Overland’s January Slideshows

We’re thrilled to connect with Overland prospective and alumni students at presentations across the country in 18 states, and 50 towns and cities.

Our team in the office has worked hard planning our in-person slideshows for January and February in the homes of Overland alumni. Slideshows have been an Overland tradition since 1984, and we’re thrilled to be back on the road this winter! We sat down as a team to discuss what Overland slideshows are, and what we’re most looking forward to about them. 

Overland slideshows are a time to connect our office with our families in person to share Overland experiences and learn more about Overland’s mission and programs. There will be snacks and beverages, too. The event begins with a short presentation given by two of our year-round staff members. A Q&A will follow our presentation where families have the opportunity to ask questions about Overland meals, traditions, logistics, and everything in between! The event will last for one hour, but if further questions arise, we can certainly continue the conversation! 

The whole family is welcome— parents, kids, and grandparents! Whether families are new to Overland or seasoned Overland veterans, slideshows are events meant to connect as a community.

January is our busiest enrollment month, and now is the time to apply. Right now, in mid-December, most of our trips still have availability. That will change by early February when we’ll instead have much more limited availability, and families will have to look carefully at what remains available for their child. So, if a specific trip sparks a student’s imagination, we encourage them to apply soon!  

Some places we will travel to, like Richmond, Virginia, already have strong Overland alumni networks. For places like these, we look forward to continuing to build relationships with families there! There are other places, such as New Orleans, Birmingham, and Denver, where we plan to further build the Overland community with a few of our families there!

Luke Costley, Admissions: We focus on two things: communicating Overland’s mission clearly, and capturing, as best as possible, the experience of being on an Overland trip. We could never be comprehensive about the details – Overland offers so many different itineraries to such a wide range of students – but that’s not the point. If families would like to get into the nitty-gritty about trip-by-trip specifics, we invite them to check out our website or give our office a call! We hope families and students will leave the slideshow with a clear sense of the themes and through-lines present on every Overland trip.

Marisa Wesker, Admissions: I feel lucky to have spent four years in New Orleans at Tulane University, and I’m thrilled to return this January for slideshows! We have an enthusiastic group of New Orleans-based Overland families and I can’t wait to bring the magic of Overland to more kids in the area. New Orleans, for me, is a place defined by community, where neighbors truly know and care for one another; Overland trips, in turn, are also defined by a deep connection with and care for the little family that forms in each group. Within both communities, I’ve found joy in the deep connections and strong relationships fostered by the care and compassion of those around me. I hope that we recreate a little of that magic for families across the country during our visits in January.

Alongside the Admissions team, staff members on the Leader Hiring and Trip Planning teams are also highly involved. Is there a reason why everyone is involved this year? 

Beth Larcom, Leader Hiring: While the Leader Hiring team is most directly focused on our leading staff in our day-to-day work, everything we do comes back to our students and families. Understanding what our families are looking for in their summer experiences, as well as being able to connect with and get to know those families, is essential in shaping a great summer. Our most successful leaders are the ones who understand Overland’s mission and purpose, which has been and always will be family-focused. Taking time to connect with families is an important reminder for the Leader Hiring team.

Meg Pandiscio, Trip PlanningTrip Planners spend most of our year putting together the details of each particular trip and itinerary. However, the most important part of any trip is the students who come together to make the experience! Throughout the spring and summer, families frequently reach out to Trip Planners with questions ranging from details about the sleeping bag their child will need, all the way to the mileage of a challenging hike. I’m eager to continue developing these connections in the winter, and I hope that families catch a glimpse of who is working all year to ensure the safety of their students. I look forward to connecting with families and starting the ongoing conversation about the trip that their child is interested in!

Absolutely— a lot of ways! We have Zoom slideshows throughout January hosted by members of the year-round team. And families are always welcome to call the office (413-458-9672) or email [email protected] if they’d like to chat about Overland at large or a specific trip. We’re always happy and eager to connect with families. As the cold weather rolls in, we’re already dreaming about summer 2023!

Hayden Gillooly, Admissions: I feel giddy and excited for January! My Overland experiences as both a student and leader have been transformative in my development of teamwork and leadership skills. I can feel myself beaming when I talk about Overland because I strongly believe in its mission of getting kids outside to understand the world beyond themselves. When I picture a room full of Overland alumni and prospective students sharing an evening or afternoon to learn about Overland, I can’t help but smile. An Overland summer is pure magic.

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    Marisa Wesker

    I have always drawn inspiration from walks in the woods, and I love being able to give students that same opportunity.

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