Pre-Customs Outdoors Program (PCOP)
The Pre-Customs Outdoors Program, PCOP for short, is a student-run outdoors orientation program that takes place the week before Customs, Haverford’s official orientation.
First imagined in the spring of 2015 by a group of three student leaders of the Haverford Outdoors Club (HavOC), this program provides incoming students with the opportunity to begin the transition into the Haverford community a bit earlier by making new friends before the official start of school, meeting current students, and having an all-around awesome time in the great outdoors. Even after the trip ends, the experience and friends gained during the trip will stay with you as you start your college journey.
There are no costs! Participation in PCOP is free for all students.
- You must be planning to start at Haverford this fall.
- You must be a domestic student. International Students* have a special orientation, which conflicts with the dates for the trip.
- You must have proof of health insurance (this can be the college provided health insurance plan), and this must be brought on the trip.
- You must be available to participate for the entire duration of the trip and able to move on to campus on the designated move-in day.
- You must be capable of meeting the physical demands of the trip.
If you meet these requirements, there is nothing else you need in order to participate! No prior backpacking experience is needed (though camping and hiking experience is highly recommended), and all the technical backpacking gear you’ll need on the trip will be provided (except hiking boots).
* The Office of International Student Support strongly recommends that US citizens from Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands; U.S. citizens living abroad; those with dual/multiple citizenships; U.S. permanent residents residing abroad; and students who have completed two years or less of high school in the U.S. attend the International Student Orientation.
PCOP trips last 5 days and 4 nights and are centered around backpacking and hiking. Each trip is comprised of 6 first-year students and 2 trip leaders, who are current students at Haverford with extensive outdoor leadership experience. While leaders are a great resource on the trip, they are not there to do the hike for you, so if you are interested in participating, be ready for a physically demanding but exciting time in the woods!
This year, PCOP will sponsor 4 trips to New York and to Central Pennsylvania. Participants will be expected to carry 30- to 40-pound packs and hike anywhere from 6 to 10 miles a day. At night, participants will sleep in tents that are designated gender neutral (meaning that there will be no single gender tents). Be advised that the trip is happening rain or shine, and we can’t guarantee nice weather, so be prepared to rough it in the rain if necessary!
If you are interested in participating in PCOP, there is a short application process. Please fill out and submit the application by the deadline. As part of the application process, you may be asked to participate in a short phone interview, so please respond to any emails or phone calls you receive from us as soon as possible. If you are accepted into the program, you will be asked to fill out a short waiver, which you can find below with the application.
Unfortunately, to keep PCOP free and accessible to everyone who applies, we only can take three trips of six students each. In the past, we have received a number of applications well over this limit and sadly could not accept most of the students who have applied. We wish sending in an application could guarantee you a spot on one of our trips, but in maintaining our mission, the program must remain fairly selective. We carefully review every application under the guidance of Haverford's Admission office in choosing the participants for PCOP. That being said, whether you are selected to be on a PCOP trip or not, there are many opportunities to get outside with HavOC (Haverford's Outdoors Club) throughout the year, and any student of any class year has the autonomy to propose a trip that they would like to see happen.
If you are accepted to the program you will receive an acceptance email containing the password for our Accepted Students page and can begin preparing for your trip! You must be sure to complete all the tasks listed on the site in order to secure your spot on a PCOP trip.
Important Dates and Timeline
|May 1, 2019||Application Opens|
|June 15, 2019||Applications Due|
|June 15–20, 2019||Skype Interviews (If Applicable)|
|August 20, 2019||Arrive on Campus and Move-In|