Orientation Adventure Trips

2018 Trips

The Orientation Adventure (OA) is the off-campus component of Harvey Mudd’s new student orientation program. Student participants spend two days on excursions with 10–15 of their peers in, above, and around the greater Southern California area, all while being mindful of the program’s most fundamental goal – to foster the development of meaningful relationships between new students.

OA trips are led by two to three student Orientation Leaders as well as a faculty/staff member.

Below are descriptions of the 2018 Orientation Adventure trips. Please fill out the trip preference form here!

Boomers and Baldy!

Guides: Martha Gao ’21 and Omari Matthews ’21 
Faculty/Staff: Danny Ledezma

Ready to have a blast?! Come join us and experience all the fun you can have without going too far from campus! We start of the day on Friday with a yummy breakfast in the Claremont Village, the go-to place for 5C students to get off campus. Then, we’ll head to Boomers – mini golf, go karting, bumper cars, you name it! Afterwards, we come back to our very own campus to rest or legs and lungs. In the evening, we’ll join forces with another group, play some laser tag, then chill out on campus, getting ready for the next day. We’ll then wake up to a nice breakfast at a smoothie spot then go on a hike on our local Mt. Baldy (6.8 mi) and afterwards cool down with some ice cream and dinner.

Big Bear Bonanza

Guides: Neeta Rao ’20 and Tom Dougherty ’20
Faculty/Staff: Prof. Jim Boerkel

Buckle up because we’re bringing you to Big Bear! We will be driving out to Big Bear where we will spend two days exploring the beautiful mountainous area which is Big Bear. On Friday, we will leave Mudd in the morning and go on a moderate (4-6 mile) hike in Big Bear in the afternoon, with views of the gorgeous Big Bear Lake. We will spend the night in a cabin at Big Bear where we will bond over board games, s’mores and the brilliant light from the bright Big Bear stars. On Saturday, we will be hiking in the morning, and then spend the day at Big Bear Lake before coming back to Mudd in the early evening to chow down on a well-deserved dinner on the town. By the end of the 48 hours, we should all have new memories, friends and an appreciation of Big Bear.

Mechanics and Wave Motion

Guides: Alice Chi ’21, Violet Burbank ’21, and Arielle Isaacs ’21
Faculty/Staff: Prof. Nicholas Breznay

The first day, we will go to Knott’s Berry Farm to discover the mysterious mechanics of roller coasters. What makes them work? We may never know. The second day we will chill on the Crystal Cove State Park beach and study the waves as they oscillate. Other options include hiking, swimming, exploring tidepools and playing catch. At the end of each long day, you will have an opportunity to wind down and do puzzles and play board games. (DISCLAIMER: not actually educational, unless you want it to be!)

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Escape

Guides: Roger Hooper ’19, Adam Grobman ’21, and Guilherme Missaka ’21
Faculty/Staff: Prof. Qimin Yang

Are you ready for some sun and fun? Do you love solving puzzles? If you do, this is your trip! Our first day we will be spent riding water slides at Raging Waters waterpark! On the second day you will have the opportunity to team up with your fellow Mudd Frosh, three other Mudd students, and a Mudd staff member to find your way out of an escape room*. Are you new to California? Have you heard of this mysterious place called In-N-Out with the best burgers in the world? Are you from California and just love In-N-Out? Well, we will welcome you to the Heaven-on-Earth that is In-N-Out after we dominate the escape room. *Note: This is not a horror escape room.

Bridge to Nowhere

Guides: Yury Namgung ’21 and Dinah Bowman ’21
Faculty/Staff: 

Want to explore Nowhere? We will go on a 15 mile (round-trip) hike to the Bridge to Nowhere in Los Angeles National Forest and explore the surrounding desert wilderness. We will go on as many side adventures as the group wants to, and will have plenty of time for swimming in the refreshingly cool river below the bridge. We’ll spend the night in the backcountry sleeping in tents or under the stars. We’ll end the trip with dinner in downtown Claremont, so you’ll get to know your new town. Be prepared to enjoy nature with new friends! Note: No prior experience is required (but it is strongly encouraged). Please keep in mind that this is a moderate intensity overnight backpacking trip that involves a few mandatory river crossings. Bring water shoes!

