College Outdoors expands offerings for incoming students
Each fall, College Outdoors organizes trips for incoming first-year and transfer students to bond with peers as they explore the mountains, rainforests, and rivers of the Pacific Northwest. This year, College Outdoors will offer 17 New Student Trips, the largest selection since the program began.
Three new trips through the Columbia River Gorge will combine hiking and the fast-growing sport of stand-up paddleboarding. Students will take the 15 paddleboards in the College Outdoors equipment warehouse out for five days in the gorge, under the guidance of instructor Micah Ownbey.
“Compared to kayaking or rafting, stand-up paddleboarding has minimal gear, it’s quick to set up, and quick to learn the skill,” said Joe Yuska, director of College Outdoors. “It’s a good way to explore parts of the gorge that someone without a stand-up paddleboard would never get to see.”
Other College Outdoors trips will take students to the Wallowa Mountains, Mount Adams, the Opal Creek Wilderness, Waldo Lake, and the Deschutes River. Trips are led by students who have earned Wilderness First Responder certifications and served as guides for outdoor programs outside of Lewis & Clark.
Participating students have access to backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, rafts, kayaks, and other gear from the College Outdoors equipment warehouse. This year, the Associated Students of Lewis & Clark also contributed $15,000 for financial aid, making the trips affordable for a range of incoming students.
Said Yuska, “It’s a great way to make friends and get to know people all over the college, before you even arrive on campus.”
Caleb Diehl ’16 contributed to this story.