Panther Connect Retreats

Saturday, August 18 – Sunday, August 19, 2018


2018 Registration is now closed. If you have questions about this program please contact, 412-648-2172.

Retreat Overview

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

  • New undergraduate international students are eligible and welcome to register!
  • Panther Connect Retreats are for University of Pittsburgh – Oakland students only.


Registration and Cost


Panther Connect Retreat registration is now closed. If you have questions about your registration or this program, please contact 412-648-2172.  Thanks!


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 2018-19. 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 18th beginning at 8:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  Unfortunately, no exceptions can be made for a Friday move-in.


At 2:30 p.m., a Parent and Family welcome will be held in the William Pitt Union (WPU) Ballroom.  Students are welcome to attend! The student check-in process will start outside the WPU Ballroom at 2:00pm and remain open until 3:00 p.m.


The opening session will take place in the William Pitt Union at 3:00 p.m. on August 18th and is for students only! This event is mandatory and will allow participants to meet up with other students attending their retreat. Buses will depart at 4:30 p.m. for the Panther Connect retreat sites.


Retreat activities take place from Saturday, August 18th at 3:00 p.m. until Sunday, August 19th  at 5:30 p.m. Students will be able to participate in PittStart and other Orientation-related activities on Monday, August 20th. 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 18th at one of the following locations:

  • YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer, Fombell, PA
  • Camp Guyasuta, Sharpsburg, PA
Retreat Options & Themes

Arts + Culture

Pittsburgh is a city full of creative energy. This retreat will connect you to music, art, and colorful landmarks.

  • Explore local attractions, museums, and theatres in Pittsburgh's cultural district
  • Find the beat with Jim Donovan, former member of the ban Rusted Root and leader of Sun King Warriors
  • Visit the largest bicycle museum in the world and other one of a kind local treasures
  • Connect with PittArts staff and learn more about how to take advantage of Free Arts Encounters during the year

Leadership (FULL - Please register for another Panther Connect retreat option)

Advance your understanding of leadership by learning about your leadership style and practicing new skills.

  • Practice personal and group leadership through outdoor activities and low/high ropes adventure courses
  • Connect with current Pitt students who share your passion for leadership and facilitate Pitt’s Emerging Leaders program
  • Learn about campus leadership opportunities that suit your interests from the staff in the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development
  • Receive a scholarship to participate in the Emerging Leaders program at the conclusion of the retreat - for more information about Emerging Leaders click here!

Service + Social Action

Connect with local communities and the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh through hands-on service projects. This retreat will interact with community members while serving in education, food justice, and environmental service projects around the City. Working side by side with the Office of PittServes and the Student Office of Sustainability, students will connect to on-going service initiatives, become a member of Pitt's Green Team, and track valuable service hours through Pitt's Volunteer Portal.


Sports + Rec (FULL - Please register for another Panther Connect retreat option)

The "Burgh" is known by some pretty impressive nicknames. Join us to discover how Pittsburgh earned its nicknames like the "City of Bridges" and the "City of Champions"!

  • Connect with other students who share your passion for sports, recreation, and being active while completing an adventure course
  • Explore the city by land and river as we bike and kayak along the Allegheny River
  • Attend a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game and discover the North Shore, the neighborhood that hosts PNC Park and Heinz Field
  • Engage with the Campus Rec staff and learn about Pitt's many fitness and recreational facilities