Saturday, August 24, 2013

Leadership Trips

Our leaders left on the 22nd (don't worry, only for 3 days!) to do AESOP trips similar to the ones they'll be leading in order to master the skills they'll need to know once you guys are here! They emerged today from their trips confident in their ability to light their camping stoves, cook pasta to perfection, set up tents and tarps in mere minutes, and challenge y'all to games of wah, pterodactyl, entourage, and more.


We can't believe you're all be coming in TWO days!! We hope you are as pumped as we are. So pack everything up, break in your boots, and get ready to kick off the best 4 years of your life with some of the best people around. 
Get excited!!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The leaders are here!

Our leaders arrived this past Sunday for Leadership Week, where they'll learn everything they need to know to make your AESOP the best one yet. We're half way through the week and our leaders have already become wilderness first aid certified, sorted all the food and gear they'll need for their trips, completed canoe rescue and safety, taken skills courses to know what's what with maps, ropes, tents, and stoves, learned their trip itineraries, and planned lots of fun and games for you guys. Don't worry though, it's not ALL work. Although they've been working from 8am to 7pm every day, we've made group trips to the Rollerdrome and challenged them with a mind blowing scavenger hunt. This past weekend was also the end of the annual balloon festival! If you ever have an opportunity to see it you won't regret it!

All the leaders in Commons

Checking all of the tents

Moving all the gear upstairs!

All 96 leaders and 5 coordinators rockin' out at the Rollerdrome

Monday, August 19, 2013

Who's Hungry?

Hey guys! Before all 343 of you get here we have to do some serious preparation, including a giant run to BJs to get food for everyone. We spent over $4000 buying oatmeal, granola bars, pasta and everything else you'll be eating when you go out on your trips. We got some strange looks and pretty awesome comments. You can be the judge of which is the best:
"You bring breakfast, I'll bring lunch!"
"I wanna come to your party!"
"I'll get the drinks!"

Most of all, people were super friendly and really excited to learn about what we were up to. Now that we've bought all the food, it's safety stored away and will be sorted this upcoming week with our leaders. We can't wait to meet you all in a week, 
Bring your appetite!
Josh, Allie, Katie, Bryan, James

Josh taking all the Annie's Mac n' Cheese he can find 

Getting all the buns for the BBQ

All loaded up!

3,072 packets of oatmeal, 2,175 Nature Valley Bars and a lot of peanut butter

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Here we gooooooo!

Howdy y'all,

After a lonely beginning of August, our lovely assistants finally made their way onto campus this past Monday to join us in our preparation efforts. While we have been firming up reservation confirmations and lining up Commons catering orders to feed all 343 AESOPers and 96 trip leaders for four days, they have been incredibly busy finishing the gear move from the gear attic to our brand spanking new gear spaces in Chase Hall. With that under wraps, Katie, James, and Bryan have begun the leg work for some of the other logistical details that make the trips run smoothly, including itinerary fine-tuning and map-copying, so that when our leaders show up here on Sunday (three days away!) for leadership week, they're roaring and ready to go. Amidst meetings galore and phone call madness, we are slowly crossing items of our own to-do list and are feeling pretty ready for the invasion of our leaders. Wilderness First Aid training, Van Certification class, leadership trips, Coordinator chats, camping skill sessions, and van caravans are just a few of the many things we have planned for next week... all in preparation for you guys to come on the 26th!

It hasn't been all work, however. Last night, we made it over to Freeport to eat lots of homemade pizza at Josh's house. It was capped off with a spin on some mopeds (pictured below are Bryan and Allie grinning ear to ear post moped race), some golden retriever loving, and chocolate chip squares- all of the things that AESOP is truly fueled on.

Stay tuned, more to come soon...

AESOP love forever,
Josh and Allie

Working hard or hardly work, guys?

Sleeping bags up the wazoo and a happy Bryan

A rare sight: a clean and empty gear attic

Katie, Bryan, and James sorting some med kit supplies!

We took a break last night to visit Josh's house over yonder in Freeport, which almost always comes along with homemade pizza and a whirl on some mopeds.

Katie and James ironing out the details for trip itineraries and making copies of all the maps for the trip folders.

Allie crushing it in the new AESOP office...

...and Josh pretending to.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


TRIP PLACEMENTS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOLLY GEE (check your Bates email)

Also, as you start thinking about your trip and what you will need to bring please reference the packing list or email your leaders with any questions you have. Otherwise, we will see you on August 26th!

We do have a few more openings in select trips. Email us at if you're interested, and we'll see what we can work out.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Congratulations on getting your application in!

Hi everyone,

We’re so excited that your applications are all in! AESOP is such a great opportunity to meet your first friends, share new experiences with other crazy bobkittens, and get a warm welcome to the Bates community. As I mentioned in my bio I’m at Bates this summer working as an intern at a local nonprofit, Community Concepts. I’ve been helping out with a lot of different projects at CCI, one of which was conducting a quality of life survey. I worked with 30 other volunteers, knocking on over 700 doors in Downtown Lewiston, and ultimately conducting 256 surveys – WOO! I’ve also been playing Frisbee in a summer league in Portland and having some fun adventures. Being in Maine has been such a blast so far! Let me give you a sneak peak of some of the adventures you could have while you’re at Bates …

Meeting some awesome people on AESOP (duh!) 
Beautiful views on AESOP (Pemigewasset folks get psyched, this is you!!!!) 

Watching fireworks on the 4th of July over the Falls

Yaa I love fireworks

Making new friends at Nezinscot Farm (featuring AESOP leader Ashleen O’Brien)

Exploring all over!! (This is a day we went clamming at Wolfe's Neck State Park in Freeport, ME)

Tune in again soon to get more pics and more updates!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

AESOP Extended Edition!

Hey folks!

Guess what?! We have decided to extend the AESOP application deadline until July 15th in hopes of drumming up just a few more applications. These past two years we've had record-breaking enrollment, and we're hoping to keep up the trend, so log on to Garnet Gateway now because this boat is leaving soon! Here is a bit of a teaser for y'all:

Sunrise over Sugarloaf Mountain
Ridge walks on Saddleback on a blue bird day
Also, if you want to get started on some gear prep here is last year's packing list. Keep in mind that what you bring is going to be dependent on what trip you're on, but if you just want a basic idea of what you will need it's a good start.