Frequently Asked Questions


How much does Pre-O cost?

All courses cost $500 which includes: food, camping/permits, transportation, and group outdoor equipment.

What forms of payment can you accept?

We accept credit cards and e check through the link emailed to you after registration.

Where do I send my forms and payment?

All your forms can be filled out on Regpak. Alternatively, you can e-mail all of your forms (Medical Form, Waivers, etc.) to or mail them to the address below.

3400 N. Charles St.
Attn: Recreation – Pre-O
Baltimore, MD 21218

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

Office Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM, Monday through Friday

Phone: 410-516-4417



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 assistance available?

Yes, there is is a limited amount funds available. To apply, please fill out the financial assistance section on the Pre-O registration form . Once we receive your registration we will review it, and 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 registration?

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 residence hall before my Pre-O trip?

Yes, Pre-O participants can move into their residence halls prior to leaving for their trips. You will be able to move in Friday right before your trip starts. Pre-O participants will be contacted during the summer 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 public transit options. From the airport you can take the light rail or MARC train to the Baltimore 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 trip Packing List found in your welcome packet via email 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 duffel 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 washed off frequently.

Synthetic clothing is preferred. Cotton clothing is not ideal as it takes a long time to dry. 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 ($10), sleeping bags ($10) and sleeping pads ($5). 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

Group Size

Each trip consists of at least 2 JHU Outdoor Instructors and 6-8 first year students.


You will be able to move into your dorm and stay there the Friday before you leave. While on Pre-O you will spend the week sleeping in tents or tarps with your group.


The weather can be variable during this time of year, so we plan for a range of temperatures. Expect highs in the upper 80s, lows in the 60s, and possibly hotter days or cooler nights. Please bring the recommended clothing in order to layer and protect yourself from the elements in all conditions.

Physical Preparations

The best way to prepare for this trip is to stay active. Jogging, sports, or walking 3-5 miles a few times a week will all increase your enjoyment once in the field.

Communication and Emergencies

Our trip locations often have cell service, but some sections may be spotty. The instructors will carry a cell phone in the event of an emergency, however we will not completely rely on the service, and the group needs to know they may be without communication at times. We develop contingencies and have specific information for emergencies, but we are also aware that based on location and access it may take time to contact or reach definitive medical care, should the need arise. Three professional staff members will also be out in the field throughout the week checking in on the groups and providing support when necessary.

If there is a family emergency and you need to contact your student please leave a message on the below numbers and we will get back to you shortly

Andrew Padilla, Assistant Director for Experiential Education, 410-516-4416

Kyle Kraft-Culkin, Coordinator for Experiential Education, 410-516-4424

Pre-O Schedule

What does the Outdoor Pre-O schedule look like?

First Friday

  • 9 AM: 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.
  • 9 AM to 3 PM: Move in
  • 3 PM to 3:30 PM: 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
  • 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM: Pre-O participants meet their groups and instructors. Parents do not need to come to this.
  • 3:30 PM to 5:30PM: Parent Social at Levering: Glass Pavillon
  • 5:30 PM: You can head back to the dorm, get dinner, meet up with your parents, etc.
  • 8:00 PM: Optional Pre-O participant Social at Levering: Great Hall


  • 7 AM: Pre-O participants meet for breakfast (Levering Cafeteria Lower Level)
  • 8 AM: Pre-O participants meet at Athletic Center with equipment
  • 9 AM: All Pre-O participants depart for trips
  • 9 AM to 3 PM: Parents Orientation (Hodson Hall, Room 110)

Second Friday

  • 12 PM: Groups arrive on campus and clean up
  • 3 PM: Groups disband and head back to residence halls (could be earlier or 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! Learn more about becoming an Instructor for our program in the future!