Free hats and candy are certain to entice any college student, but the Outdoor Recreation Committee (ORC) had even sweeter things to talk about during their open house in Loomis. Although the much-anticipated event wasn’t scheduled to begin until 7 p.m., students started gathering early in hopes to get a good seat and a free hat.

With a full house, Chris Dickson enthusiastically started the program. The student leader panel was first on the agenda. Representatives from numerous ORC subgroups took turns passing around the microphone and giving short presentations about their area of expertise. Such fields of interest included fly-fishing, backcountry skiing, and rock climbing. In addition, operations of The Gear House and the Ritt Kellogg Climbing Gym were explained.

Next up was an informational session about how the Ahlberg Leadership Institute operates. There are several different tracks that students can take within the Institute, and all of them require students to be backcountry Level I- and Level II-certified. Level I backcountry certification entails a training course, CPR/ First Aid training, and participation in two ORC trips  For Level II, students must complete the training course, have a WFR certification, and be a leader on four additional field days with the ORC. Once the requirements are met and students receive their Level II backcountry leader certification, they can either continue on the backcountry track or branch out to other tracks.  These leadership tracks include skiing, climbing, rafting, and kayaking.  All tracks go up to Level III leader certifications.

The ORC concluded with a question-and-answer session and a little bit of mingling.  After attending the open house, first-year student Jhana Gottlieb said, “It was amazing to see the rich expanse of outdoor opportunities that CC has to offer.  Every student that goes here is lucky to have such opportunities.”  The open house provided a window to see all of the opportunities Colorado College’s Outdoor Education Department has to offer-


Emelie Frojen

Leave a Reply