Pre-orientation programs introduce first-year students to Hartford

‘Amazing Race Hartford’ brings teams to local landmarks

Hartford, Connecticut, September 15, 2015 – Pre-orientation programs at Trinity College offered first-year students the chance to get to know their new home city of Hartford – and each other – in some unique ways.

Trinity’s most intensive pre-orientation program for first-year students was Quest, a set of wilderness adventures that ranged from a 3-day rock-climbing trip to a 10-day backpacking and climbing outing on the Appalachian TrailVenture Trinity was a three-day leadership conference for women, and P.R.I.D.E. (Promoting Respect for Inclusive Diversity in Education) was a three-day program primarily designed to help students of color and international students become acquainted with the campus and make a successful transition to Trinity's academic and social environment.

Among Trinity’s two-day Bantam Beginnings programs was “Amazing Race Hartford,” which had five teams following clues to various locations around the city on day one, and venturing out on a faculty- and staff-led bus tour of Hartford’s diverse neighborhoods on day two. The Bantam Beginnings programs also included “Community Service Program,” “Hartford by Bike,” “The Skill of Observation and Communication in Art and Medicine,” “Hartford Highlights,” and “Spirit of the City.”

“Amazing Race Hartford” kicked off with team-building challenges at Riverside Park. Teams then navigated the city on foot, searching for clues that provided them opportunities to meet local leaders and residents, and to learn about the city’s rich arts scene, its long history, state and city government, career opportunities, and vibrant nightlife.

Local landmarks featured on the race course included Founders Bridge, the Old State House, Union Station, Heaven in Hartford Skate Park, the Charter Oak tree, and 200 Constitution Plaza, the future site of Trinity’s downtown campus. The students were prompted to take selfies in front of the mayor’s office at City Hall, with dinosaurs in the lobby of the Connecticut Science Center, with Alexander Calder’s “Stegosaurus” sculpture outside of the Wadsworth Atheneum, and at the top of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park. The teams stopped for lunch at The Kitchen at Hartford Public Library, and ended the race with a scavenger hunt at the Museum of Connecticut History near the State Capitol.

The Sept. 1 race was organized by Jason Rojas, chief of staff to Trinity President Joanne Berger-Sweeney and director of community relations, and Community Relations Manager Julia Rivera.

“We want to expose students from the beginning to both helpful places like Union Station and some more fun and interesting places in downtown Hartford,” Rivera said. She said the program was filled to capacity this year, and the first-year students seemed to be enjoying themselves, despite the hot weather on the day of the race. “It’s really creating some opportunities for bonding,” Rivera said.

There was no prize for coming in first, but student Tshion Assefa ’19 said, “I love it. I’m super-competitive, so I don’t even need a prize.”

See more photos from the “Amazing Race Hartford” pre-orientation program here.                                                                         

Written by Andrew J. Concatelli