Andy Nelson, Coordinator-Outdoor Program, explained that the trips focus on “providing opportunities for students to get out and learn.”
All of the trips are led by student trip instructors and are geared towards beginners to teach them skills so they are able to eventually do activities on their own.
Camilo Gomez, a senior Watershed Science and Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism major, has worked as a trip leader for the Outdoor Program for two years.
Gomez explained that he started off climbing at the Rec Center rock wall freshman year, which lead to him getting a job at the wall and eventually becoming involved in the program.
“It is a great resource to come out and learn to do new things,” Gomez said.
Gomez said that he views his role as a student service role and he most enjoys teaching people how to use the technical gear for rock climbing.
“It’s very accessible and inexpensive for students,” Gomez said.
There is a registration fee that covers things such as transportation, instruction and permits but they try to balance trips with free programs and clinics.
“We try to keep costs as low as possible,” Nelson said. “We want to keep it affordable but maintain the quality of trips.”
In addition to the trips provided by the Outdoor Program, the program also offers a wilderness first responder course and several themed weeks.
This week is Winter Week, which will feature several clinics, a free film screening and even a winter photo contest.
Another component of Winter Week is the BANFF Film Festival, which will play on Friday and Saturday night in the LSC Theatre. The event begins at 7 p.m. and costs $12 for students.
Nelson wants students to know that the Outdoor Program exists separately from the climbing wall and can provide a lot of resources that students should take advantage of.
“The program is a venue for students to explore their passion for whatever they want to do outdoors,” Nelson said.
Noah Hitch, a junior Natural Resource Economics major, also works as an trip instructor for the Outdoor Program.
“I like it because I get to take kids out and introduce them to the outdoors and something they may not have seen otherwise,” Hitch said.
Trips are open to all abilities and students can register for at the Rec Center front desk or by phone. Nelson recommends that students sign up early because the popular trips can book out three months.
Collegian Reporter Maddie Buxton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.