Wandering Little Tokyo

Guides: Liya Zhu ’19 and Angela Sun ’19
Faculty/Staff: Maureen Ruiz-Sundstrom

Secretly (or not so secretly) an anime fan? Infatuated with Japanese crafts, origami, or want to learn? We welcome everyone who enjoys some aspect of Japanese culture (or just really, really likes green tea kitkats). Our first day will be spent around campus, exploring the Claremont Village, playing board games and crafting in air-conditioned rooms, and marathoning Japanese animation (please send us your suggestions!). On the second day, we will venture into Little Tokyo, wandering around the Japanese American National Museum, diving into Kinokuniya’s large stash of books, taking a walking tour of Little Tokyo, and exploring all that it has to offer.

Food! Foood! Foooood!

Guides: Marcelo Almora Rios ’20 and Luke Trujillo ’20
Faculty/Staff: Prof. Victoria Noquez

Come to our super foody trip! We’ll be spending a day in Santa Monica to eat at some foody restaurants, and then explore the famous pier/beach! Expect fun games and extra fun because Professor Esin of the physics department will be tagging along. She is awesome! As for the second day, frosh will form into teams and compete in a cooking challenge–a bread baking contest! Except we’re not giving you the instructions. Once in a lifetime opportunity to get paid to fail a little bit. While the bread’s cooking, we’ll show you all the best places to eat in the Claremont Village, a within-walking-distance plaza complex next to the 5C’s, and then watch a movie. When we come back, the profs will taste and judge your bread!

Space Travel

Guides: Toty Calvo ’20, Sarah Grade ’21, and Louise Smith ’21
Faculty/Staff: Prof. Brian Shuve

Ever wondered what it is like to live in space? How much would you weigh and what would you see out your window as the rocket ship takes off? Well, here is your chance to find out! Join us as we journey to the California Science Center to see Endeavor and then blast off to the Griffith Park Observatory and Planetarium. Be prepared to do a lot of space walking during the day and at night you get to enjoy some cool Sci-Fi movies and dinner cooked by your flight commanders. If you are ready for this Space Trip pack your helmet, sun visors, communication equipment, water connectors, and your cameras to document your cool findings because this trip is going to be out of this world. Lastly, don’t forget your oxygen tanks and your sense of adventure!!

Sea, Stars, and Sea Stars

Guides: Chris Strong ’19 and Casey Gardner ’19
Faculty/Staff: Dean Mike Edwards

Chris Strong '19 and Casey Gardner '19

This trip begins with a ferry ride to Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park where we may (hopefully) spot dolphins, whales, or other marine wildlife. Then, we’ll spend the first day exploring under the sea marine reserves with snorkels. In the evening, we’ll peer upwards and enjoy the bright stars. Day two continues with a gorgeous and fairly strenuous hike around the island with views of the ocean and local wildlife before we ferry back to shore and then (Santa) Cruz back to Mudd! (Note: Participants should be able to swim)

Escape to the Outdoors, with a Picnic!!

Guides: Lydia Sylla ’19 and Maggie Gelber ’19
Faculty/Staff: Prof. Rebecca Johannsen

Do you like being outside and hiking, but also like showering and sleeping in a bed? Do you like wandering the outdoors, but also enjoy hanging out and playing board games? We have all of those things! We will spend the first day of our trip doing a moderate 9 mile (≈4-5 hours total) day hike in the mountains near campus, after which we will get dinner as a group in the Claremont Village! We’ll spend the evening relaxing and playing board games. The following day we will go to the Botanical Gardens, eat a picnic lunch there, and then (hopefully!) escape from a nearby escape room. The rest of the afternoon will be spent playing more games and doing a scavenger hunt challenge across Mudd and the other 4Cs. Please note, the day hike will be moderately strenuous if you don’t have any hiking experience. But as long as you come prepared with good shoes and several water bottles, we think anyone should be able to do it.

Mudd Tea Party

Guides: Celine Park ’20 and Elena Romero ’20
Faculty/Staff: Prof. Katherine Breeden

On Friday, we will travel to Huntington Library and Gardens to look at the gardens and galleries and eat a picnic lunch. Upon returning to Mudd in the evening, we’ll get boba tea, eat dinner, play board games, and decorate mugs. On Saturday, we will meet mid-morning to make baked goods, tea (in the mugs we decorated!), and have a tea party brunch. We’ll watch movies, play more board games, and do some simple crafts that will brighten your new dorm room. In the evening, we will walk into town for dinner and liquid nitrogen ice cream.

