College Outdoors originally started as a student club in the mid 1900’s. In 1979, it became part of the Student Activities Department under the name “Student Activities and College Outdoors.” In the early 1990’s, College Outdoors separated from Student Activities and became its own department. The goal of getting students outside and exploring the greater Pacific Northwest still drives our program today over forty years later.
We provide the Lewis & Clark College community with access to the spectacular outdoor environments of the Pacific Northwest through a variety of activities including cross-country skiing, backpacking, whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, and hiking. Today we offer day and weekend trips both semesters, Fall Break trips, Spring Break trips, and New Student Trips for incoming first-year students. Through our trips, participants find themselves exploring the mountains, rivers, deserts, and coasts that span across Oregon, California, and Washington. College Outdoors’ trips are open to Lewis & Clark undergraduates, graduate students, law students, faculty, and staff. Trips promise friendly people, fresh air, and fantastic scenery!
Besides providing outdoor trips, College Outdoors offers practical leadership opportunities that benefit students beyond their four years at Lewis & Clark. Our trips are entirely student led, with leadership teams consisting of Trip Leaders, Assistant Leaders, and Student Coordinators. All of our student leaders start by working as Student Coordinators on trips. Here they begin to learn the basics of College Outdoors’ systems through a mentorship style model with Assistant and Trip Leaders. As students move through our Leader Ladder, they learn valuable outdoor skills from knot tying to conflict resolution. Students are encouraged to be involved in the program beyond leading trips as office staff, gear warehouse workers, or serving on the student steering committee, the Roundtable.
If you have questions or are interested in getting involved, we encourage you to get in touch with us either through email or phone. If you’re on campus, stop by the office (Templeton 244) to chat!
The Roundtable is a student-run steering committee that aids in the decision making process for various aspects of the College Outdoors program. It was created in 1980, a year after the College Outdoors program was established. From 1980 to 2000, the committee was intermittently active. Since 2001, Roundtable has been continually active and a major driving force behind many changes to College Outdoors.
The student members work on various issues including budgeting, assigning assistant leaders/student coordinators to trips, adapting and editing policy, and creating and running programs that further influence the program’s contributions to the Lewis & Clark community. Recently, the Roundtable members have been working on programs and updating policy to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion within College Outdoors. Another notable contribution of the Roundtable was the creation of a scholarship program in the spring of 2012. This scholarship program is funded by the ASLC student government and is aimed at making trips more financially accessible to the Lewis & Clark community.
Roundtable also values its role as an outlet for staff, student leaders, and participants to voice their opinions about the current state of the program and what they would like to do to enrich it. We are always looking for ideas to improve College Outdoors and make it as accessible as possible to the Lewis & Clark community.
The Fall 2020 Roundtable committee consists of Makayla Simmer (’21), Katie Varness (’21), Michael Mulrennan (’22) and Satya Austin-Opper (’22) who work with full-time staff members Joe Yuska, Thom Lehman, and Kori Rosenstiel.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
College Outdoors is committed to building a program that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoors. We recognize that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are underrepresented in the outdoor industry and outdoor recreation. Our goal is to have all students feel welcome and valued in the outdoors, and in the College Outdoors program, because outdoor recreation and time in nature has been shown to be relaxing, empowering, build community, and improve mental health and well-being.
For more information see the Office of Equity & Inclusion.
Division of Student Life
College Outdoors is a department in the division of Student Life.
Policies & Procedures
National Forest Non-Discrimination Policy
Lewis & Clark College is a permittee of the Mt. Hood National Forest. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, Lewis & Clark is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of ancestry, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint, write, USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.