Trips 2024

On this page you can find information about all of the AESOP trips for 2023 including a brief trip description, information about the leaders for each trip, Advertised Classifications, and available amenities. Make sure to read this information before making your trip preferences in Garnet Gateway.

The Advertised Classifications will give you a better understanding of criteria such as how far a trip is from medical care or how active a trip will be. You can find more information about those classifications and what they mean here.

Additionally, you will find trip descriptors that will let you know information such as whether the trip is an Affinity Trip or whether it is sleeping on campus. These designations are placed next to the name of the trip (e.g. ArtSOP- BIPOC Affinity Trip (sleeping on campus)). Affinity trips are designated to build community for individuals who hold or support these identities. Sleeping on campus means the trip will sleep on campus rather than on site at their trip location.

Acadia Climbing

This rock climbing AESOP travels to Acadia National Park to climb, swim, and chill. For two nights, you will sleep at a campground near the park with ample fire rings for quality marshmallow roasting. You will spend two half-days being guided around the world-class rock climbing areas in the park by professional guides from Acadia Mountain Guides. After that, time to explore the surrounding area with your new classmates! At night you will cook at some good old fashioned picnic tables, play games, and relax after a long day. This trip is for all levels of experience — both those experienced in rock climbing and those wanting to learn for the very first time!

  • Evacuation Access Level: 2
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Intermediate
  • Amenities: Running water, showers and flush toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Camping in tents

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Acadia Adventure

Get ready to explore one of the most popular places in Maine– Acadia National Park! During your three days here, your leaders will take you on many different adventures: hiking, swimming, hanging out at the beach, sightseeing, exploring downtown shops, and more! At night, you will sleep in tents at a local campground where you will make meals on a camp stove, smores over a fire, play games with your new classmates, and unlock some core memories!

  • Evacuation Access Level: 2
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Intermediate
  • Amenities: Running water, showers and flush toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Camping in tents

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

AnimalSOP (sleeping on campus)

If you love animals, this is the trip for you! Spend your three days with new classmates volunteering at the local Humane Society, learning about the animals of Maine at the Maine Wildlife Park, and hanging out at Wolfe’s Neck State Park with the cows. You will enjoy breakfast and dinner with your leaders and fellow AESOPers in Commons Dining Hall, as well as packed lunches each day. During downtime, you can explore campus, play games, and get to know your new classmates!

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In your Bates room assignment on campus

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

ArtChillin’

Centered at Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area, this art-based AESOP will provide a very relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for you to explore different mediums of art. Explore some of Bates’ own beautiful environments at Morse Mountain and Shortridge as you paint and draw some of the beautiful natural landscapes of Maine. Go for a swim or a short hike on Morse Mountain, and relax by the beach in the downtime. This trip is best for those who enjoy the arts and/or want a relaxed weekend to get to know their new classmates.

  • Evacuation Access Level: 2
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Amenities: Running water, showers and flush toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In a cabin on bunks at Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

ArtSOP (sleeping on campus)

ArtSOP will be a fantastic way to experience art in numerous different ways! Spend some time at some of Portland’s art museums, then spend the rest of your time drawing, painting, and/or coloring some of the beautiful spots at and around Bates. There will be easy access to bathrooms and running water the entire trip. Artists and people who have never touched a paintbrush are welcome to sign up for this trip! 

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In your Bates room assignment on campus

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Appalachian Trail Maintenance

Do you love to hike and camp and give back to your community? This trip might be for you. Bates students have historically maintained a beautiful 3.6 mile section of the Appalachian Trail up in Rangeley, Maine and this is your chance to see it! You will spend your days hiking and helping maintain our section of the AT by clearing trees from the trail, cutting back brush at the edge of the trail, and other projects as needed. A member of the Maine Appalachian Trail Conservancy will be there to operate machinery, help you with projects, and answer any questions about the trail. At night you will cook meals over a camp stove and sleep in a lean-to on the trail with your leaders and fellow AESOPers.

  • Evacuation Access Level: 4
  • Backcountry
  • Activity Level: Highest
  • Amenities: No running/potable water (all water will be treated), privy toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In a lean-to on trail exposed to the outside with sleeping bags & pads
  • This trip will be include dehydrated meals!

