PAWs is a collaboration between the Department of Campus Recreation and the Memorial Union Building. Campus Rec and the MUB are two of the most active and engaging places on campus. We believe that PAWs is the perfect synergy of these two campus resources and that this program provides an excellent opportunity to jump-start your UNH experience.
- PAWs is a 6-day, 5-night outdoor program for incoming UNH students.
- Students can choose basecamping, backpacking or adventure trips
- Approximately 160 incoming students arrive on campus early to participate in PAWs.
- Students spend their time in a group of 8-10 students along with 2 (or 3 depending on the group) highly trained student leaders.
- The registration fee includes all food, lodging, group equipment, transportation, instruction, etc. And you get a free t-shirt!
To provide a challenging yet safe environment where incoming UNH students can experience a positive transition into college while learning about UNH and developing connections with other incoming students as well as upper class student leaders.
- Facilitate the transition from high school to UNH
- Develop a sense of community, involvement, and tradition at UNH
- Foster a positive learning environment and a climate of mutual respect
- Create friendships and develop a support network
- Learn about UNH
- Be safe, yet challenged
- Have fun
During the program each group is comprised of 8-10 incoming students and 2-3 trained student leaders. PAWs leaders complete over 100 hours of training and are required to be certified in CPR and Wilderness First Aid.
The majority of your time will be spent at the Mendums Pond Outdoor Recreation Area. You will sleep in a tent with members of your small group, cook all of your own meals over a camp stove, and rinse off in the pond. Mendums Pond is a rustic area with no electricity or enclosed buildings, in other words, you'll be camping. Yes, camping outside for 5 nights will be a little bit challenging, but so will college!
Throughout the week, you'll do teambuilding and challenge course activities, go canoeing and paddleboarding, spend nights by the fire and a whole day away hiking one of NH's iconic peaks. The week is filled with fun and opportunities to make new friends and learn more about UNH.
No experience necessary. During registration, you'll have the opportunity to choose your hike intensity: easy, moderate or strenuous.
You'll spend the first night at Mendums Pond getting to know your small group and getting ready for the backpacking adventure. On the morning of the second day, you'll head to the White Mountains for 3 nights of backpacking! You'll hike 3-7 miles each day carrying all of your gear, spend each night in primitive campsites and work together with your group to meet the challenges of the trail while enjoying spectacular scenery.
During the trip, there will be time for hanging out and getting to know your group, leaders and all about UNH! You'll return to Mendums Pond to spend the final night with the large group reflecting on your experiences.
While you do not need backpacking experience, you should have hiking experience. Be prepared for long strenuous days! It's challenging, but fun.
Adventure Trip Options
You'll spend the first night at Mendums Pond getting to know your small group. On the morning of the second day, each group will head to a different location in NH or Maine. All trips will return to Mendums Pond for the final night for dinner and a closing campfire.
No expereince is necessary for participation. Trips vary in intensity with some suitable for those seeking a more relaxed experience and others for those really looking for a challenge. Space is limited on each trip.
Trip options include:
White Mountains 4000 Footers Hiking - The group will travel to Barnes Field Campground in the White Mountains and setup basecamp. On the first day in the mountains, you'll do a warm up hike to Pine Mountain. The following two days will be spent on challenging 4000 footer dayhikes. Enjoy views for miles and cool off in nearby swimming holes. Before returning to Mendums the last day, your group will have chance to choose a last destination to hike. Each night, your group will return to our basecamp for dinner and hanging out around the fire. No experience necessary, but you should be prepared for long hikes that are physically challenging.
White Mountains Hiking, Canoeing and Rock Climbing (Hastings): The group will travel to Hastings Camground in the Wild River valley of the White Mountains. On the first day, you'll do a warm up hike to the Roost. The following day will be a beautiful canoe trip down the Androscoggin River. The next day will be a moderately challenging hike on the beautiful Caribou Mountain loop. The final day in the White Mountains will be spent rock climbing on Square Ledge with incredible views of Mt. Washington. Each night, you'll return to your campground for dinner and hanging out by the fire. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to cool off in swimming holes!
White Mountains Hiking and Canoeing (Cold River): The group will travel to Cold River Campground in the White Mountains. On the first day, you'll do a warm up hike to a nearby waterfall. The following day will be spent canoeing down the beautiful Androscoggin River. The next day will be a moderately challenging dayhike to Eagle Crag for incredible views. The final day in the White Mountains will be spent on a hike with the destination chosen by the group and leaders. Each night, you'll return to your campground for dinner and hanging out by the fire. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to cool off in swimming holes.
White Mountains Hiking and Canoeing (Moose Brook): The group will travel to Moose Brook Campground in the northern White Mountains. On the first day, you'll do a warm up hike to nearby Icy Gulch. The following day will be spent on a relatively easy dayhike to Pine Mountain for great views of Mt. Washington. Next, you'll canoe down the beautiful Androscoggin River. Finally, the last day in the White Mountains will be spent hiking to a destination to be chosen by the group and leaders. Each night, you'll return to your campground for dinner and hanging out by the fire. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to cool off in swimming holes.