Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips

COOT (Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips) is an outdoor-based student orientation program that is required of all first-year Colby students. COOT trips are designed to be fun and engaging while preparing students for their transition to living and learning on campus. COOT trips provide students with the opportunity to develop meaningful social connections while engaging in an appropriate level of challenge through a wide range of experiences throughout the beautiful State of Maine. Additionally, COOT leaders provide an ongoing mentoring presence on campus throughout the academic year.

The COOT program--which takes place August 29 to August 31, 2014 offers students classic outdoor experiences such as rock climbing, sea kayaking, backpacking, canoeing, sailing, whitewater rafting and more!

COOT trips range from mild to strenuous in exertion level and provide students with an exciting array of activities and amenities from which to choose. From beginners to those experienced in the outdoors, it is our goal to provide everyone with a trip well-suited to their interests and ability level.

Since 1975, the COOT program has helped over 12,000 first year students navigate the woods and waters of Maine and the corridors and classrooms of Colby College. The program is managed by administrative staff with significant collaboration and assistance from student leaders. Our leaders undergo a competitive selection process and must successfully complete all training requirements to be considered an outdoor orientation leader.


In order to register for COOT, the following forms must be submitted. Our experience shows that early submission of all forms eases transition concerns for both students and parents:
  • Health and Immunization Forms: If you have done so already, health and immunization forms must be faxed or mailed to the Colby Health Center as soon as you know you have been accepted. These forms can be found on the Colby Health Center website.
  • COOT Registration Form: Registration is available through the portal. Students will be asked to rank order their trip preferences. Students are not assigned to trips based on order of registration submission, but earlier registrations do have a better chance of being assigned to one of their top choices. Many factors are considered with regards to trip assignments such as relevant experience and preparedness as well as the availability of seats (to keep groups intimate in size and to minimize impact on natural resources all trips have a seat limit, some smaller than others).
  • Risk Release Form: For students under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must sign a hard copy and send via fax to the COOT program at (207) 859-4285. Students who are 18 (or will be before 8/26/14) can review and sign the risk release at Colby during orientation.
  • Treatment Authorization: Authorization for medical treatment is covered in the Risk Release Form.

Sample COOT Trips

Cooking with Local, Sustainable Foods

Goat milk cheese, wild blueberries and sunchokes! Experience the vibrant local foods community in Maine. This trip will begin ...
more information


Art, science, philosophy, path to self-discovery--yoga has been described as all of these. The scenic Camden Hills region will ...
more information

Challenge Course

Laughter is a wonderful way to bring people together! Fun, excitement and challenge characterize this experience that allows ...
more information


Midcoast Maine provides the inspirational backdrop for this offering that is sure to spark your creative interest! Participants ...
more information