O Cabin! My Cabin!

Guides: Anna Barth ’21 and Chris Thompson ’21
Faculty/Staff: 

Join us for an amazing time with hikes, nature, and fun in idyllic Idyllwild! After breakfast, we’ll head to the campsite, where we’ll go for an afternoon hike. Then, we’ll spend the evening relaxing in our wilderness-themed cabins atop the mountain. The next day, we’ll be up bright and early* to prep for a day hike! There is a fair amount of hiking involved in this trip, and while no hiking experience is required, please be conscious of your abilities.

* bright because it will be at nine, and early relative to the rest of the day

Picture Perfect Instagram Exploration

Guides: Jess Wolf ’20 and Sascha Reynolds ’20
Faculty/Staff: Kim Nykanen

We are heading to the the most Instagram-worthy spots in Los Angeles! On the first day, we will visit iconic wall art in Downtown LA and hit up some of LA’s most Insta-worthy art museums. On the second day, we will go on a short hike in Elysian Park that ends in a secret swing overlooking the city, and have a picnic lunch in the park. We’ll round out the trip with some aesthetically pleasing treats in Chinatown to fill our Instagram feeds and our stomachs.

Eating Our Way Through LA (and also LA culture)

Guides: Ian Taylor ’20 and Siena Guerrero ’20
Faculty/Staff: Prof. Jon Jacobsen

Do you like food? Do you like culture? Do you want to learn how to use public transport in L.A.? Put on your walking shoes, and come with us and visit restaurants, parks, and museums in L.A. proper. This trip will involve lots of walking and a 2 hour hike. We will be visiting several fancy and delicious restaurants over the course of the trip, getting to know each other over food. At night, we’ll return to campus for activities like watching movies and playing board/card games. There may be a late night run to In-N-Out too…

Please note: Siena has a puppy, Ruby, that may accompany the group during the trips into L.A. and will be present during group bonding exercises on campus. Therefore, if you have a fear of dogs or are allergic to pet dander, this many not be the trip for you. However, if you want to meet a sweet mini goldendoodle puppy, then her presence may add a bonus to your tour of L.A.  🙂

About your OA leaders: Ian and Siena are two goofy goobers who have been best friends since their frosh year after meeting in SI. They both love video games, funny memes, and going on crazy adventures

Exploring the Stars and Aesthetics of LA

Guides: Jill Cardamon ’20 and Cat Ngo ’20
Faculty/Staff: Prof. Erika Dyson

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to immerse yourself in both the arts and sciences of Los Angeles? Is it possible to visit the stars and experience art in one day?! Before school starts, we’ll take you on an adventure. We will start with a space voyage to Griffith Park Observatory and Planetarium. Then, we’ll moon-bounce over to Downtown LA for dinner and exploration of Little Tokyo and the Arts District. For the next day, remember to pack your paint brushes (figuratively speaking). We will explore the Museum of Contemporary Art and a few LA landmarks such as the Last Bookstore! Don’t forget your cameras and your sense of adventure!

Malibu Excursion

Guides: Max Tepermeister ’20 and Flora Xia ’20
Faculty/Staff: 

We will be driving to Malibu Creek State Park where we will do an amazing 7.5 mile hike called Castro Crest that will take us on a journey through the park and show us some funky rocks. It is not very challenging (1250 altitude gain) but gives beautiful views of the ocean and mountain range. After staying overnight in tents at the park (Wooooo!), we will go to Malibu beach(More Wooo!!). Lunch will be eaten at a restaurant in Malibu upon arrival. After eating, we will enjoy a few hours of kayaking/paddleboarding/chilling on the beach. Finally, we will stop for dinner on the way back to Mudd.

Good Beaches Only

Guides: Gabe Quiroz ’19 and Djassi Julien ’20
Faculty/Staff: Prof. Timothy Tsai

Come explore SoCal Beaches with us! On day one, we’ll visit the Getty Villa before driving down to Santa Monica Pier and hanging out on the boardwalk! After that we’ll head to Venice Beach to watch a gorgeous sunset, and if we squint really hard maybe we’ll see some stars too*! The next day, we’ll drive down to Laguna Beach, play volleyball, and soak up some rays before heading to Aliso Beach for some tidepooling and sea cave exploration! This trip is guaranteed to be full of surf, sand, tasty food, and fun in the sun, or your money back**!

