Steven Veach

This year’s Outdoor Action frosh trips ended early as 790 freshmen and 235 student leaders returned to campus ahead of schedule, escaping the relentless rain of Tropical Storm Lee.

“It literally did not stop raining once,” said Marie Brooks ’15, whose trip to the Berkshires was evacuated two days after it began. “The trails looked like rivers, and we were freezing.”

Several trips had been rerouted before the start of the week, after Hurricane Irene closed some state and national parks. As conditions changed again because of rain and flooding from the tropical storm, organizers decided to bring the students back to campus to ensure their safety, said OA director Rick Curtis ’79. 

The 97 frosh trip groups departed on Sunday, Sept. 4, and were meant to return the following Friday. But by Thursday all students were back on campus, where they participated in service projects and other activities that included a comedy show and a pool party. 

“We were still on OA, but were clean and dry and smelled good,” said Ben Levenson ’13, a trip leader. “Regardless, we stayed together, tried to bond as best we could, and had some fun. ” Added Cam Nguyen ’15: “We have an experience that is uniquely us.”