7 Generations Pre-Orientation Program

What Does it Mean to Be Part of the Tribe Family?

7G photos from 2010
The Program

In our 7 Generations pre-orientation program, we offer community service trips, modeled after alternative breaks, in August.  Each trip allows incoming first-year and transfer students to participate in hands-on service while learning about diverse social issues and community-building solutions.  7 Generations is an incredible opportunity to get connected to community service at W&M, meet some amazing classmates, and make a positive impact before move-in day.

What 7 Generations is About
  • Learning about diverse social issues and community-building solutions
  • Addressing those issues through service in partnership with strong community organizations
  • Meeting other students  interested in community engagement and getting an early introduction to William & Mary

Here's what some former participants have to say about the impact of 7 Generations on them: 

Not only did I make amazing friends that will definitely last throughout college, I learned a lot more about hunger issues that I only vaguely knew about beforehand. This trip really opened my eyes to the fact that the food situation in our state/country is not necessarily as stable as I thought it was. -7G '12
It was pretty amazing how much my group bonded. It soothed a lot of my social anxieties before going to college! I also got many ideas on how I'm going to continue being an active server of the community at WM. -7G '12
The trip was amazing because not only did I meet a lot of wonderful people, but I also learned a lot about a serious issue and ways to address the issue. -7G '13

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The Trips                                                   

7 Generations 2014 will begin at 4pm on Sunday, August 3 and conclude the following Saturday morning, August 9. Each trip includes ten incoming student participants, led by one W&M staff member and one upper level student.  

The three trips for 2014 are:

Animals In Community

Students will partner with Heritage Humane Society and other regional animal shelters to support these agencies through service and engage with the following questions:

  • How do community values and resources influence community responses to domestic animals? 
  • Why do animal shelters exist and what roles do they play in addressing animals in community?
  • What work goes into caring for animals in community?
Affordable Housing
Students will partner with the Habitat ReStore and other housing programs in Williamsburg to support these agencies through service and engage with the following questions: 
  • How does a community create and sustain safe and affordable housing for all residents?
  • How does living in/owning safe and secure housing impact a family and their role in community?
  • What are the challenges to affordable housing in the Williamsburg area?

Food Systems in VA

Students will partner with local farms and the VA Food Bank to support their work  through service and engage with the following questions: 

  • What kind of work does it take to make healthy food locally?
  • How can access and interest be increased for healthy local food?
  • In particular, how can people with limited economic resources access healthy food? 

Trip Schedules

Final trip schedules are in devleopment with our community partners, but you'll find thethe basic schedules from  the 2013 trips below. 

Sunday and Friday all participants will share the same schedule. Sunday afternoon and evening will be dedicated to ice-breakers and introductions.  Friday will include a morning of direct service with a local community partner, an afternoon of meetings with on-campus and community leaders, and an evening of reflection and a cookout.  The program will end Saturday morning.  

Animals in Community 13

Hunger & Food Systems 13

Access to Housing 13

Monday, August 6th

9-5 pm Heritage Humane Society, Williamsburg, VA

Tuesday, August 7th

10-12 pm Richmond SPCA

2-4 pm Henrico Animal Control

Wednesday, August 8th

8-5pm Norfolk Animal Care & Adoption Center

Thursday, August 9th

9-5 pm Heritage Humane Society

7 pm K9 Connection, Service Dogs 

Monday, August 6th

Head to Lynchburg, VA

11-5pm Lynchburg Grows 

Tuesday, August 7th

9-4pm Lynchburg Grows 

Wednesday, August 8th

9-4pm Lynchburg Grows

Thursday, August 9th

Return to Williamsburg

Meeting with local food agencies


Monday, August 6th

9-5pm Housing Parnterships Incorporated

Tuesday, August 7th

9-5pm Housing Partnerships Incorporated

Wednesday, August 8th

9-12 pm Housing Partnerships

1-5 pm Williamsburg Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Thursday, August 9th

9-5pm Habitat for Humanity ReStore


Each trip costs $185 per student.  These fees include travel expenses during the trip, food, housing and education materials. Payments are due by July 11th and will be processed online.  Further instructions on payment are provided when you register for the trip.

A limited number of $100 scholarships are availble and you may apply for a scholarship through the registration form.  

Can't commit to the whole week of 7 Generations or just want to add even more community enagement to the start of your W&M experience? Consider signing up for SHOW Day. Our afternoon community service program built into Orientation on Tuesday, August 26, 2014.