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College Outdoors

New Student Trips

Registration Opens Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Note about COVID-19: Currently we do not anticipate changes to New Student Trips (NSTs) due to COVID-19, beyond increased sanitation practices. Since registration is online, we will be able to maintain the revised schedule and deadlines outlined below, including opening registration on Tuesday, June 2nd. We are hopeful that by August, when these trips run, it will be safe and prudent to run trips. Our top priority is the safety of our students and staff, and if we need to cancel trips we will notify registrants and issue full refunds.

Follow us on Instagram & Facebook to stay up to date, and learn about the trips and leaders


College Outdoors and Student Leadership & Service (SLS) send you greetings from beautiful Portland, Oregon! Every year we offer new students (both first-years and transfers) an opportunity to launch their Lewis & Clark collegiate career in a fun and adventurous way. The Pacific Northwest has a lot to offer and we love sharing what we are lucky enough to call our backyard! New Student Trips (NSTs) happen just before the college-wide New Student Orientation (NSO).  

Why go on a New Student Trip?

New Student Trips are designed to help students transition to life at Lewis & Clark. Students have a great opportunity to form a core group of friends before they head into the fast-paced experience of moving into the residence halls and starting classes. First and foremost, we want participants to have FUN on these trips! We also incorporate programs designed to enhance decision making skills, inspire group communication, and spark discussions on issues facing college students. These trips seek to build community, increase an individual’s confidence, and give participants an appreciation for people with diverse backgrounds. Time has shown that these trips truly enrich students’ Lewis & Clark experience starting from day one! Plus, the usual excitement and uncertainty associated with arriving at a new place is much easier to manage after spending some time with a group of new students who may become your best friends!

No experience needed!

Every trip we offer is suitable for people with no background in the outdoors or service projects. All of our trips are led by competent and experienced outdoor leaders. Check out our trip list for a better idea of the rigor of each trip. Our backpacking trips are the most physically demanding, and while no prior experience is needed, backpacking necessitates good physical fitness.

What is the cost?

Trip costs vary based on the length of the trip and the type of activities. The listed price reflects the full cost of the trip before financial aid. If you submitted a FAFSA, the cost to you will be calculated on a need-based sliding scale. Simply check the box regarding financial aid when you fill out the New Student Trip Reservation Form. Your financial award will be included in the email with your trip placement.

These trips fill up fast, so register as soon as possible!

How to Sign Up

  1. Check out our Trip Descriptions
  2. Complete the Online Registration (link will be live June 2)
    Registration opens Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Registrations received June 2-9 will be given equal priority for trip preference. After June 9th, trip assignments will be based on remaining availability until all spaces are filled.
  3. Fill out the online Health and Diet Questionnaire 
    Please note: your registration is not considered complete until you have filled out a health and diet questionnaire.  For this reason, the questionnaire is due within 48 hours of submitting your trip reservation to hold your place.
  4. You will receive an email with your trip placement and a link to pay within 2 weeks after submitting your application. If you indicate on your trip registration that you would like financial aid, and your FAFSA qualifies you for need-based financial aid, your trip cost will be reduced proportionally to the amount of financial aid you qualify for.  Additional trip scholarships are available for members of underrepresented groups, contact us for more information.

Summer 2020 Schedule & Deadlines

June 2nd (Tuesday): Registration opens at 9 AM Pacific Time

Registration for New Student Trips (NSTs) opens online at 9:00am (PST) on Tuesday, June 2nd. All registrations received within the first week will be given equal weight for trip-preference based on a lottery system. We cannot guarantee your first choice trip, but completing the Online Registration and Health & Diet Questionnaire by Tuesday, June 9th will give you the best chance of being placed on one of your top choices. After June 9th, registration is rolling and trip placements will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. No matter which trip you go on, you’ll make great friends and learn a lot about the Pacific Northwest!  We will send you an email confirming that we have received your registration within 1-2 business days. Payment is not due at the time of registration — payment info will be provided when you receive your trip placement.

June 9th (Tuesday): Lottery system for trip placement closes.

After this date, trip placements are first-come, first served based on remaining availability. Registrations will be accepted throughout the summer until all trip spaces are filled.

Within 2 weeks of receiving your application: Trip placement assignments go out

Within two weeks of registering for a New Student Trip, we will send you an email about your trip placement and financial aid award. Please note that although the lottery system for trip placements closes one week after registration opens, it may be two weeks before you receive your trip placement. We do not require payment until after you have been placed on a trip and know your financial aid situation. After this point, please refer to your individual trip pages for specific trip information.

July 1st (Wednesday): Trip Balance Due

Unless you are waiting to be notified about your trip placement and financial aid award, the balance of your trip is due by 5pm on Wednesday July 1st. For later registrations, your due date will be sent with your trip assignment. Online payments can be submitted using the link that will be provided to you in your pre-trip email.  Payments are also accepted by mail. 

July 15th (Wednesday): Required Forms Due

Your individual New Student Trip page will have access to the three forms that are required by this date. Those forms are the equipment you would like to borrow, your travel information, and the release of liability.  There is no additional charge for any equipment you would like to borrow for your New Student Trip. If you do not have travel plans finalized prior to July 15th due to extenuating circumstances, please contact us; we can extend the deadline.

Cancellations and Refunds

While we rarely have to cancel a New Student Trip, should it be necessary, we will provide the earliest possible notice and give you a choice of a full refund or an alternate trip.

If you cancel a reservation, the following schedule applies:

On or before July 1st: Full refund.

After July 1st: We can refund the full amount less a $50 cancellation fee if we can fill your spot from the waitlist. If we cannot fill your spot, you may forfeit your payment.  (In the case of an emergency situation, we can make an exception, depending on each individual case.)

Outdoor recreation throughout the school year 

College Outdoors offers a veritable plethora of activities all year round, from rafting to backpacking and cross-country skiing to sea kayaking. We also offer two very popular Wilderness First Responder courses during LC’s winter break. Student Leadership & Service also runs alternative fall and spring break service trips along with many smaller weekend trips. So don’t worry! If you can’t make it on one of the NSTs there are other opportunities to get outdoors each semester. Look for more information for our fall trips schedule once you get to campus, on this website in late August, or come by our office and say hello!


Do you have any other questions?

Contact us:

Monday – Friday:  9am – 5pm Pacific Time
244 Templeton Campus Center
phone 503-768-7116