ESCAPE First Year Program

“ESCAPE turned out to be one of the highlights of my first year here at Georgetown.” (Student, NHS 2014)

  • Have you gone on ESCAPE?

    One experience you can only have your first year at Georgetown is go on ESCAPE. Don't miss your opportunity to have a Hoya moment that you'll remember forever.

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  • Become an ESCAPE Leader!!!

    Interested in being part of next year's ESCAPE family? Applications for ESCAPE Team 25 are now live! We invite you to thoughtfully and reflectively consider applying. Applications are due Sunday, March 15 at 11:59pm. Apply Here!

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  • President DeGioia ESCAPEs the Hilltop

    A student reflects on his ESCAPE experience as Georgetown's President DeGioia attends this first-year experience retreat.

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  • The Sound of ESCAPE

    Student Coordinators reflect about one aspect of ESCAPE they love most - the music.

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Join one of Georgetown's most-loved traditions for over 23 years! 

This overnight experience for first-year and transfer students is designed as an “escape” from the Hilltop. For 27 hours, enjoy the chance to meet awesome new people, eat lots of good snacks, enjoy great live music, and take a step back from the frenzy of campus life. 

The registration fee is only $35, which covers the cost of the overnight, a trendy ESCAPE t-shirt, and one ticket to the ESCAPE Ball in May. You can pay online, by cash, or with a check. Unfortunately, registration fees are non-refundable. Financial assistance is available - email Madeline at mnv8@georgetown.edu for more information.

ESCAPE takes place at the newly dedicated Calcagnini Contemplative Center in Bluemont, Virginia. The facility offers indoor, hotel-style accommodations and breathtaking views of the Shenandoah Valley.

Your ESCAPE team is made up of 30-40 student leaders, split into three smaller teams. The ESCAPE Director, Madeline Vitek, along with the ESCAPE Student Coordinators, will be on each overnight. 'Like' us on Facebook to see pictures of the Calcagnini Contemplative Center!

ESCAPE is a non-denominational experience and reflection is a central part of the overnight. There will be talks from upperclass team leaders and a faculty member, followed by individual and small group reflection.

ESCAPE doesn’t end when you leave the Calcagnini Center! As a part of the ESCAPE community back on campus, you'll see your friends at frequent reunions, community service opportunities, and the ESCAPE Ball!

Visit our office in Leavey Center 1314, right across from Uncommon Grounds and next to Hoya Court. 


“Going on ESCAPE not only provided me with individual reflection time, but it also reminded me of the importance of human connections.” Student, COL ‘16

“I think what ESCAPE is really trying to pull from Jesuit values is this recognition of a spiritual journey within ourselves, wherever that journey is at the moment.” Student, MSB ‘16

“ESCAPE turned out to be one of the highlights of my first year here at Georgetown.” Student, NHS ‘14

Frequently Asked Questions...

If I’m not very religious or not religious at all, will I still enjoy the retreat?
ESCAPE IS FOR EVERYONE. Regardless of how religious you are you will get a lot out of the overnight. While ESCAPE draws on Jesuit tradition, the retreat is non-denominational.

Does ESCAPE take up the entire weekend?
ESCAPE IS ONLY 27 HOURS. You can choose between the Friday/Saturday and Saturday/Sunday overnights. You will leave at 4:00pm and return the next day around 7:00pm.

I’m really busy right now. Should I wait until next year to attend?
ESCAPE IS A FIRST YEAR RETREAT. This means only freshmen and transfer students can attend. Go at a time that is convenient for your schedule, but the last overnights are in February!

Is ESCAPE a camping trip?
ESCAPE IS NOT A CAMPING TRIP. We will spend most of the weekend indoors in climate-controlled buildings. Still, you will have time to spend outside during free time, when you can explore the grounds of the Calcagnini Contemplative Center if you like.

What should I bring on my ESCAPE weekend?
For comfort: A sleeping bag and pillow -OR- sheets, blanket, and pillow; you can rent sleeping bags for $9.00 through Outdoor Ed (info here).
For cleanliness: A towel, soap, shampoo, a change of clothes, and whatever else you need to get ready.
For unpredictable weather: Durable shoes, socks, and a sweatshirt or jacket.
For fun: A good book, cards, frisbees, games, or your journal for free time (unless you want to romp outside, hang out by the fire, or take a nap!)
For hydration: A reusable water bottle
For everyone's audio delight: guitars or other musical instruments if you play any!

FALL 2015 DATES

  • September 18-19
  • September 19-20
  • October 2-3
  • October 3-4
  • November 6-7
  • November 7-8

SPRING 2016 DATES

  • January 22-23
  • January 23-24
  • February 5-6
  • February 6-7
  • February 26-27
  • February 27-28