Everything you need to know about the Outdoor Pursuits Program

By Jamison White | January 29, 2018 10:04pm

The Outdoor Pursuits office is located in the Beauchamp Recreational Center.
by Sarah Varney / The Beacon

Tucked away in the corner of the Beauchamp Center is the office of a program that many University of Portland students may have heard about, but don’t know enough about: the Outdoor Pursuits Program. 

The program, generally referred to as OPP, offers many activities, from hiking trips to renting and repairing bikes. The trips offered range from a day trip to the coast to climbing trips over a full weekend. The trips include an array of opportunities, from hiking to more to relaxing walks along the beach.

“We have some snowshoeing trips coming up as well as some overnight snow camping trips planned,” sophomore trip leader Taylor Corris said.

Many students may think the trips are not for them because of a lack of experience, but all experience levels are welcome for every trip, according to Corris. Whether you are an experienced climber or have never been on a mountain before, the student OPP guides will help you by teaching you exactly what you need to know.

“Experience level doesn't matter,” Corris said. “We will cater to your needs anything you’ll need to know we will teach you and anything you need is included in the cost of the trips.” 

Since the program understands that not everyone has buckets of money to spend on these trips, the average cost is about $25.

As of now, the trips are mainly in Oregon and Washington as well as one scheduled last year to Idaho. Despite this, the plans for OPP are big, and even worldwide. 

“I would love for us to be in a place where we could go international, down to South America for 14 days, do some service in a village as well as some backpacking,” OPP manager Nathan Hingley said.

The main goal of these trips is to offer students a getaway from the stress of everyday college life. 

The Outdoor Pursuits office is located in the Beauchamp Recreational Center. Outside the door are listings of events coming up during the semester.
by Sarah Varney / The Beacon

“What we hear from students is that this is a competitive school and high expectations are placed on them to succeed… most of the trips are mellow, it's about students having a good time,” Hingley said. 

The trips are only half of what OPP does. It also offers bike repairs and rentals for a price much cheaper than a traditional bike shop, and performed by skilled students who can quickly get your bike back to working condition. Hingley said that fixing a flat bike tire only costs $5-6.

OPP is also starting to offer retreats, something that the program wants to expand down the road, Hingley said. 

“At the beginning of this semester we ran an overnight for first generation student ambassadors, in regards to to being outdoors for the first time and how that can be similar to being in university when you have nobody in your family to talk to,” Hingley said. “We are looking to build up that program.” 

Trips are offered almost every weekend. Knowing more about what the offices down at the end of the first floor of the Beauchamp Center encompass could open up some doors for students. Now, it’s time to go and take a relaxing trip to the beach or fix your flat for cheap so you can make your weekly run to Freddie’s!