-year students through a shared experience built around common interests. Each orientation trip will prepare you for an amazing experience as a First-Year student at Washington and Lee.

Leading Edge is at the beginning of First-Year student orientation. The programs are small and inviting, a testament to the atmosphere of W&L. Leading Edge provides incoming First-Year students with the opportunity to begin their college career with friends, a sense of community, sharpened teamwork skills, and a memorable, meaningful, and challenging experience. The College Board recommends orientation programs as a “great way for new students to get acclimated to their new environment and meet others with shared interests” in low pressure settings. Leading Edge programs engage incoming First-Years from the start of their undergraduate experience, emphasizing the community aspect of college life.

Appalachian Adventure

Appalachian Adventure gives students the opportunity to challenge themselves and meet fellow First-Year and upper-division students, all while hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail.


This trip engages in archaeological field excavation and laboratory analysis. Students learn about the 18th- and 19th-century institutions that developed into W&L and about the wealth of resources we can use to bring this early history to light This trip takes place both in Lexington and with additional field trips to nearby historically important sites.

Around the World in Five Days

Around the World in Five Days was developed to help students explore, with cultural activities, field trips and restaurant experiences, what it means to prepare for an "engaged citizenship in a global and diverse society." While based on campus, the “around the world” themes will inspire you to travel and study internationally and engage with our international community on campus during your four years at W&L.

Beyond LEADership

Beyond Leadership provides students with opportunities to develop their leadership skills and knowledge, as well as become familiar with the W&L community and campus!

Freedom Ride

Freedom Ride is a one-week pre-orientation trip that carries incoming students to southern cities with rich connections to the Black freedom struggle. Via a bus journey through Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina, the group will examine how racial injustice, resistance, and memorialization impact 21st-century community building.

Making Meaning

Making Meaning invites students into an immersive, experiential exploration of how people create spiritual & religious communities in which they can seek and find answers to some of life's biggest questions.


Dive into a daily theme around sustainable development, which may include energy and climate change, water use, environmental justice, buildings, waste minimization, and environmental policy — or investigate the sources of our food, the energy it takes to grow and manufacture food, equitable food access, and questions about health and nutrition.

Volunteer Venture

Volunteer Venture is a one week service-learning program for incoming students. The program allows participants to build meaningful relationships and explore issues related to poverty, injustice and opportunity through service with community-based agencies, guest speakers, and group discussion related to a thematic issue.

An instructor teaching students in the IQ Center

Designing and Making

The Designing and Making program aims to introduce students to the technologies available in the campus makerspace (the IQ Center), how to design and make things, and show how professors use these technologies to support their academic and research goals.

Photo of students on a From Queer to There history tour trip

From Queer to There: An LQBTQ+ History Tour

Join an adventure up the East Coast to explore LGBTQ+ history in the country's biggest cities. Experience the Stonewall Inn, the National Archives, and many queer-owned restaurants and shops!

Faculty member showing students materials during Home Is Where The Art Is

Home Is Where the Art

Home Is Where the Art Is increases students’ awareness of the arts on campus, create an arts community, build their confidence as artists, and identify their interests, skills, and experiences.

Image of a sewing machine in a dorm room

Threads of Connection: Fiber Arts Exploration

Welcome to the world of creativity and craftsmanship! The Threads of Connection program is designed to introduce students to the creative world of the fiber arts, including sewing, quilting, spinning, knitting, and crochet.

Student participating in activities for Wellness Adventure

Wellness Adventure

Wellness Adventure is an introduction into the eight types of wellness (emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual).