Adventure Bound

Adventure Bound is GW's outdoor co-curricular program. Meet fellow new incoming students, learn more about life at GW, and build lasting memories in the great outdoors. Each Adventure Bound is led by experienced student guides to help you transition to GW and college life. Adventure Bound is open to undergraduate students that are new to GW, including transfer and international students! Registration opens July 22, 2020. 

Adventure Bound will no longer occur before orientation, but will still take place during the beginning of the first semester. Please see the information below on the updated Adventure Bound experience for 2020.


Adventure Bound 2020 will be a hybrid model with both virtual and in-person experiences. All in-person trips and meetings will follow COVID-19 guidelines including wearing face coverings, social distancing at 6 feet apart, utilizing outdoor space, decreasing group size, and increased measures for safety and sanitization.

"I loved the bonding and friendship that evolved from the shared experiences. Being with everyone and fostering these new connections made it completely worth it."

2019 Participant

Start your semester off with adventure and building community through Adventure Bound's newly structured program following COVID-19 guidelines. The program supports students during the first few months of their first semester at GW through virtual and in-person experiences! Our small group approach will help students make lasting connections through outdoor adventures in D.C. and small-group conversations. Your Adventure Bound experience starts meeting the week of September 7th! The total cost for Adventure Bound is only $35! 

Choose two of the four activities below:

Two women in kayaks in the Potomac river.

Kayak or Paddleboard on the Potomac


View of a bridge and creek in Rock Creek Park.

Hike in Rock Creek Park


Two people biking along the C&O canal next to a river.

Bike along the C&O Canal


 Our outdoor adventures take place over two separate weekends on either Saturday or Sunday (September 12 or 13 & September 26 or 27). When you register can preference the day and select the type of outdoor activities you want to participate in. All of the activities are open to beginners or the more experienced, including people who have never hiked or participated in water sports before! For the bike trip you need some previous experience riding a bike, enough to feel comfortable on a flat bike trail for about 10-15 miles total. 


of students agreed that they made a new friend on their Adventure Bound trip


of students agreed they gained skills that will help them be successful in college


of people can apply the Leave No Trace skills learned in AB to a future outdoor activity

During Adventure Bound, the whole group (13 people total) meets four times. Students will also have the added benefit of participating in small group conversations three additional times. These groups will either meet in-person with social distancing guidelines or virtually, depending on the student's preference. The small groups are led by one of the student guides and only have 3-4 incoming students per group. These conversations are a great time to ask questions about college, learn about topics important to students at GW, and reflect on the shared experience. 


Adventure Bound Details

Program Dates: 

The approximate dates for Adventure Bound meetings are September 7 - October 4. There are a few virtual activities before the week of September 7th. The entire program is based on student availability, so meetings will vary between small groups. 

Program Fee: 

Adventure Bound is $35, covering the rental equipment cost. 

Outdoor Activities:

Each small group will participate in the same activities together. During registration students will be able to select which activities they would like to participate in. Students will participate in a total of two outdoor adventures listed above. The program will end with a third outing, either a socially distant campfire evening or a group walk along the tidal basin. 

Small Group Meetings: 

Each small group will meet three times across the span of the program. Each small group will have a particular topic to address, but it is also a time for students to form better connections. These meetings are based on student availability. 


Check out our FAQs below or email Rebecca Burwell, Program Coordinator for Outdoor Leadership.

Photo of a campfire in a fire ring.


Frequently Asked Questions

Adventure Bound is planned by the staff in the Office of Student Life, including help from our student coordinator. We have over 40 trained Trails Guides, certified in Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and AED use that lead Adventure Bound. 

Yes, for kayaking and paddleboarding we use Boating in DC that gives a safety and short instruction orientation before students depart in boats on the Potomac. 

You will be contacted through your GW email account. Please check this account periodically. Not only will we email you, but additional information for your upcoming year will be sent to you throughout the summer.

If you believe you may be in need of financial assistance to participate in Adventure Bound, we may have fee waivers available to students. For more information, please contact Rebecca Burwell, Program Coordinator for Outdoor Leadership.

Generally no! Adventure Bound is open to beginners and those that have more experience in the outdoors. For the bike trip you need some experience riding a bike, enough to feel comfortable on a flat bike trail for 10-15 miles. 

The price covers the cost of the kayaking, paddleboarding, and bike rentals. The price does not cover the Metro cost, which is only needed for the Rock Creek Park hike and is estmiated at $4 round trip. Participants will be asked to bring their own snacks & water on the trips. 

The outdoor adventure's length depends on the activity. All scheduling information will be sent to students ahead of time. In general, the outdoor trips will last between 3 and 6 hours. For example, the time kayaking & paddleboarding is limited to 1 hour on the water by DC Boating due to COVID-19 regulations, but the duration of the outing will be approximately 3 hours due to the time spent walking and the short orientation. 

Groups will meet oudoors on-campus and then travel together to the locations across D.C. The kayaking & paddleboarding outfitter is an approximate 30 minute walk (1.4 miles). And the Big Wheel Bikes, the bike rental store, is also about a 30 minute (1.3 miles) walk from campus. For the Rock Creek Park hike, the group will walk 15 minutes (0.5 mile walk) to the metro station and travel to the park on the metro for about 20 minutes. 

  • All participants and guides will be asked to wear masks for the duration of the trips and in-person meetings. Some exceptions will include eating or drinking water, but students will be asked to keep more than 6ft apart at those times.
  • Social distancing guidelines will be required, each person will keep as distance of at least 6 feet.
  • Group sizes have been reduced from 20-30 people, to 13 people maximum, including the student guides. 
  • We have eliminated meals and students will be asked to provide their own snacks and water. Programs will not go past meal times. 
  • Some components of Adventure Bound are virtual, to reduce the need for in-person meetings for information. 
  • Students will be asked to bring their own hand sanitizer and students will be encouraged to wash their hands, when possible. We will also provide additional hand sanitizer or wipes, as needed. 
  • COVID-19 transmission is lower risk when outdoors and we utilize outdoor space throughout the program instead of meeting indoors.

We monitor the weather forcast carefully and work with our outfitters to determine beforehand if we will need to reschedule an outdoor activity. You will receive an email from us if we need to reschedule an activity due to inclement weather. Adventure Bound activities operate rain or shine (as long as there are no thunderstorms!) Plese be prepared to bring a rain jacket and participate in activities if there is rain.