Students at Hickory Run

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.

2023 Pre-Orientation Dates to Know

  • Friday, Aug. 11: 
    • 7 – 11 a.m. Move-in for Pre-O participants
    • 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pre-O participants and their parents and families are invited to join us for lunch in Bostwick
    • Pre-O programs begin after move-in
  • Tuesday, Aug. 15:
    • Last day of Pre-O programs
  • Wednesday, Aug. 16:
    • New Student Orientation begins for all first-year Bucknell students 

Note: Dates and times are tentative and subject to change.


Take it outside!

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

Outdoor Education & Leadership


Tustin Hall, Room 151