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Baxter State Park Backpacking

Baxter State Park prides itself on ‘wilderness first, recreation second,” making it one of the most pristine wilderness areas you will experience. Home of Katahdin, which translates to “Greatest Mountain” in Penobscot. Baxter Peak, which is the highest mountain in the state of Maine at 5,269 feet, is part of Katahdin and the northern terminus of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Katahdin is held sacred by the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot nations and the geology within and around the monument is central to oral histories, traditions, and cultural practices for each tribal community. You will spend your AESOP trip backpacking through this beautiful and historical landscape. Participants can expect long days on the trail with numerous ascents and descents.

  • Evacuation Access Level: 4
  • Backcountry
  • Activity Level: Highest
  • Amenities: No running/potable water (all water will be treated), privy toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In a lean-to on trail exposed to the outside with sleeping bags & pads
  • This trip will include dehydrated meals!

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Beach Chillin’ (sleeping on campus)

Maine is famous for its coastline, and this Beach Chillin’ trip will take you to some of the best beaches Maine has to offer! You will explore a total of three different beaches during your three-day trip. All of these spots have beautiful white sand, views, and salty water. Be prepared to soak up the sun rays and enjoy three days of playing beach games, swimming, and making new connections. 

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In your Bates room assignment on campus

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Beach Chillin’

Maine is famous for its coastline, and this Beach Chillin’ trip will take you to some of the best beaches Maine has to offer! You will explore a total of three different beaches during your three-day trip. All of these spots have beautiful white sand, views, and salty water. Be prepared to soak up the sun rays and enjoy three days of playing beach games, swimming, and making new connections. 

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Amenities: Running water, showers and flush toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Camping in tents

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Bigelow Range Backpacking

Get ready for the backpacking adventure of a lifetime. The Bigelow Range offers hikers a great hiking experience, beautiful campsites, and world-class views from five different peaks! Participants can expect long days on the trail with numerous ascents and descents. On day one a bus will drop you, your leaders, and your fellow AESOPers at the Appalachian Trail Parking Area on Route 27 where you will hit the trail. Over the course of three days you will cover 18 miles and roughly 5,780 feet of elevation gain. At night you will make meals on camp stoves and sleep in lean-tos or in tents.

  • Evacuation Access Level: 4
  • Backcountry
  • Activity Level: Highest
  • Amenities: No potable water (all water will be treated), privy toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Under a tarp or in a lean-to exposed to the outside with sleeping bags and pads
  • This trip will include dehydrated meals!

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Camden Basecamping

Explore Camden Hills State Park and its sweeping views of Penobscot Bay. This base camping trip offers day hiking with close access to bathroom/shower facilities at the beginning and end of each day. You will hike up Mt. Battie and Megunticook, basking in the panoramic views of the rocky Maine coastline at the summits.​​ This trip will take you through long stretches of steep steps and scrambling rocks, so be prepared for some climbing fun! Covering around 4.4 miles on the first day and 5.8 miles on the second day, you will have plenty of time for group-bonding activities complete with card games and smores! The last day will be a relaxing walk along the Shoreline Trail where you might see some Maine wildlife as you enjoy a group picnic. 

  • Evacuation Access Level: 2
  • Backcountry
  • Activity Level: High
  • Amenities: Running water, showers and flush toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Camping in tents

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

CitySOP

Explore three of Maine’s hotspot cities! Freeport, Brunswick, and Lewiston/Auburn are some of Southern and Central Maine’s best spots for food, shops, walking, coffee, you name it! You will explore each of these cities with your leaders and fellow AESOPers. Freeport and Brunswick are both huddled up next to the great rocky coast of Maine, while Lewiston is inland and relies on lakes to cool off. Each of these places has so much to offer, and being in Maine, there is lots of nature and city to go around. Knowing these cities a little better gives you a better picture of what’s around Bates campus and what you can do for fun during your time here! 

