Monday, July 30, 2012


Hey guys!
Hope you've all checked your emails since July 24th to see trip placements! You should be hearing from your leaders soon if you haven't already. We are all so excited to start off the 2012 AESOP season! Literally jumping out of excitement!

But now, down to business. As we promised, here is the PACKING LIST info to help you prepare for your trips:

Click here to view the packing list for ALL AESOP trips! The packing list is displayed on the AESOP home page on the Bates website. If you have any questions regarding gear for specific trips, we urge you to contact your trip leaders. They will be more than happy to help. Mackie, Will and I can help too of course!

This was our version of a packing list last year... hmm.. looks like we need to do some organizing!

I just want to take the time here to thank everyone for being so patient with us as we try to figure out all the logistics behind what I know will be the most amazing AESOP of all time. We are replying to emails as quickly as we can but have gotten swamped in the last week so it may take a couple days for us to get through them all. But don't worry, we haven't forgotten about you! I promise.

I also want to send a big shout out to the two most amazing co-coordinators out there.. Mackie and Will have been so wonderful tying up the loose ends I left back in May and starting up new projects. The 3 of us have all had our fair share of alone time in the AESOP office over the last year (me during 2nd semester and Short Term, Will in May and June, and Mackie over the summer) working out logistics and I must admit, I was pretty excited to escape the small (but still cozy) confines of our garage-office space for the summer. But now that it's AESOP time, I am more than ready to get back up there and kick things off for real! It's going to be a great time for all of us!

See you soon and please (I feel like I ALWAYS say this, but I'm going to say it again..) feel free to email or call us with any questions!

28 DAYS!!


A Word from our Leaders... Tommy Talks

Hey aesopers! My name is Tommy Holmberg and I will be co-leading the sailing trip. I just spent this past semester studying abroad in Mongolia with Lucas Millikin, the co-leader of Baxter Bushwackers 1. While we were over there, we spent some time as nomadic goat herders, living fully immersed in tiny shelters with Mongolian speaking families. When not on horseback tending to our livestock, we spent tons of time hiking up in the beautiful Altai mountains. We had camel races, we got lost in Gobi, sandstorms we ate goat eyes, we did it all. Holla.

For our month long independent study projects, Lucas travelled around remote Khazak Mongolia, interviewing and living with the local people inventorying their homes to examine the effects of globalization. I studied the nation's infrastructure by embarking on a two week adventure all around the country that included 125 hours of hitchhiking over wild terrain. Giddy up.

Currently, we are back in the states getting excited for AESOP. Lucas is working as a kayaking trip leader in Freeport, Maine and I am in Chicago working in casting and marketing at a theatre/teaching sailing. After I write this, I will continue examining maps of the Maine coast deciding which amazing islands my aesopers will camp on during our trip. Get pumped, sailors we're gonna have the time of our lives!

Awwwww yaaaaaaaaa

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Silly Computers!

Alright, so I know we promised to get trip placements out to you guys on the 24th and we really did think we were going to make it.. but, alas, we're going to keep the suspense building. We pressed the "send button" for all 357 student emails at exactly midnight last night, but by sending them all at once, our mail program that sends individual emails to each of you with your trip stopped sending after the first 20 emails on our list (in alphabetical order of course.. I hate how it does that since my last name is at the very end of the alphabet and I can feel for you guys whose last names don't start with 'A'..). So for the 20 lucky ones that received your trip placements, congratulations; for the other 340 of you please be patient!  We're currently working with the IT department at Bates to get this issue resolved.  Sorry!



Today, July 24th is a very special day... Want to know why?! TRIP PLACEMENTS WILL BE ANNOUNCED TONIGHT! So, look out for an email from us (the AESOP team) regarding who your student leaders are and what trip you will be going on. We encourage you to contact your leaders and ask them questions if you have any regarding your particular trip. They will also be contacting you in the coming weeks to get to know you better. It's safe to say that the trip leaders are as excited as you are about AESOP. It's an exciting time for all of us and we are all so happy to be here to help start you off at Bates in the most amazing, memorable way.
We will be posting packing lists on the trip pages in the next week so you can start preparing for your trip and for your arrival to Bates! Be sure to check back here to find your packing list in the next few days.
Close to 350 of you will be participating in AESOP this year which is AWESOME!! By Orientation on September 1st, you will already recognize 350 familiar faces in the crowd of your first year class!- That's way more than half! How neat is that?! We tried our hardest to place all of you on one of your top 5 trip choices, but since there are so many of you it was hard to do. So, if you are really disappointed in your trip placement please let us know and we will do our best to satisfy you.
Get ready for a great time! Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
--Ellie, Mackie & Will

Sunday, July 22, 2012


I'm not sure about your summers but ours here are frickin' packed.  Because of this, we apologize for not posting more on the blog, but don't worry because that'll change big time in the coming weeks.  Once you find out your trips we'll be posting stories from our leaders and keeping you guys up to date with all of the behinds the scenes work leading up to your trips.   Speaking of trips, look for an email by 8pm EST Tuesday, July 24th (TWO DAYS) with your trip assignments!  It'll be like Christmas in July, or Hanukkah, or Kwanza, or if you don't celebrate any of those just imagine it'll be like the best birthday you've ever had.  We'll also be letting the trip leaders know who are on their trips so feel free to get in contact with them!   

Monks and nuns learning algebra!
Anyway, to give you a brief update on my life... I've been spending the majority of my time for the past couple weeks sitting in front of my computer writing a research paper.  In the summer.  When it's beautiful outside.  AWESOME.  Actually, it's pretty interesting, for me at least (minus the fact that papers are not nearly as fun as summer shenanigans).   The paper is for my abroad program that I completed this past spring in Dharamsala India.  If you ever want to know about how western science is being incorporated into the Tibetan monastic education system let me know!  I've got about 40 pages waiting for you.  

In other news; I went to California with my dad to see some family and friends in early July.  My families 10th annual capture the flag/pig roast/ bonfire party was an epic success at my family farm outside of Philly.  I'm also about to drive up to Squam lake (home of a few AESOP trips) to spend some time with family and friends on the lake.  I cant wait! 

Don't forget to check your Bates email on Tuesday night!  

Here are some pictures from my summer so far! 
California's got some big ass trees
Driving along the Pacific Coast Highway

One of the 100ish baby spiders that decided to hatch in my kitchen.  I felt like I had something crawling on my for weeks after they hatched.

My 180lb lovable mastiff, Max.  
Who doesn't love setting of fireworks on the 4th of July?
After about 11 hours of roasting 


Monday, July 2, 2012


Hello from AESOP and Happy July!

 We are having a wonderful summer getting AESOP ready for you and we cannot wait until you walk onto campus with your paddle in hand, and a pack on your back! It's July 2nd, which means that yesterday was the last day to send in your paperwork. Some of you are probably kicking yourselves for not signing up on time and since we want as many of you to join us on our trips as we can get, we are extending the deadline to JULY 15th! Due to reservation time constraints, it would be great if you could get your paperwork in to us as soon as possible. This extension gives those of you who just recently decided to come on a trip a chance to sign up! Just head over to your Garnet Gateway account and follow the instructions and email us at if you have any questions.

If you are still unsure as to what we do on our AESOP trips, this is where we get our motivation from...

How neat is that?!

Hope you are all having a fabulous summer and we can't wait to see you in August!

-Ellie, Mackie, & Will