Panther Connect Retreats

Saturday, August 20 – Sunday, August 21




Retreat Overview

These retreats are designed to provide an opportunity for new students to connect with campus, connect with one another and connect to their passion prior to the University of Pittsburgh’s orientation week.


Registration and Cost


Panther Connect Retreat registration is closed.


Retreat Cost

$125, which includes all lodging, meals, transportation and activities. (Financial assistance is available.)


Financial Assistance

FYE provides grants to assist with the registration fee to help eligible students who are experiencing a financial hardship. In order to be considered for assistance, you must be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant for academic year 2016-17. Eligible students will have the opportunity to request assistance during the registration process.

Move-In Information and Overnight Details

Move-In Information

Participating students who live in an on-campus residence hall will be able to move in Saturday, August 20th beginning at 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.


The first retreat event will take place in the William Pitt Union at 3:00 p.m. on August 20th. This event is mandatory and will allow participants to meet up with other incoming students attending their retreat. Buses will depart at 4:00 p.m. for the Panther Connect Retreat sites.


Retreat activities take place from Saturday, August 20th at 3:00 p.m. until Sunday, August 21 at 7:00 p.m. Students will be able to participate in PittStart and other Orientation-related activities on Monday, August 22nd. Detailed retreat schedules will be shared with registrants in late July as well as a list of what to pack for the program.


Overnight Details

All retreat participants will stay off-campus on Saturday, August 20th at one of the following locations: YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer in Fombell, PA, Camp Guyasuta in Sharpsburg, PA or Family Resource Retreat Center in Cranberry, PA.


Retreat Options & Themes

Arts & Culture: Do you love art? Have a passion for knowledge? Get the scoop on Pittsburgh’s art scene.

  • Enjoy private tours of local cultural attractions and/or museums including the Carnegie Museum's of Art and Natural History.
  • Learn about other cultures at one of Oakland’s local eateries, Conflict Kitchen.
  • Explore opportunities to get involved with the arts on Pitt’s campus through interacting with Pitt Arts staff.

Leadership: Get a jump start on advancing your knowledge and understanding of leadership by learning about your leadership style and practicing new skills.

  • Connect with student who share a similar passion for leadership as Pitt’s Peer Facilitators guide you through leadership activities.
  • Practice personal and group leadership through outdoor activities, adventure courses, and individualized leadership action plans.
  • Get involved with Pitt’s leadership programs including the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development's Emerging Leaders program.

Service: Participate in hands-on service learning while exploring and learning about the Pittsburgh region and working to improve our community.

  • Build community with other Pitt students and alumni while learning about community service involvement at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Participate in community service in a nearby Pittsburgh neighborhood and at your retreat site.
  • Partner with the Sustainability Retreat to engage with local community organizations in the Millvale neighborhood.

Sports and Rec: The “City of Champions” provides the perfect backdrop for you and other new Panthers to take part in a range of sports and recreational activities.

  • Attend a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game and discover North Shore, the neighborhood that houses PNC Park and Heinz Field
  • Participate in outdoor recreation activities at your retreat site including an adventure course and zip line.
  • Enjoy optional VIP tours of campus fitness and recreation facilities.

Sustainability: Join the PittGreen Corps! Come explore the University of Pittsburgh campus with your guides from the Student Office of Sustainability while exploring Pitt’s community gardens, our bike-friendly campus features and more.

  • Serve as a member of the University of Pittsburgh Green Team.
  • Take a ride through Pitt's bike-friendly campus with Bike PGH (substitute non-biking activities also offered).
  • Explore the student-run Plant to Plate community garden and orchard.
  • Partner with the Service Retreat to engage with local community organizations in the Millvale neighborhood.