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Pathways 2024

TAP into the Outdoors!

Apply Here!


Eligibility: Pathways is open to all freshmen and transfers who will be studying on campus for the first time in Fall of 2024. If you have already been on campus, even for just one class, we invite you to join one of TAP's trips in the Fall.


    Session I Aug. 12-16

    Session II Aug. 19-23

Fee: $210 (Includes meals, camping and entrance fees, all group gear)

* Financial aid is available for eligible applicants.*

Payment: You will receive payment instructions in an email once you have been placed on a trip.

Online Application Opens: May 15, 2024

Application Closes: July 1, 2024

Cancellation and Refund Policy:

  • Cancellations made on or before July 13th will receive 100% refund.
  • Cancellations made between July 14th and August 1st will receive a 50% refund.
  • Cancellations made on or after August 2nd will not receive a refund.

Exceptions will be made for health and family emergencies. All cancellations must be made in writing by the dates indicated above. For more information on cancellation policies, contact our office at or 757-221-2687.

2024 Pathways Trips:

  • Backpacking the Appalachian
    • Spend 4 days and 3 glorious nights backpacking in the Appalachian Mountains of VA.  
  • Canoe and Camp
    • Learn basic canoeing techniques and enjoy paddling and camping on Lake Matoaka, the James River and Holliday Lake State Park in Appomattox, VA. 
  • Surf'SUP
    • Camp at First Landing State Park and enjoy the benefits of beach camping.  Participants will have a surfing lesson by one of our VA Beach partners.  Participants will also have opportunities to hike, Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) and sea kayak at Kiptopeke State Park.
  • Base Camp (Bears Den)
    • Travel to a base camp location near the Appalachian Trail where you will camp and experience a historic mtn lodge. each day you will depart from your base camp to participate in a variety of adventures on the Shenandoah River, hike on the AT, explore caverns, gorgeous sunsets and more.
What is Pathways?

Pathways is a unique way to start your W&M experience. During Pathways you will meet other new W&M students and form lasting friendships.  You will be lead by experienced W&M students and learn valuable lessons.  You will do all of this while participating in adventures, from the comfort of a tent and while sitting around the campfire.  

Watch a video from a past Pathways!

Campus Recreation's Tribe Adventure Program has historically offered incoming students a unique and transformative pre-orientation experience. Prospective participants can choose from a list of week-long outdoor activities such as hiking, paddling, biking, rock climbing, and more. Each Pathways program is designed to cultivate self-efficacy and ease the daunting transition into college life. During their week of adventure, students will be challenged to try new skills, engage in powerful outdoors experiences, and develop valuable social connections -- all before the semester even begins!

Pathways programs are lead by Tribe Adventure Program (TAP) student trip leaders. Our Trip Leaders are all current William & Mary students. TAP Trip Leaders undergo rigorous training in outdoor skills and are certified in Wilderness First Aid. Throughout the week of Pathways, participants are able to learn about life at W&M first-hand from their trip leaders. Each participant is personally welcomed into the Tribe community through the Pathways tradition.

No Experience Necessary.  All are welcome on Pathways, no matter your previous level of outdoor experience. We would love to have you along on this pre-orientation adventure -- come TAP into the Outdoors with us! 

Pathways Check-in and Session II Early Drop-off

Students who register for Pathways 2024 Session II will return to campus first thing in the morning on Friday.  This will be just in time for orientation. Session II students are encouraged to take advantage of an early residence hall “stuff drop-off” at check-in. Pre-authorization is required. An email will be sent to confirm this early drop-off. This is a quick 30 min. drop-off during Pathways check-in.  It is not the official move-in.  Please note the return time from Pathways. No early returns will be possible.  

Pathways Session I and II  check-in will begin at 8:00AM and continue until 10:00 AM in the Bee McLeod Rec. Center Atrium.  Following check-in, participants will complete a gear check, safety briefings, and ice breakers. Session II participants with personal belongings for the school year may check-in, receive a key and drop belongings off in their residence hall.   These participants must check-in before 9:15AM. At 10AM there will be an information meeting for all participants (required) and parents (optional but encouraged).

Please note that this is a drop only.  No time will be available to set up the room at early drop-off.  Parents and students must depart the room immediately after the drop. Early check-in/“stuff drop-off” is not available to Session I participants.

On occasion, a student's room may not yet be available for early move-in.   In that case, Campus Recreation will provide a 4' x 4' space in a secure storage area for the belonging to be stored during Pathways.  Pathways staff will then help the student move these items to their room when we return from the trip, as part of the regularly scheduled move-in/orientation.

Friday 8/23:  Your Session II student will receive an email from Residence Life with their move-in time at 8AM.  It is OK if they get there a little later as Residence Life knows they are coming directly from Pathways.  The email will provide the location they should meet on campus and other instructions.  They will not need to schedule their own move-in. They will not need to get into the car line. They will receive instructions directly from Residence Life. 


Email us at [[pathways]].