Proudly sponsored by the Larner College of Medicine Office of Medical Student Education,
UVM Medical Alumni Association, and the Wellness Committee


Class of 2023 UVM-Med Outdoor Orientation

About U-MOO

Welcome to the Larner College of Medicine! We know that you are eager to begin your medical training. A good way to start is with your fellow classmates and current students on an outdoor adventure! The Orientation Committee, Alumni Association, Wellness Committee, and Wilderness Medicine Student Interest Group have joined forces to provide you with a fun outdoor retreat for all ability levels.

This optional pre-Orientation event is an overnight outdoor experience open to all first-year students that will take place the weekend prior to Orientation (Friday August 9th 10:00AM to Saturday August 10th 6:00PM). It will be located at Merck Forest and Farmland Center in Rupert, VT. Current students will be present to facilitate groups. There will be a wide range of activities including hiking, nature walks, yoga, trail running, lawn games, reading, crafts, and campfire stories - all with an emphasis on FUN and WELLNESS!

Why is this trip being offered?

Orientation week is an amazing experience, but there wasn't enough time to add a trip like this! So, new for 2019, we have decided to offer it as an optional event to facilitate friendships and introduce you and your fellow classmates to the Vermont outdoors, rain or shine!

Camping Sites

The registration process determines your U-MOO group based on interests, experience, and ability level. The various sites to stay overnight are different walking distances on trails from the visitor's center and will be themed (yoga, crafts/reading/writing, hiking, running, lawn games, etc.). There is no vehicle access to the camping areas and all gear must be carried in. The sites are either cabins, lean-to's, or tents (with outhouses nearby, but no electricity or running water). We will try our best to provide any accommodations you may require. Meals are provided, but you can bring extra snacks if you wish. Here are some examples of where you might stay:

Lean-to Shelter:
Photo of Merck Forest Lean-to Camping Site
One of the Cabins:
Photo of a Merck Forest Camping Cabin
Tent Location Next to a Small Cabin:
Photo of a Merck Forest Camping Tent Location



Once you are at your cabin or camp site there will be planned activities based on your site with an itinerary that includes free time to explore the trail network and other camp sites. There will also be opportunities to learn about camping etiquette, outdoor safety tips, and wilderness medicine scenarios, if you wish! Ultimately, the trip can be as challenging or relaxing as you want it to be.

Banner for Merck Forest and Farmland Center

Cost and Equipment

Participating in this event will require an online non-refundable deposit of $20.00. Please submit your payment via the "Pay Deposit" button, under the registration.

You are encouraged to bring your own equipment or borrow from a friend, but we recognize that many participants will not have everything they need to be comfortable (see packing list link to the right). If you need guidance acquiring equipment through purchasing or borrowing, please contact us through registration. We encourage using the class of 2023 Facebook page for sharing gear.

If you feel you have a unique financial hardship that makes the $20 fee difficult and/or prohibitive to a trip commitment, we provide the opportunity to notify us via registration; with a kind donation from our Larner College of Medicine Wellness Committee, we are able to provide funding support to those in need.


This is a University-sponsored event; thus, this is a drug and alcohol-free event.

Accessibility & Accommodation

U-MOO and the Larner College of Medicine are firmly committed to including all interested first-year medical students in our student programs. Students with any type of disability are encouraged to apply and participate. We provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations, in consultation with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Students who are seeking accommodations should contact SAS well in advance of your matriculation, as some accommodations take time to implement. We also provide space in our U-MOO registration to provide us with any accommodations requests.

Trip Leadership

Dier_MatthewMatthew Dier
2022 MD Candidate
Wilderness Medicine Student Interest Group Leader

Profile photo of Malla KeefeMalla Keefe
2022 MD Candidate
Wilderness Medicine Student Interest Group Leader


A Dr. Moo-approved endeavor,
Welcome to "U-MOO!"



Deadline to register was July 14, 2019.

If are accepted into the class after July 1, please contact Medical Student Services.

Pre-orientation camping trip pay non-refundable deposit button

A non-refundable $20 trip deposit is required for the program.

U-MOO Resources