Safety, Requirements, & Staff Info.

When offered within an atmosphere of support and caring, outdoor challenges stimulate personal growth.

We believe that the growth process relies on your becoming familiar with the emotions preceding new challenges, working constructively with those emotions, and giving challenges your best try.

Awakening’s solid safety record is backed by:

  • Strong staff training
  • On site medic with Wilderness First Responder or Nursing certification
  • An up-to-date High 5 Adventure/Project Adventure challenge course
  • Approved climbing gear for our ropes courses

Our only requirements:

  • Be willing to participate to the best of your ability, to respect and support others, and to pitch in when help is needed.
  • All activities are “challenge by choice” – you may find your own level of challenge.
  • Bring adequate footwear and outdoor clothing as listed on our What to Bring section below.
  • No special physical skills are necessary.

“Awakening is incredible. I wish that everyone had the opportunity to be awakened and enlightened and empowered.”

Carly Woodcock ’06


What To Bring To Awakening

What to Expect: Read this carefully!
During the Awakening Program, you will be spending a great deal of time outdoors. You will be camping out at least one night under a tent shelter. The other three nights you may be in tents or cabins, possibly on mattresses, always in your sleeping bag. Accommodations at Pine Lake Environmental Campus are fairly rustic.

There are limited shower facilities during the program and daily swimming is optional during R&R time. Meals are generally taken in a dining hall, although you will do some cooking as a group. Temperatures may range from the 40s to the 90s, so bring clothing for the full range of temperatures: a warm jacket or several warm layers are necessary. A letter from your leaders in July or August will indicate any special items to add to this list. *There are some items that can be reserved from Pine Lake for the week, as noted below – these items are listed on the program registration form.

How to Pack
Please pack early: don’t leave it until the last minute. This will insure that you have all the gear that you need. We suggest that you pack your gear in backpacks, duffel bags, rucksacks, or other soft luggage; avoid suitcases. Due to space limitations, you will need to pack two separate portions of your gear: one portion (First Night Gear) for the first camp out night, and the rest for the rest of the week (Remaining Gear). Please consult the weather while you pack so that you are prepared for the conditions, if it looks like it is going to be cold be sure to pack plenty of warm clothing. If it looks like it is going to be hot, remember that it still gets cool at night in the mountains so please bring some longer pants and shirts for the evenings. Plan to wear sneakers 90% of the time, closed-toe shoes are required for the majority of the activities you will be participating in.

Pack #1-for the First Overnight Gear Camp Out
Pack these items compactly in one or two bags that are WATERPROOF or LINED WITH A PLASTIC BAG. This will be everything you need for the first overnight, a camp out with your small group. You will be reunited with your Pack #2 (Remaining Gear) the following day. Make sure you can carry all of your first night gear by yourself.

PACK #1: First Overnight Gear
1 Backpack to carry all overnight gear is suggested

Think warm clothing, and clothing that will stay dry!

  • Change of clothing for the next day
  • Sweatshirt or sweater for the evening (preferably not cotton)
  • Pajamas and warm socks to sleep in
  • Rain gear (jacket/poncho/etc)

Eating Utensils:
You’ll need to use these all week; consider strong utensils and perhaps sectioned Tupperware. (*can reserve a mess kit from Pine Lake – see registration form)

  • Plastic (or aluminum) bowl, plate, and cup/mug
  • Spoon, table knife, and fork
  • 2 large Ziploc baggies to carry the above utensils in
  • Reusable water bottle


  • Sleeping bag & pillow (warm down to 40 degrees) (*can reserve a sleeping bag from Pine Lake – see registration form)
  • Sleeping pad (*can reserve a ground pad from Pine Lake – see registration form)
  • Headlamp/ Flashlight w/extra batteries (useful all week)
  • Soap and toiletries, toothbrush
  • Insect repellent/sunscreen

PACK #2: Remaining Gear
Pack separately from PACK #1 above. This gear will meet up with you on day two and will be useful for the remainder of the week.

All of these items may get dirty

  • Clothes for the rest of the week
  • Bathing suit (you can swim every day in the spring-fed lake)
  • 1 Towel (for after swimming)
  • Heavy sweatshirt or warm jacket-looser and older
  • Wool or polyester socks (warm when wet): 1 or 2 pair
  • A nicer outfit: button up shirt, skirt/dress, for the final evening barbecue/folk dance when we meet guests from campus and do some very active fun dancing
  • Sandals for the evenings/ walking around the cabin/ swimming


  • A second towel (so one can be drying)
  • 1-2 plastic garbage bags
  • Day pack or book pack (to carry water, snacks, and extra layers of clothing during the day)

Recommended/Optional Remaining Gear – NOT TO BE PUT IN PACK #1:

  • Your journal (if you have one and like to write in it)
  • Reading materials (if you like to read every day)
  • Poetry or inspirational readings (if you like to share this kind of thing)
  • Musical instrument
  • Binoculars (in case you hike)
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking boots (in case you hike, or if you like to wear them on the ropes course)
  • Gloves for warmth
  • Long underwear (if you tend to need extra warmth at night)
  • Wool or fleece hat (it really does get cold at night in the northeast)
  • Sheet to sleep under (in case it’s too hot and humid at night for your sleeping bag)

Please Leave at Home:
Pagers, iPods, walkmans, radios, alcohol, drugs. While we won’t tell you to leave you Cell phones at home, we will strongly encourage disconnecting from electronics for the week. Presence can be one of the most refreshing and rewarding experiences, especially at an Environmental Campus with beauty around every corner 🙂

We ask for polyester clothing because it is warm when wet. Make sure to have a waterproof jacket and waterproof pants; they are pretty necessary.

If you have any questions at all about how to pack, please email the Awakening staff or call the Director of Awakening, Erin BaxterToal, 607-431-4547.

“From Awakening I learned that I can be accepted for all of who I am.”

Sarah Timm ’10 

Interested in joining our dynamic Awakening Staff?

Awakening Staff Information Sheet: includes all information about being a staff member, dates, and requirements

Awakening Staff Application: apply here! DUE 4/30/20 for Fall 2020 program

Awakening Staff members have the opportunity to build leadership skills, experience with community building, and character development.  Staff members consist of Upper class Hartwick College students, Staff and Faculty members, as well as Alumni.  Upper-class students can earn credits in areas such as Physical Education, Independent Study, various Mini-course topic areas, Internships, Education, etc.  Staff are recruited in the Spring of each year, which includes an application process, interview and several training dates.