Reed College Orientation 2014

SEEDS group photo

Orientation Odysseys

SEEDS Community Service Odyssey

For information pertaining to all odysseys and conflicting programs, please see this page.

Meredith Dickinson, SEEDS community service coordinator
503/777-7563 or email
Click here
to visit the SEEDS website.

SEEDS Odyssey Schedule

Friday, August 23

1–5 p.m. Check-in
4:30 p.m. Parent reception

5:30 p.m. Dinner with other participants (students only, please)
Evening Packing and group meetings

Saturday & Sunday, August 24 & 25

Days of service

Monday, August 26

Return from final day of service by 6 p.m.

SEEDS Odyssey Descriptions

Join other new Reedies who are interested in addressing important social issues. The SEEDS odysseys combine direct service, reflection, learning, and fun. They offer a powerful experience to launch into the school year and offer a new understanding of our communities. They are also a great way to begin forming your circle of friends at Reed.

All groups will sleep and eat together within the community (sleeping on a gym floor is a bonding experience!), but each group of students will have its own program of service activities. There are four themes to choose from.

Health Justice

Interested in learning about community-based wellness approaches to social justice issues? Join us for this new Odyssey where we will explore issues such as mental health, environmental health, access to healthy food, homelessness and more. Learn how these public health issues are addressed at the individual, community, and policy levels. 

Education and Youth

During the academic year, many Reed students volunteer or work at a variety of nearby schools and youth organizations. Helping students with their reading, teaching them to play a musical instrument, or being there as a mentor can be as rewarding to you as it is beneficial to the student. This group will be working with youth-focused community organizations to provide service and learn about some of the factors that affect youth in Portland.

Community Development

Do you ever wonder if your volunteer hours will be remembered? In this group, experience the satisfaction of having tangible results for your efforts after using your hands to improve your world. No experience is needed, but be prepared to use your body as well as your mind—a few years ago we built a bike shed! You will also learn how local community development groups are working to improve the livability of their neighborhoods.

Cycling and Sustainability: Cycle to Service!

Many Portlanders love their relatively unspoiled natural environment, urban bicycle culture, and emerging sustainability ethos. Participants in this group will have the opportunity to cycle to a variety of sites to support community efforts that foster the growth of a livable urban landscape. If you’re interested in these issues, this is a great chance to become familiar with some local projects, including bicycle advocacy and natural area preservation.

Students participating in this trip must be comfortable cycling in an urban environment of up to 15 miles per trip. Ability to change a flat tire is a plus, but not required. You must bring your own street legal bicycle and helmet (required) for this trip. We suggest a tune-up shortly before the trip.

SEEDS Odyssey Cost & Registration

All SEEDS community service odysseys cost $150. This fee covers food, lodging, transportation, and other expenses. The amount will be charged to your account with the business office in August.

To sign up for a SEEDS odyssey, complete the application, acknowledgement of risk, waiver and release, and medical information by registering online at IRIS. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis; materials must be received by June 15.  Applicants will receive an email confirming their registration within two weeks of applying. If you don't receive confirmation, please call SEEDS at 503/777-7563. If you do not receive a confirmation, you are NOT registered.

Gearing Up for Your SEEDS Odyssey

Students attending SEEDS community service odysseys will need to bring some personal items on the trip.

Please bring a sleeping bag and pad if you have one.

Please note that weather in the Pacific Northwest is highly variable. Although August tends to be quite warm, it also can be cool and rainy. We suggest that you dress in layers, to be prepared for heat or rain.

The following items are required for SEEDS odysseys:

  • Sleeping bag or blankets
Sleeping pad

  • Rain jacket

  • Work clothes for three days (you will be getting dirty)

  • Closed-toe work shoes

  • Clothes for relaxing
Bike (required only for cycling trip)

  • Bike helmet (required only for cycling trip)

The following items are optional, but suggested:

  • Notebook and pen

  • Sunglasses

  • Pillow (highly recommended)

  • Musical instrument
  • Favorite interactive games
Reading material

  • Spending money

  • Sketch pad or journal

  • Camera

  • Hat

  • Tire repair kit (for cycling trip)

Arriving for Your SEEDS Odyssey

Please arrive on campus between 1 and 5 p.m. on Friday, August 23, as there is considerable organization and orientation that needs to take place before our early-morning departure. Please check in at Kaul Auditorium.

Van shuttles from the airport will be available at 1, 3, and 4 p.m. on Friday, August 23. You must reserve a space with Cyrus Monsef by 5 p.m. on August 16.

Once on Campus for Your SEEDS Odyssey

Please plan on having dinner with us around 5:30 p.m. The remainder of the evening will be invested in getting to know your group better and making sure we are well organized for our departure early on Saturday. You will stay in your residence hall room the night before and after the trips.

Returning from Your SEEDS Odyssey

You can anticipate returning to Reed in the early evening of Monday, August 26. We anticipate that all SEEDS odyssey participants will be done with cleanup by 6 p.m., so you should have some flexibility to enjoy some downtime in your new environment.