By Kyle Zinkula
Colorado College students are lucky to have access to the wonderful Outdoor Education program at CC. However, sometimes the Colorado College Outdoor Education (CCOE) community can prove challenging to navigate due to the plethora of opportunities, locations, and activities it offers.
The best place to start looking at Outdoor Education activities is the daily and blockly events. Twice a week, students lead “Kayak Pool Sessions,” where you can go learn how to fit, use, paddle, and even roll a kayak. The sessions happen at 8-9:30 p.m. on Monday nights and 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoons in Schlessman Natatorium. Climbing clinics and Aerial Silks courses are also offered weekly each block. To find details and get involved in these activities, look at the Outdoor Education calendar available on Summit.
There are several locations for the many sessions offered by CCOE. The main places to know are the Outdoor Education and Gear House, located on Nevada Ave. on the northwest corner of Yampa Field; the Schlessman Natatorium located in the south corner of the Adam F. Press Fitness Center; and the Ritt Kellogg Climbing Gym located on the south end of the fitness center on the bottom floor.
On top of the many training opportunities offered by Outdoor Education, students can sign up for day, weekend, and Block Break trips. Depending on what is offered, the trips can include backpacking, hiking, camping, climbing, rafting, and skiing. Unfortunately, due to the fall weather setting in, backpacking trips will soon stop until the spring, but if you keep an eye on the calendar there will be exciting snowshoeing and skiing trips coming up once the snow falls.
One important aspect of the CCOE program is training students to lead future trips. If you are interested in leading a trip, the best place to start is with an Assistant Leader training. These programs are offered over the course of a weekend at both the CC Cabin and on campus, and require no prior experience. This year, the course will take place at the cabin Block 2, 3, and 6, and on campus Block 4 and 8.
Outdoor Education also offers Block Break trips. Another trip to Moab, Utah has been planned for next Block Break. This trip is open to all students and welcomes campers of any experience level. During the Block Break, you will get to explore the Moab area through several day hikes, camping, and climbing. The whole trip costs $25, making it an affordable few days full of fun and adventure.
Lastly, Colorado College offers a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course during Half Block. Over a period of 10 days, the WFR course will train you in various medical and emergency scenarios with which you may be faced in the backcountry. First aid and CPR are also courses offered by CCOE.
If you ever want to peruse Outdoor Education activities and programs, you can always look to the calendar on Summit. Every first Wednesday at 12:15 p.m., the Outdoor Education community gives a presentation and lunch detailing the upcoming events for the block, while also allowing you to find others who are interested in outdoor recreational activities.