Outdoor Program offers unique experiences

Kicking off the school year with a new rock wall and whitewater kayaking seminar, Portland State’s Outdoor Program (ODP) has a whole term of events planned for students, alumni and staff.

“We try to give people a chance to push themselves,” Courtney Meadows, the program’s volunteer coordinator, said of the student run program.

Beginning in 1966, ODP was started by students and now coordinates student planned trips that are also student led.

Subsidized by the university, students get the benefits of ODP for a low price. Students can spend a weekend backpacking or snowshoeing at a price that includes food, transportation and group gear.

ODP also offers seminars like the whitewater kayaking seminar that started this month. Four pool sessions along with three river trips are included in the seminar to teach students the basics of whitewater kayaking.

Mixing beginners with experienced trip leaders and volunteers, ODP offers students of all backgrounds a chance to meet new people and discover a new activity.

“Coming on a trip is a good way for new students to meet people with similar interests,” Meadows said.

Theron Jourdan, ODP’s hanger manager, went on a snowshoeing trip with ODP before getting involved with the program.

Remembering the climate of his first trip, Jourdan noted, “No matter what the weather’s like, the trips are always fun.”

Besides their trips, ODP has a hanger full of equipment that is used on outings and can also be rented out.

The prices on rentals are discounted for students and alumni, and range from tents and sleeping bags to rafts and kayaks.

The students of ODP have also worked with Student Recreation to have a rock-climbing wall installed in the Stott Center. According to Jon Jansky, the student coordinator of the rock wall, students can test their skills on the newly installed wall beginning October 27.

A schedule of events, costs and ways to get involved can be found on the ODP website at: hhtp://www.odp.pdx.edu, or you can stop by their office in room 114 of Smith Memorial Student Union.