Your First Year

Pre-Orientation Programs

It’s not too late to Register for Pre-Orientation! 

To register please call the office at 410-778-6587 as soon as possible, and complete the online form here


Move-In Schedule: Click here for a printable pdf version of the schedule.

You will be given a specific schedule for your Pre-Orientation program upon arriving to campus.


Each pre-orientation program provides the opportunity to gain leadership skills, a jump-start on getting involved on campus, and a chance to meet other students with similar interests. 

  • Outdoor activities are a great way to become acquainted with Chestertown and the Eastern Shore. Through these programs you will gain appreciation for the environment that surrounds Washington College and the community!
  • Connecting Washington College students with people in Kent and Queen Anne’s County. These programs create positive changes for our community partners as well as an educational experience for you!
  • Washington College and community leaders come together to share their knowledge and expertise through academic enhancement. These programs are designed to inspire intellectual and personal development in an area of interest to you!

  • Book Arts

    Learn how to make paper by hand to create your own journal or sketchbook, carve images into linoleum blocks, and consider the relationships between text and image.

  • Chesapeake Semester Crash Course

    Explore the local environment by kayak and spend an evening camping. Catch crabs with local watermen, visit the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and visit a local farm. 

  • Dig It! Archaeological Exploration

    Join Washington College archaeologists digging a nearby colonial site from the 1600s, searching for shipwrecks in the river, and identifying the artifacts you find.

  • Experience Kent County-Eastern Shore Style

    Live aboard a skipjack and enjoy fishing, swimming, exploring remote shorelines, cooking and eating local crabs.

  • Exploring the Waterways

    Explore the pristine rivers, creeks, and streams of Maryland’s Eastern Shore with your fellow students on this four-day kayak program.

  • Get Social

    Set yourself up for social networking beyond Snapchat. Build your brand and use social media to promote yourself—yep, that’s a thing!

  • In the Footsteps of GW - Leadership

    This program will follow George Washington’s legacy from Mount Vernon to DC, to study the founder of our country and Washington College, his service as a soldier, a president, and a visionary farmer and entrepreneur. 

  • Let’s Play: Washington College

    Roleplaying games, board games, trading card games, and even video games! Meet others with similar interests. No experience necessary.

  • Mapping George in the 21st

    Learn about the ancient and powerful technology that helped create a legend. We are the GIS Program; we make so much more than maps.

  • Place and People

    Explore the local environment and all CES has to offer. Spend time kayaking, camping, bird banding, hiking, doing archaeology and more. 

  • Sail the Sultana

    Explore history on the water in an exciting and scenic four-day sailing adventure aboard the Royal Navy Schooner HMS Sultana.

  • Top Chef

    Want to learn how to cook delicious meals in your dorm room or hall kitchen? Chefs from WAC and Camp Pecometh will help you create, serve, and enjoy your own dishes, with a cook-off on the last day!

  • Washington’s Secret History

    Become a history detective and unearth the secret history of Washington College.

  • Capital Crawl

    A weekend of adventuring in Washington DC and Annapolis including a White House Tour, a show at the Kennedy Center, and adventure on the Annapolis Harbor.

  • Creative Spirits

    Explore Chestertown’s Arts & Entertainment District and enjoy private tours, tastings, and workshops with local artists and artisans inspired by place.


    Visit the 911 Center, Rescue Squad, Hospital, MSP Helicopter, Chesapeake College’s EMS Program, and become CPR & AED certified.

  • Experience the Chester River

    Get to know the Eastern Shore by traveling the waterways to discover the culture of the area and new aspects of yourself. 

  • Filmmaking Boot Camp

    Learn filmmaking as you explore storytelling from documentary, experimental, and narrative perspectives.

  • Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad

    Travel the path from slavery to freedom in this immersion experience. We’ll visit the Harriet Tubman State Park, and have a scavenger hunt to gather supplies needed for the Underground journey. 

  • Land and Sea Adventure

    Experience the outdoors with crabbing, a challenge course, wakeboarding, and kayaking.

  • Maker Bootcamp in IDEAWORKS

    Learn about tools and trends in the Maker Community and get your hands on the 3D printers, laser cutter, and more!  

  • Permaculture

    Create a healthy and productive relationship with the natural world through ecological design.

  • Poetic Imitations: A Writing Workshop

    Find your own voice through composing poems from many different approaches.

  • Shore Fit

    Learn to navigate the health and wellness community of Chestertown. Energize the start of the school year with fitness—SUP yoga to HIIT and more.

  • WACked Out Service

    Get a jump start on community service at WAC by working as a team to support the vitality of the local community. 

  • Wild Wisdom

    Experience the significance of learning in nature to both human and environmental health through the exploration of land and water along the Sassafras River and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Registration for all Pre-Orientation programs is now open!  

Our pre-orientation programs offer an exciting start to your first year at Washington College. Gain valuable skills, get a jump-start on getting involved on campus, and meet other students with similar interests.

Questions? Call Laura Johnstone Wilson, Special Projects Coordinator, at 410-778-6587 or email

Washington College encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any accommodation, please contact Andrea Vassar, Section 504/ADA Coordinator at, or call 410-778-7883.


Registration opens June 1 and closes June 28. Trip space is limited so we recommend signing up early! 

Trip Cost

The pre-orientation programs cost $75. This payment is made after you have received your pre-orientation program placement email and accepted your placement. It is due by August 1 with your tuition bill. 

Variety of Programs

We strive to make our programs diverse and unique to our student body. We will be offering 30 trips this summer that range from poetry workshops, kayaking, survival, and sailing on the Chester River. Our program descriptions will be updated regularly.