Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
W&M menu close William & Mary

7 Generations Pre-Orientation Program

Building and Serving Community

Summer 2024: August 19-23

7 Generations is a pre-orientation program focused on sustainability and community engagement. It's your opportunity to build and serve community at the start of your W&M experience. In teams of eight, with two upperclassmen student leaders, 7 Generations participants spend the four days before Orientation volunteering, living, and exploring their new community together.

Register for 7 Generations 2024

Registration for 7 Generations 2024 will be open April 13-July 19 (or until all spaces are filled).

frequently asked questions about 7 Generations including cost, schedule, and logistics
Why should I participate?

7 Generations gives you the opportunity to meet other incoming students interested in community engagement and get an early introduction to William & Mary. You'll also get to learn about sustainability and community-identified solutions while engaging in direct service with local organizations.

Here's what some former participants shared about the experience

"This trip not only taught me a lot about issues in our community, but it also allowed me to help make a difference with great people while becoming more comfortable at my new school." -7G participant

"Before attending the trip, I was uncertain about my placement at William and Mary and the Williamsburg community, but through service, teamwork, and laughter, I realized that I can make an impact through my school, my ideas, and hard work." -7G participant

How will we spend our time?

Each day of the program you'll engage in direct service, issue education, and reflection related to sustainability in community, and you'll have opportunities to explore William & Mary and Williamsburg. Every day is different, but here are a few of the experiences you might have with your 7 Generations team.

  • Clean Up Waller Mill Reservoir in kayaks
  • Fill back to school backpacks with school supplies and food with Grove Christian Outreach Center
  • Work in a community garden and learn about small scale farming with Williamsburg Community Growers
  • Meet with scientists at Virginia Institute of Marine Science to learn about coastal resiliency
  • Process donations in the Habitat ReStore

In the evenings you might head down to Colonial Williamsburg for a community concert, enjoy a picnic dinner at College Creek, tackle a campus scavenger hunt, or stay in and watch a movie.

Where will we stay and what will we eat?

Each team will live together in campus ministry houses located near campus. You'll be sleeping on couches and floors, but indoors and with A/C. As a team, you'll also be preparing your meals in the house kitchens. All food is provided by the program and team leaders have a menu (adjusted to fit dietary needs and preferences of participants) for each meal. Actual meal prep is divided among team members, so you'll have a chance to practice - or show off- your culinary skills. A typical day's menu might include cereal or yogurt and granola for breakfast, sandwiches and fruit at lunch, and then maybe spaghetti with farmer's market tomato sauce or taco night. With a focus on sustainability all of our meals are vegetarian, with more adjustments made as necessary for participants.

How much does it cost?

The $135 registration fee includes travel expenses during the trip, food, housing and education materials. Payments are processed online.  Our 7 Generations program is free to first generation and low-income students.  A limited number of $75 scholarships are also available. If you would like to be considered for a 7 Generations scholarship, please contact [[efmiller, Elizabeth Miller]]

Participants may cancel and receive a refund up to two weeks before the program begins. 

Registration, including the $135 fee, is managed through our online payment platform

When does the program start and end?

7 Generations 2024 begins at 11 am on August 19 and concludes mid-morning August 23, when participants will transition to their move-in and orientation process.

What are other ways to get involved?

If you're looking for a more sustained and engaged opportunity, learn more about our Civic Leadership Program, a year long academic and co-curricular experience focused on the skills of active citizenship.

And you can always find upcoming community opportunities on W&M GivePulse, our campus platform for community engagement.

collage of pictures showing students volunteering at local non-profits