Don’t let money become an obstacle for seeking adventure and a little fresh air. Portland State’s Outdoor Program is designed just for Viking students to find fun in the sun, offering students a chance to bond with each other and Mother Nature.
Don’t let money become an obstacle for seeking adventure and a little fresh air. Portland State’s Outdoor Program is designed just for Viking students to find fun in the sun, offering students a chance to bond with each other and Mother Nature. Maybe you’re feeling adventurous enough to go rock climbing, snowshoeing or rafting, or perhaps you desire something more relaxing, like a hike or bike ride. With all of Oregon’s beautiful scenery, it’s easy to find adventurous activities with the PSU Outdoor Program.
There are many things that make Oregon a unique and special place in which to live. With the state parks, beaches and mountains, there is an outdoor activity for everyone. Even with the heavy dose of rain, Portland State students find many outlets to catch sun rays during the right times of the year. The Outdoor Program allows students to tap into their adventurous sides and try new things. It’s a great outlet for students to meet other students with similar interests. Also, it doesn’t require experienced outdoor-obsessed people. Anyone can do it, whether it’s your first rafting trip or your 20th hike.
Student rates for trips and gear rentals are discounted as much as 50 percent from public rates. Some of the more popular locations are Forest Park and McIver State Park. Forest Park is also one of the country’s biggest urban forest reserves. Volunteer trips are also available, where students can spend half of their time volunteering and the other half participating in the outdoor activity. With such close proximity to Portland State, it’s a very convenient activity for students.
The program also offers gear rental and rock wall climbing, both very popular programs with students. The belay rock climbing classes cost as little as five dollars. On top of that, the movement classes are free and whenever the Student Rec center is open, students can access the bouldering section of the climbing wall. In general, other rock climbing gyms tack on steep prices. Of course, the gym is also fully staffed with employees who can help anyone who is new or uncomfortable with wall climbing.
Hiking is another great outdoors activity, since it doesn’t have to be expensive. Students can rent gear at a fairly low cost. According to Tina Shantz, one of the graduate assistants at the PSU Outdoor Program, students typically rent gear over extended breaks. Students are allowed to rent gear for 10 days over a break, while paying at a four-day rate. For information on rental cost, schedules and other details, be sure to check the Outdoor Program section on the PSU official website.
For students interested in getting involved in the program, there are many opportunities available to start out as a volunteer. Volunteers typically spend 30 hours per week with the ODP, learning how the program works and developing their leadership skills. Once that is completed, they can apply to be a leadership volunteer, and eventually get promoted into a paid trip leader. Conveniently, students don’t need any experience to be involved in the program. According to Shantz, these volunteer service trips fill up fast. She also mentioned the rock climbing and whitewater rafting trips fill up fast, so don’t wait too long to sign up.
“I think we say it best on the website when it says, ‘Our wide variety of programs offer students the chance to enhance their academic careers through leadership development opportunities or in finding affordable ways to escape and meet fellow students,'” Shantz said.
While you’re a student, take advantage of the program. Whether it’s snowshoeing, skiing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, biking or hiking, there is a trip that will likely fit your outdoor desire.
“There really aren’t other places students can access such a variety of programs and not have to pay,” Schantz added. “One of the things I often hear alumni say is that they wish they had taken advantage of the Outdoor Program before they graduated, because now they can’t afford to do the activities or don’t have time. Not only is it cheaper and greatly organized; it’s also set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. After all, the mountains, rivers, parks and beaches so close to urban life are partly what makes Portland so special to live in.” ?