Safety & Requirements

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 certification
  • An up-to-date Project Adventure challenge course
  • Approved climbing gear for the high ropes course

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 (the first night) under a tent shelter. The other four 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 available during the program and daily swimming is optional during R&R time. Outhouses are the standard for Awakening; do not expect flush toilets. Meals are generally taken in a dining hall/outdoor tent area, 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.

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 Overnight 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.

  • 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 gear [Sleeping bag (warm down to 40 degrees)/ sleeping pad/ pillow]
  • Sleeping pad (Thermarest, Ridgerest are good brands) – for use all week
  • 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 shirt (men), or skirt/blouse or dress (women), 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
  • Pocket knife
  • 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:
Cellular phones, pagers, iPods, walkmans, radios, alcohol, drugs

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 Toal 607-431-4547.

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

Sarah Timm ’10

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