Grab a paddle. Pitch a tent. Hike across boulders. Gear up for an outdoor adventure with BuckWild, a dynamic Pre-Orientation program that takes you into the beautiful central Pennsylvania wilderness for five days of hands-on activities in the woods, on the river and beyond.

Whatever excursion you choose, you'll connect with fellow first-years, meet mentors, learn about campus culture, build teamwork, enhance your leadership skills and broaden your perspectives as you build relationships in small-group settings. BuckWild is a great foundation of support for the rest of your time at Bucknell, and all levels of outdoor experience are welcome.

What You'll Do

The Pennsylvania Wilds region brims with outdoor activities, including hiking, backpacking, kayaking, rock climbing, camping, challenge courses and more. You'll choose from several trip options, all within an easy distance from campus. Previous trips have included paddling on the Susquehanna River, backpacking and camping in the mountains and rock climbing along the Appalachian Trail.

The best part? We provide everything you need, including equipment and instruction from experienced staff and upperclass student leaders. Hone your outdoor skills or dare to try something new as you get to know a different side of Bucknell.

Pre-Orientation Move-In Day Schedule

Friday, Aug. 16

7–11 a.m.

Arrival and Check-in
Outside Sojka Pavillion
Students will receive their room key and BUID and check in with their Pre-O program leaders. After check-in, head to your residence hall to unpack your belongings and settle in.

Representatives from a variety of campus offices will be present to answer your questions. Meet staff from Bertrand Library, Bucknell Nutrition, Bucknell Student Health, Campus Activities & Programs, GenFirst!, Global & Off-Campus Education, the Teaching & Learning Center and more.

11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.Lunch
Bostwick Marketplace, Elaine Langone Center
All Pre-Orientation participants, their families and friends are invited to lunch as guests of the University (no charge). Pick up your lunch tickets at Pre-O check-in.
12:30 p.m.

Program Meetings
See below for locations
Parents and families are invited to join their student and attend these meetings. Program leaders will share details about program schedules and expectations and be available to answer questions.

  • Arts First
    Holmes Hall Lobby
  • Backstage Bucknell
  • BuckWild
    Weis Center Concert Hall (please note location change)
  • Design Thinking Leadership
    Square One Studio, South Campus Apartments Building 1
  • RAMP Up!
    Walls Lounge, Elaine Langone Center
  • Taste, Tech and Teamwork
    Holmes Hall 104
2 p.m.Students: Programs Begin
2 p.m.Families: University Welcome
Weis Center Concert Hall
President John Bravman and Interim Provost Margot Vigeant welcome and advise family members on the first year at Bucknell. Light refreshments will be served prior to the welcome; parents and families are invited to stay after to mingle.

More details about the move-in day schedule will be shared in early 2024.

Whom It’s For

All first-year students are welcome, and no outdoor experience is necessary. Detailed information, including medical and waiver forms, will be provided when you register.


$375, including all meals, program expenses and a T-shirt. Some scholarship money is available if needed.


Nathan Smith, program director

Quick Guides

Questions? Contact Us

Nathan Smith, program director
CAP Center, ground floor, Elaine Langone Center

Contact Details