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Camping in tents

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Community Engagement in Lewiston Auburn (sleeping on campus)

If you are interested in doing community engagement work to give back to our local community, then this trip is definitely for you! On this trip, you and your group will spend time volunteering with local organizations in the Lewiston/Auburn area. This group will be coming back to sleep on campus both days and will enjoying meals from Commons Dining Hall with their fellow AESOPers and leaders.

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Intermediate
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In your Bates room assignment on campus

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

CookSOP (sleeping on campus)

This trip is for you if you love to cook, want to learn how to cook, or want to learn some new and exciting recipes! You will spend your days with select campus partners learning how to take ingredients and make magic. Outside of the kitchen, you might find yourself exploring campus, playing games, or getting sweet treats just up the road at Dairy Joy. The opportunities are endless!

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In your Bates room assignment on campus

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Day Hiking (sleeping on campus)

If you love to hike, but don’t love the part where you sleep outside, this trip is for you! You will spend your days hiking different mountains in the area such as Tumbledown, Bradbury, and others. At night, you will return to campus to play games, explore and hang with your new classmates. All meals will be from Commons Dining Hall.

  • Evacuation Access Level: 2
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: High
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In your Bates room assignment on campus

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

DanceSOP (sleeping on campus)

Spend your first weekend on campus dancing! This trip will stay on campus and in the local area for the weekend devising and creating a performance through the exploration of the art of movement. You will also learn about dance programs, clubs, and opportunities at Bates!

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In your Bates room assignment on campus

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

EVO Indoor Climbing (sleeping on campus)

Salt Pump Climbing Co provides a great rock climbing experience combined with more of a chill atmosphere, perfect for more beginner-level climbers. Head to Salt Pump climbing gym for some awesome indoor rock climbing, spend some time at Bates’ own climbing wall, and a variety of other fun outdoor activities, determined by you and your leaders, on and near the Bates campus. There will be bathroom access and running water all days of the trip. 

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In your Bates room assignment on campus

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Exploring Lewiston/Auburn (sleeping on campus)

Learn more about what your college-town has to offer with this culture, food, and nature trip! You will explore the old mill district, meandering by the Androscoggin River, the Great Falls, and the Longley Bridge. Visits to the LA Museum and the Basilica of St. Peters will give you a true feel for Lewiston’s art and history. Tour City Hall, eat fine cuisine, thrift shop, rollerskate, play a game of golf, watch a film, and more! This trip requires no set of previous skills besides curiosity and a good spirit! You will spend each night in the comfort of your own dorm room on-campus which means that you will have access to bathroom facilities and that the daily schedule of this trip is more flexible to the needs of the group! 

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In your Bates room assignment on campus

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

FarmSOP (sleeping on campus)

Nezinscot Farm, located just 20 minutes away from campus in Turner, is perhaps the perfect spot to spend a day outside—if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, that is. The farm is surrounded by 250 acres of organic farmland consisting of veggie gardens, rolling fields, farm animals, and the Nezinscot River. Although there are a variety of farming activities included in this trip, related to produce as well as livestock, you can expect to have some dirt under your nails by the end of the day! Running water and toilets are available at Nezinscot farm.

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Intermediate
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In your Bates room assignment on campus

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Film Festival (sleeping on campus)

This trip will be an amazing hands-on experience in developing your own film! Work through every element of the film-making process, from writing a script and characters, to filming scenes, to putting it all together for an amazing film. This trip, while centered on campus, will be able to travel to different locations in the nearby area to film different scenes and experiences. Anyone on this trip should come prepared to act, screenwrite, or help develop an awesome movie. No previous experience in film or the arts is required, and there will be access to normal bathrooms and running water.

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Backcountry
  • Activity Level: Intermediate
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In your Bates room assignment on campus

Meet the Leaders!

Coming soon!

Flagstaff Lake Canoeing

Spend your first weekend at school canoeing in one of the most beautiful places in Maine! This trip will sleep at Cathedral Pines Campground, right on the shores of Flagstaff Lake. The shoreline is largely undeveloped, leaving lots of wilderness to be seen. Spend your days paddling, and your evenings around the campfire eating yummy meals cooked on a campstove. There is even a small beach at the campground the relax at the end of the day. Fun fact: in 1950, Central Maine Power flooded the village of Flagstaff to make way for a hydro-dam, so the abandoned village lies at the bottom of the lake, 50 feet below your canoes!

