Frequently Asked Questions


How much does Pre-O cost?

All courses cost $460 which includes: food, camping/permits, transportation, and group outdoor equipment.

What forms of payment can you accept?

We do except credit cards through the link you emailed at the time of registration.  Also, we accept personal checks, cashier’s checks, bank checks, and cash (please do not send cash through the mail). Checks should be made payable to “JHU.”

Where do I send my forms and payment?

You can e-mail all of your forms (Medical Form, Waivers, etc.) to or mail them to the address below.

How can I contact the Outdoor Pre-O over the summer?

Phone: 410.516.4417
10a-5p Monday through Friday
Mail: 3400 N. Charles St.
Attn: Recreation – Pre-O
Baltimore, MD 21218

What is the best way to open the PDF forms?

First, make sure you have the most recent version of Adobe Reader on your computer. Second, save the PDF attachments to your desktop or another folder of your choosing. Finally, locate the saved file and open it in Adobe Reader. If you are experiencing trouble, make sure you are not opening the PDF in your web browser or browser viewer. If you are still having trouble, give us a call or send us an email.

Is there financial aid available?

Yes, there are a limited number of scholarships available. To apply, please send a letter explaining your need for financial aid and a copy of your Hopkins financial aid package along with your registration. Once we receive your paperwork we will contact you with your award amount.

Is there a priority deadline for Outdoor Pre-O?

Yes, there is a priority deadline. Please check the Pre-O registration page for specific dates. After this date we will still accept registrations but we cannot guarantee you a space. We will contact you if you are put on a wait-list. Please mail/email your forms as early as possible to ensure registration on your first choice trip.

Can I cancel my space on a Pre-O trip?

Yes, you can. Please check out the Pre-O registration page for the 100% refund deadline. After that date there will be no refunds.

Before Traveling to Baltimore

Can I move into my dorm before my Pre-O trip

Yes, Pre-O participants can move into their dorms prior to leaving for their trips. You will be able to move in Friday right before your trip starts. We will contact Pre-O participants at the end of June to confirm their early move in.

What is the best way to get to Hopkins from the airport, bus or train terminal?

There are plenty of low cost public transit options. From the airport you can take the light rail or MARC train to the Penn Station Train Station. From there you can take the free Hopkins bus JHMI shuttle to campus. Alternatively, you can take a taxi, or shuttle to campus.

What should I bring (and not bring) on Pre-O?

Please see your trips Packing List found on the Pre-O registration page for more details on what to pack.

For Backpacking and Canoeing & Hiking trips you will need a large 60L+ backpack and sturdy boots or mid top hiking shoes.  Multi-Element, Whitewater Kayaking, and Climbing trip participants need a day pack along with a duffle bag.

Electronics of any kind will not be needed and can get damaged in the backcountry. We will hold on to your cell phones during the trip so they do not get lost, destroyed or damaged. Cell phones will be secured in our office. A flashlight and a camera are allowed!

Please do not bring any shampoo, soap, make-up, deodorant, perfumes, etc.  You will not be showering on any of the trips and wearing deodorant can be unhygienic if not be washed off frequently.

Synthetic clothing is preferred. Cotton clothing is a bad idea. This does not mean you have to buy lots of (expensive) top-notch outdoor clothing, but be smart when packing and choose non-cotton clothing over cotton.

Any valuables or unnecessary items that you bring will be left in a secure location while you are on your trip.

What equipment is provided? What equipment do I need? Can I rent any gear?

Most of the equipment you and the group will need is included! We do rent backpacks ($40), sleeping bags ($20) and sleeping pads (free). We have limited quantities of rental equipment so please let us know as soon as possible. Most of the other gear you will need is personal clothing. Please see your packing list. If you get new boots, we suggest you wear them frequently to break them in to reduce blisters on the trail.

Other important reminders!

You will be outdoors for a week. Please keep that in mind when you scheduling surgeries such as wisdom tooth removals. Once on your trip it will more difficult to follow Post-Surgery indications, so if you are having surgery, make sure it is way before Pre-O

During Pre-O

What does the Outdoor Pre-O schedule look like?

August 18,2017

  • 9am Key pickup for dorms. Go to the housing office in AMR if you are living in the AMRs and the Wolman office if you are living in Wolman or McCoy.
  • 9am to 3pm Move in
  • 3pm to 3:30pm Check in for Pre O at the Athletic Center. Please remember to bring all your equipment (on packing list) packed to this meeting.  You should have been sent a welcome packet with the packing list inside.  Also, if you rented gear you will get it at this meeting
  • 3:30pm to 5:30pm Pre O participants meet their groups and instructors. Parents do not need to come to this.
  • 5:30pm You can head back to the dorm, get dinner, meet up with your parents, etc.
  • 9:30pm Ice cream outside the Athletics and Recreation Center (optional)
  • 10:00pm Movie in the Recreation Center Pool (optional)

August 19,2017

  • 8am Pre O participants meet outside Athletics and Recreation Center for breakfast
  • 9am All Pre O participants depart for trips
  • 9am to 3pm  Parents Orientation  Location TBA

August 25,2017

  • Between 10am and 12pm Arrive back on campus and start clean up
  • 3pm head back to dorms (could be earlier or slightly later depending on arrival time and efficiency of group during clean up)

Life After Pre-O

What happens after Pre-O?

Once you return back to Hopkins after an amazing week in the wilderness, your group will clean and store all group gear, debrief, and say goodbyes!  Pre-O officially ends once all gear is stored and clean; this is usually around mid-afternoon the day you return to Hopkins. You can spend that afternoon and evening unpacking and meeting new friends at your dorm. Freshmen Orientation begins that day.

If you are excited to continue getting outdoors, join Outdoor Pursuits and the Office of Experiential Education on day trips throughout the year!  sign up for trips on our day trip page. During the semester the same instructors that were on Pre-O trips also lead climbing, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, fly fishing, and hiking trips!