AESOP 2024

Our mission is to engage and empower every incoming Bates student to be their authentic selves through off-campus, student-led orientation programs. AESOP is committed to designing experiences that are accessible, fun, and catered to all skill levels. Through small-group experiences, we foster inclusivity, enduring friendships, and a strong connection to place. AESOP welcomes each incoming student with warmth and compassion to the Bates community, providing them the foundation and confidence to navigate their first-year experience.

AESOP Inclusivity Statement

Bates AESOP is committed to creating and maintaining experiences that are welcoming, equitable and inclusive to individuals of all identities and backgrounds including, but not limited to, sex, gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion,  and age. Bates AESOP focuses on addressing the ever-present barriers to outdoor recreation and to forming social connections when transitioning to college, and works with students to find solutions to reduce and remove the numerous barriers that prohibit individuals from full participation in the beginning of their college experience. Our mission is aspirational and always a work in progress, and we devote time and energy to hiring leaders who support this mission, as well as planning, organizing, and executing trips that foster an inviting environment.  Bates AESOP strives to create a program where everyone feels included and heard.

Our Values Include:

  • Having fun!
  • Building community across communities
  • Creating inclusive spaces and experiences
  • Showing compassion for one another
  • Leaning into new experiences
  • Being committed to risk management and well-being
  • Embracing positive leadership
  • Providing support for all students
  • Connecting first-year students to their new home
  • Encouraging growth

The AESOP pages are meant to provide you with all the information you need to know about Bates’s Annual Entering Student Orientation Program (AESOP). AESOP is led by student AESOP Coordinators in collaboration with the First-Year Experience team in Student Affairs.

The AESOP experience typically involves upperclass student leaders welcoming the incoming class to life at Bates through a 3 day, 2 night trip. Our trips have taken place all over Maine and New Hampshire and include everything from community engagement to rock climbing.

We are SO EXCITED TO MEET you and introduce you to some of our favorite places on and/or off campus. 

Feel free to explore the trips we have to offer, read the bios of our student coordinators and leaders, and learn about the history of AESOP!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Follow us on Instagram @batesaesop and on TikTok @bates_aesop.  

Athletics & AESOP:

All students participate in AESOP with the exception of some athletics teams due to getting in needed practices as identified by NCAA regulations.

Fall athletics teams of golf, rowing, and tennis will be attending AESOP trips and should complete the AESOP form on the Garnet Gateway.

These specific teams will not be participating in AESOP and should follow the schedules that their coaches provide on this day men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, football and volleyball. Students on these teams should not complete the AESOP form on the Garnet Gateway.

There will be no AESOP bill for fall 2020. The $300 cost of AESOP will be billed directly to the Student’s Account. If you feel you need assistance in covering this fee, please email