About the program

Coming up on its fifth summer, NEST provides students a unique opportunity to meet other incoming students, learn more about Mary Washington and the Fredericksburg area and get connected to the core UMW values of leadership, service and social justice.  The program consists of activities focusing on all three core values that engage the student in fun and interactive ways.  Students will be challenged to step outside their comfort zone in a supportive environment designed to encourage growth and their own exploration of these ideas.  Some activities include an outdoor adventure experience including zip lines and high ropes courses as well as team problem solving, traveling to Richmond to visit sites key to the social justice movement, tubing down the Rappahannock River, and participating in service activities on the UMW campus and in our community as a whole group. This allows for the students to create a lasting bond that they will carry into their years as a UMW Eagle.

Upon admission into the program, the student will be placed into a small group of about seven other new students. Each of these groups will be paired with a Student Leader. Our Student Leaders are all previous NEST participants and have undergone training on facilitation and peer mentoring techniques during the spring semester in order to best serve the new students. They all come with a unique perspective on our institution and our community that they are very excited to share!

Our three Student Coordinators have been hard at work all semester planning the activities for the week. They have been busy making sure everyone has a fantastic experience and the opportunity to learn something new about themselves, their peers, and their new UMW community through many fun and informative programs and trips.

Participation in NEST cost $300 and includes room/board and all activities. Registration opens Sunday, May 1st. 

Click here to read a news article about NEST 2013.

Day one: Move-In, Ice Breakers, Welcome Dinner, Scavenger Hunt on Campus and Downtown
Day two: Service: Local Service Projects, Tubing on the Rappahannock River, Barbecue Dinner
Day three: Leadership:  Adventurelinks
Day four: Social Justice: Exploring Social Justice Through Museums in Richmond, Farewell Dinner