Is getting outdoors and taking exciting trips a priority for you this year? PSU Outdoor Program employee Drew Wyant sure hopes so.
“The Outdoor Program (ODP) is excited to begin another year of really awesome trips and activities,” Wyant said. This will be the programs 39th year in existence and it is the first all student-sponsored outdoor program in the nation. Radical and bizarre trips and activities are the name of the game when it comes to ODP.
These trips include a variation of activities like backpacking, kayaking, rock-climbing, rafting, climbing, hiking and many more invigorating activities. With a full slate of excursions already planned and training sessions available, ODP is targeting young and eager students to join. Keep in mind that, “There is no experience necessary, just be in good shape and we will train you,” Wyant said.
The Outdoor Program also has an equipment rental service that is available to all students, past and present. “Having the ability to rent equipment is great because students can grab their own gear and go on a trip,” Wyant said. “It is also very inexpensive to buy through us, which is something that everyone isn’t aware of.”
Just be prepared to present the staff with the proper identification to verify that you are either a student or alumni of Portland State. Reservations for rentals can be made up to five days in advance. However, be aware that the reservation must be paid in full on the requested date of the reservation in order to be considered an honorable reservation. Also if it is necessary to cancel a reservation do so at least 48 hours prior to the date the equipment was supposed to be rented.
“What the Outdoor Program does is provide outdoor opportunities for students,” declared Wyant. Trips allow students to satisfy their hunger for the great outdoors by taking them to places that they only dream of visiting.
This year ODP has an abundance of amazing expeditions planned that any outdoor enthusiast would drool over. To get a taste of what sorts of trips ODP partakes in – earlier this summer they went on a hiking trip to world-renowned Yosemite National Park for six days, enjoying the scenery and landmarks such as Little Yosemite Valley and the notorious Half-Dome.
Another exciting adventure that has been planned is a backpacking trip to the Grand Tetons. This trip will take place September 8-14 and will only set students back a reasonable $214 and staff $257. Many more trips are in the process of being planned.
Another great service that ODP offers is the infamous rock-climbing wall that is located in the Stott Center. This is a great opportunity for experienced climbers or those that have just picked up the sport.
The fares for the wall are actually quite affordable considering the fulfilling adrenaline rush you undergo climbing the wall. Before taking on the wall you must pass a $5 belay course, which is about and hour long and is offered everyday from 4-5 p.m. Once completed with the belay course there are many options available for climbers.
If you just want to try the wall out you can get a day pass, which costs $5. For more experienced and enthusiastic climbers a month pass is offered for $15, term passes go for $30 and for the extremely dedicated climber a year pass is offered for $100. So whatever degree of climber you are there is a package available.
So you may be wondering how to become an ODP member. First, contact the Outdoor Program and get an idea if this is an endeavor that you may possibly enjoy pursuing. If you decide that you do want to pursue a future in this program, then you will first do at least 30 hours of volunteer work with ODP. Now this isn’t terribly difficult work because you are still involved helping with wild trips and trip planning.
After completing the volunteer work you will become an employee, an assistant trip planner to be exact, and then possibly in the near future be promoted to an actual trip planner.
Calling all thrill seekers! Calling all outdoor enthusiasts! Check the Outdoor Program out. If you are interested at seizing this opportunity to experience the great outdoors in the very best way stop by the ODP office at Room 114 of the ground level of Smith Memorial, visit their site at www.odp.pdx.edu or call 503-725-5668 and obtain some more specific information about this program. It may just be the opportunity you are seeking.