At the conclusion of each summer Franklin Pierce hosts first-year students for a multi-day backcountry adventure in the Monadnock Region and beyond. Incoming students can choose to go backpacking or kayaking. No experience is necessary to join, but participants should be ready for a physically demanding outing.
This trip is about having fun, getting to know your fellow student, challenging yourself and coming away with a positive experience. Participants get a great jumpstart on establishing peer groups and meeting new friends. The four days in the backcountry will be spent teaching new skills and familiarizing students to the local environment.
Sign up for POWARegistration Form
A Message from the Director
Doug Carty, Director of Raven Recreation, describes the POWA student experience, the program, and why it is an trip that you don't want to miss out on.
Explore the Outdoors
See how students took part in previous trips and how the POWA program encouraged them to discover the beautiful Monadnock Region.
“The backcountry experience is just the catalyst to get people connected. That's what it's all about...you're going to meet your future best friend on this trip.”
Frequently Asked Questions
All kayaking and backpacking gear will be provided by Franklin Pierce. We also take care of food for the week. Personal gear such as clothing, toiletries, shoes, and a few basic essentials are yours to provide. Please see the Gear List for a specific listing of equipment necessary.
This program does not require any previous outdoor experience. Our trip leaders/guides will teach everyone how to pack, how to cook along a wide variety of other skills necessary for the backcountry. For any level of experience, this is a great opportunity to learn how to travel through the outdoors well. We do ask that everyone come with a positive attitude, a willingness to learn and the ability to overcome the physical challenges poses by multi-day backcountry excursions.
Our student leaders are chosen for their love of the outdoors, judgment, leadership skills and lovely personalities! They go through two weeks of summer outdoor leadership training, including a 2-day Wilderness First Aid certification in emergency medicine.
The routes change a little each year, but we always like to stay within a couple of hours of campus. Our traditional routes are as follows:
Backpackers: hiking from campus, backpackers head to Mount Monadnock and then either turn north on the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway or south on the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail. Typical distance is 25-30 miles of backpacking.
Kayakers: water level determines the river system we use. In high water we venture down the Ashuelot River starting in Surry, NH. In medium water we head down the Baker River into the Pemigewasset. In dry summers we stick to the Pemigewasset the entire time. The kayakers also venture about 30 miles.