Scene on Campus

Fireside chat

It had been a long trip: four days of hiking, soggy camping gear, and no showers. But on their last day, the troop of ten incoming freshmen—one of some 40 groups that had opted for Freshman Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT)—was still having fun. Dining hall–issue mac and cheese had never tasted better. And the group had bonded. Led by enthusiastic upperclassmen, the FOOT hikes pair old-fashioned outdoor adventure with latter-day trust games. Students carry each other’s food and stay up late trading stories about their hometowns.

Bob Handelman

Bob Handelman

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“It was something between life before Yale and life at Yale for me,” says Nick Defiesta ’14 (in white shirt and glasses), who had been apprehensive about leaving his beloved Seattle. By campfire time, his homesickness had melted away. “It felt like, I remember in that moment, that we had been friends for a couple of weeks instead of two or three days.” 

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