*we probably won’t see stars through the smog but we can pretend!

**this trip is free, so you’d actually get $0 back

San Gorgonio Ascension

Guides: Eleanor Rackoff ’20 and Isaiah Fujii Bresnihan ’20
Faculty/Staff: 

Our trip explores the San Gorgonio Mountain, the highest peak in Southern California! We will be on a very difficult hike, up switchbacks and steep slopes to reach the summit at over 10,500 feet. After completing the majority of the hike the first day, we will be camping tent-free under the stars before our descent on day two. The group will cover a little under 20 miles of trails in 2 days; this is one of the most challenging adventures. The work pays off though; you’ll find amazing views and get to know fantastic people. We can’t wait to see you on the trail! Note: While we want to encourage you to challenge yourselves on this trip, please be aware that this is a very intense overnight backpacking trip, totaling about 20 miles and 5500 feet elevation gain. Please be cognizant of your experience level in going on such a trip.

SanO Surfing

Guides: Prakarsh Pandey ’20 and Erika MacDonald ’21
Faculty/Staff: Prof. Dagan Karp

We will spend most of our time in the water surfing. Whether beginner or pro, everyone can take this time before school to live the Cali dream. With professional surf instructors and lifeguards on hand, anyone can learn to surf even if they have no experience. To take a break from surfing we will hike through dunes and tide pools, or toss discs and play soccer. At night we will camp out on the campsites near San Onofre, making s’mores and memories.

Stranger Side of LA

Guides: Ellie Naudzius ’20 and Roya Amini-Naeini ’21
Faculty/Staff: Prof. Danae Schulz

Fantastic frosh, join us on an adventure into the stranger side of Los Angeles. We’ll start our journey with some pancakes and a train ride downtown where we’ll weave our way through the labyrinth of books at The Last Bookstore. Afterwards, we’ll wander over to the Grand Central Market for lunch, and head to an eccentric museum. Back at Mudd, we can watch some stranger movies, such as What We Do In the Shadows or Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, check out the stranger parts of the 5Cs! The next day, we’d venture to Ripley’s Believe it or Not and the abandoned zoo at Griffith Park.

Chasing Waterfalls

Guides: John Lentfer ’21 and Andrea Zavala ’21
Faculty/Staff: Prof. Mary Van Vleet

Come explore new heights with us! We will spend Friday hiking doing a short hike and ascending 400 feet to reach Sturtevant Falls, a 60-foot waterfall. We’ll immerse ourselves in the water and enjoy a picnic. Then, we will continue our ascent to get a beautiful view. After a dinner back in the Claremont Village, we’ll create art at the Hive. Saturday, we will soar through the skies on a ropes course challenge. After lunch and boba, we’ll go for a swim. We’ll have a BBQ dinner, and play games and bake for dessert.

Don’t Worry, Beach Happy!

Guides: Mario Juarez ’20 and Kevin Nakahara ’20
Faculty/Staff: Sarah Barnes

Aquatic creatures, hiking, and beaches! This trip features a visit to one of LA’s coolest aquariums, a scenic hike along the coast, some quality time on the beach, and delicious food along the way. On the first day we will be driving down to long beach to check out an aquarium, feast on street food and soak up the sun on the beach featuring spike ball, volleyball, and other beach games. We will start the second day with a hike in Ocean Trails along the coast followed by another afternoon at the beach. At night we will be having a cookout, playing games and watching a movie*. Also this trip has the best OA leaders in the history of OA leaders**.

*Potentially taking over a giant lecture hall for a quality viewing experience.

**Self-proclaimed title, but we are very hyped to be your OA leaders

Race to the Top

Guides: Jacob Donenfeld ’21 and Athena Li ’21
Faculty/Staff: Paul Hardister

Looking for an adrenaline rush? Come join us for two days of high-flying, speed-chasing thrills in the Claremont area! The first day, we’ll head to an indoor rock climbing gym, then grab lunch and explore the 5Cs with a scavenger hunt. After dinner, it’s a late night date with the Libra complex for the infamous ITR games. The next day, it’s off to the (go kart) races before “winding down” with some exciting games like mafia and resistance.