  • Evacuation Access Level: 2
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: High
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Camping in tents

Meet the Leaders!

Coming soon!

Grafton Notch Backpacking

Grafton Notch has so many spectacular views of Maine. This 20 mile backpacking trip will carry you through Grafton Notch State Park. Explore scenic views in this highest-level difficulty trip. Due to the remote nature of campsites, there will be no access throughout the trip to bathrooms and running water. However, those who hike this will experience a great outdoor bonding experience in some of the most beautiful parts of Maine. Those with a can-do attitude and a willingness to hike long amounts of difficult terrain in a short amount of time will love this hike, and it is built for them!

  • Evacuation Access Level: 4
  • Backcountry
  • Activity Level: Highest
  • Amenities: No potable water (all water will be treated), privy toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Under a tarp exposed to the outside with sleeping bags
  • This trip will include dehydrated meals!

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Grafton Notch Basecamping

Grafton Notch has so many spectacular views of Maine. This basecamping trip will let you experience some of them for yourself. This high activity level trip will camp at Grafton Notch Campground, just a few miles from trailheads, waterfalls, and scenic areas. After hiking during the day, you will spend your nights around the campfire eating delicious meals cooked on a campstove with your new classmates!

  • Evacuation Access Level: 3
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: High
  • Amenities: Running water, showers and flush toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Camping in tents

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Habitat for Humanity

Want to give back to the community whilst working on your home building skills? If so, then this trip is for you! This will be a great opportunity to work on projects that will serve as a great service to the community of Rockland, Maine. Students will be working on projects in Rockland and/or St. George (subject to change). First years will be able to get out and explore Maine while offering great service to those in need and bonding with each other over different games! Students will have access to bathrooms, and will be sleeping off campus near the worksite for this trip. 

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1 
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Intermediate
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Inside a local church with sleeping bags

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Lakes Chillin’ (sleeping on campus)

Spend your days exploring a variety of lakefront beaches around campus and spend your evenings eating in Commons Dining Hall, exploring campus, playing games with your new classmates, and more! Swimming, beach games, lounging in the sun… what more could you ask for?!

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In your Bates room assignment on campus

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Lakes Chillin’

Spend your days exploring a variety of lakefront beaches including Sebago Lake, Range Pond, and more! Return to your campground on Sebago Lake each night for meals cooked on camp stoves, smores on the fire, relaxing and games by firelight. Swimming, beach games, lounging in the sun… what more could you ask for?!

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Amenities: Running water, showers and flush toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Camping in tents

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Mooselookmeguntic Canoeing

Mooselookmeguntic lake is a beautiful 50 miles of open water located an hour and 45 minutes from campus. You will camp on an island not far from the main campground, with access to a fire ring, outhouse, and picnic table. You can expect to spend your days paddling around the lake, stopping for breaks and lunch. At night, you will be able to bond over games, cook dinners on campstoves, sit around the campfire, and enjoy a water view right from your tent each morning.

  • Evacuation Access Level: 3
  • Backcountry
  • Activity Level: High
  • Amenities: Privy toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Camping in tents

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Mt. Blue Basecamping

Inviting all experienced hikers and beginners alike! This trip is for those who want to do what they love or for those seeking to try something new in a supportive environment. On the first day, you will conquer 4.7 miles of Tumbledown Mountain; near the summit, you might take a dip in Tumbledown Pond or simply relax on the rocky edge near the scenic water view. Be prepared for steep climbs and some scrambling rocks on the way up! The second day will let you experience Webb Lake beach after a brief and flat-trailed hike. You might even have a chance to kayak and canoe! A steep 3 mile hike up Mt. Blue, the last day of this trip offers a rewarding experience that features beautiful wildflowers and rocky climbs. This trail leads to a spectacular summit with an elevation of 3,187 feet where you may ascend to the top of an observation tower for an even better view of the mountainous landscape that surrounds Weld and Webb Lake. Enjoy your nightly stay at a campsite near the base of Mt. Blue where you will sleep in tents and cook on camp stoves. Bathroom/shower facilities are within a couple-hundred feet of access.

  • Evacuation Access Level: 2
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: High
  • Amenities: Running water, showers and flush toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Camping in tents

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

PhotoSOP (sleeping on campus)

Want to learn how to hone in your photography skills? While we can’t guarantee you will be a professional at the end of your trip, we can guarantee that you will learn new things and make friends and memories that will last you a long time. Explore campus and the local areas to find inspiration, learn tips and tricks on our cameras, or bring your own! This trip is for those who love photography, are new to photography, or have never touched a camera before. Come one, come all! You will leave with an epic photo album to remember the weekend by.

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Amenities: In your Bates room assignment on campus
  • Sleeping Arrangements:

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Portland Exploration (sleeping on campus)

Spend your first weekend at Bates being led around the beautiful city of Portland! Based on the groups desires, your leaders will take you to museums, beaches, shops, waterfront, and more! We will provide many options for arts, outdoors, food, and fun, but you get to help decide. This trip is meant to be an opportunity for everyone to do what they love!

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Amenities: In your Bates room assignment on campus
  • Sleeping Arrangements:

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Rangeley Basecamping

Located in the mesmerizing wilderness of western Maine, Rangeley Lake State Park offers the best of both worlds when it comes to experiencing the outdoors. This base camping trip gives you the opportunity to hike for multiple days while also enjoying plenty of downtime. You can expect to go on day hikes in the area, returning to camp at Rangeley Lake State Park where you will spend the rest of the evenings. There are both shower and toilet facilities available in the state park. This trip is perfect for anyone that wants to experience the picturesque natural landscape that Maine has to offer without the intensity of a backpacking trip. 

  • Evacuation Access Level: 3
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: High
  • Amenities: Running water, showers and flush toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Camping in tents

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Richardson Lake Canoeing

Located in the mesmerizing wilderness of western Maine, Richardson Lake offers the best of both worlds when it comes to experiencing the outdoors. After a 5-mile paddle to your campsite, you will get camp set up and enjoy the beauty that Maine offers. This canoeing trip gives you the opportunity to spend your days on the water and enjoy plenty of downtime at night. All the wilderness campsites have a fire ring, outhouse and picnic table. This trip is perfect for anyone that wants to experience the picturesque natural landscape that Maine has to offer and spend time on the water.

  • Evacuation Access Level: 4
  • Backcountry
  • Activity Level: High
  • Amenities: Privy toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Camping in tents

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Surfing

Surf’s up!!! Prepare to shred and learn the basics of surfing! Maine is a great place to surf and this trip will introduce participants to everything that Maine surfing has to offer. AESOPers will be equipped with wetsuits and boards. Trained leaders will share their knowledge of surfing to help AESOPers learn the ins and outs of surfing. Camp nearby the beach with bathroom facilities and running water. Get ready for a trip full of surfing and beach games! No prior experience is required, so get stoked to ride some waves!

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: High
  • Amenities: Running water, showers and flush toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Camping in tents

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Woodshop (sleeping on campus)

Spend your days on campus working with the theater department to learn how to woodwork! When you aren’t working in the shop, explore campus and play games with your leaders and new classmates. You will leave with new friends and a new skill!

  • Evacuation Access Level: 1
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: Low
  • Sleeping Arrangements: In your Bates room assignment on campus

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!

Wool and Waves

This trip, centered at Popham State park, will combine surfing with the arts over the three days of AESOP. Relax on the beach and explore some of Maine’s natural beauty at Popham, while learning to knit on the beach and surf on the water! Designed to be a beginner’s experience for both of these activities. There are plenty of other activities as well, including nearby day hikes. Perfect for someone who wants to enjoy Maine’s natural landscape and learn something new without the high intensity of a backpacking trip.

  • Evacuation Access Level: 2
  • Frontcountry
  • Activity Level: High
  • Amenities: Running water, showers and flush toilets
  • Sleeping Arrangements: Camping in tents

Meet the leaders!

Coming soon!