First Year Experience

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Outdoor Adventures

Programs | Outdoor Adventures

Wilderness Welcome: Sea Kayaking
On this trip, first-year students will focus on developing the basic skills necessary to live out of a sea kayak and navigate between islands in a marine environment. Skill progression, equipment selection, terminology and potential risks are all introduced as foundational skills for sea kayaking. Camp on islands and coastlines, paddle alongside sand dunes and take in the beauty of Lake Superior. Student leaders will provide guidance throughout this experiential, field-based excursion. This trip is challenging, yet appropriate for both novice and experienced sea-kayakers looking for a backcountry experience. At the end of the trip, staff will help students move in early and join the OWL program. This trip is also available for 1 academic credit. Email adventure@osu.edu to inquire about enrolling for academic credit.

This is a backcountry trip: Participants on this trip will sleep in tents with no access to showers, running water, or other modern amenities. Trip leaders will teach participants how to dispose of waste properly by following Leave No Trace ethics.

What's included: Trip fee includes all meals, transportation, trip leader instruction and activity-specific gear rental (excludes personal clothing and footwear). Students with financial need, such as Pell eligibility, may apply for a scholarship to reduce program cost. Please email adventure.osu.edu for details.

To register: Create a new RecRegister account. Follow the instructions by using your OSU email and ID #. Once you have created your account, you may sign-up. Note that this program holds a first-come, first-served registration and payment is required.

Location: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, MI
Dates: August 7-15, 2019
Number of participants: 9
Total cost: $600


Wilderness Welcome: Backpacking and Rock Climbing
On this trip, first-year students will be greeted by snow-topped mountains framed by deep blue skies as they enter Rocky Mountain National Park. On this adventure, you'll fly to gorgeous Colorado and spend the week in the Rockies. Participants will experience frontcountry camping and climbing mixed with backcountry camping and backpacking in the Rocky Mountains. Student leaders will help develop the leadership skills of first-year students. The trip is challenging, yet appropriate for both novice and more experienced climbers. At the end of the trip, staff will help students move in early and join the OWL program. This trip is also available for 1 academic credit. Email adventure@osu.edu to inquire about enrolling for academic credit.

This is a mixed backcountry and frontcountry trip: Participants will have limited access to running water, bathrooms and other modern amenities.

What's included: Trip fee includes all meals, transportation, trip leader instruction and activity-specific gear rental (excludes personal clothing and footwear). Students with financial need, such as Pell eligibility, may apply for a scholarship to reduce program cost. Please email adventure.osu.edu for details.

To register: Create a new RecRegister account. Follow the instructions by using your OSU email and ID #. Once you have created your account, you may sign-up. Note that this program holds a first-come, first-served registration and payment is required.

Location: Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
Dates: August 7-15, 2019
Number of participants: 8
Total cost: $1200


Wilderness Welcome: Backpacking
On this trip, first-year students will backpack a section of the Long Trail in Vermont. Participants will have a chance to focus on developing backcountry and leadership skills while connecting with nature, other first-year students and Ohio State. Student leaders will provide guidance on how to set up tents and cook in the backcountry, while carrying everything they need in a 35-40 pound backpack for up to 10 miles. This trip is appropriate for novice and experienced backpackers looking for a true backcountry experience. At the end of the trip, staff will help students move in early and join the OWL program. This trip is also available for 1 academic credit. Email adventure@osu.edu to inquire about enrolling for academic credit.

This is a backcountry trip: Participants on this trip will sleep in tents with no access to showers, running water, or other modern amenities. Trip leaders will teach participants how to dispose of waste properly by following Leave No Trace ethics.

What's included: Trip fee includes all meals, transportation, trip leader instruction and activity-specific gear rental (excludes personal clothing and footwear). Students with financial need, such as Pell eligibility, may apply for a scholarship to reduce program cost. Please email adventure.osu.edu for details.

To register: Create a new RecRegister account. Follow the instructions by using your OSU email and ID #. Once you have created your account, you may sign-up. Note that this program holds a first-come, first-served registration and payment is required.

Location: Long Trail, VT
Dates: August 7-15, 2019
Number of participants: 9
Total cost: $550


Wilderness Welcome: Rock Climbing
On this trip, first-year students will climb at Red River Gorge, one of the premier climbing destinations in the eastern United States. Participants on this trip will experience frontcountry camping and climbing in the Daniel Boone National Forest and surrounding area. Participants will learn skill progression, equipment selection, terminology and potential risks as foundational skills for climbing. Material will include knot tying, use of belay devices and risk management around the climbing site. Student leaders will help develop the leadership skills of first-year students. The trip is challenging, yet appropriate for both novice and more experienced climbers. At the end of the trip, staff will help students move in early and join the OWL program. This trip is also available for 1 academic credit. Email adventure@osu.edu to inquire about enrolling for academic credit.

This is a frontcountry trip: Participants will have limited access to running water, bathrooms and other modern amenities.

What's included: Trip fee includes all meals, transportation, trip leader instruction and activity-specific gear rental (excludes personal clothing and footwear). Students with financial need, such as Pell eligibility, may apply for a scholarship to reduce program cost. Please email adventure.osu.edu for details.

To register: Create a new RecRegister account. Follow the instructions by using your OSU email and ID #. Once you have created your account, you may sign-up. Note that this program holds a first-come, first-served registration and payment is required.

Location: Red River Gorge, KY
Dates: August 11-15, 2019
Number of participants: 9
Total cost: $375


Wilderness Welcome: Backpacking
On this trip, first-year students will backpack a section of trail in Dolly Sods, West Virginia. Participants will have a chance to focus on developing backcountry and leadership skills while connecting with nature, other first-year students and Ohio State. Student leaders will provide guidance on how to set up tents and cook in the backcountry, while carrying everything they need in a 35-40 pound backpack for up to 10 miles. This trip is appropriate for novice and experienced backpackers looking for a true backcountry experience. At the end of the trip, staff will help students move in early and join the OWL program. This trip is also available for 1 academic credit. Email adventure@osu.edu to inquire about enrolling for academic credit.

This is a backcountry trip: Participants on this trip will sleep in tents with no access to showers, running water, or other modern amenities. Trip leaders will teach participants how to dispose of waste properly by following Leave No Trace ethics.

What's included: Trip fee includes all meals, transportation, trip leader instruction and activity-specific gear rental (excludes personal clothing and footwear). Students with financial need, such as Pell eligibility, may apply for a scholarship to reduce program cost. Please email adventure.osu.edu for details.

To register: Create a new RecRegister account. Follow the instructions by using your OSU email and ID #. Once you have created your account, you may sign-up. Note that this program holds a first-come, first-served registration and payment is required.

Location: Dolly Sods, WV
Dates: August 11-15, 2019
Number of participants: 16
Total cost: $300


Wilderness Welcome: Hiking, Riding and Ziplining
Craving a connection with nature and fellow first-year students in the great outdoors? Come with us as we camp in Hocking Hills and go hiking, horseback riding, canoeing and zip-lining! The Outdoor Adventure Center staff will lead this experience, along the way facilitating team-building initiatives and conversations about the transition to Ohio State around the campfire. Through planned adventures in Hocking Hills State Park, students are guaranteed to form incredible memories before school begins. This program is open to all incoming first-year students and is for those seeking adventure with an established camping experience. At the end of the trip, staff will help students move in early and join the OWL program.

This is a frontcountry trip: Participants will have limited access to running water, bathrooms and other modern amenities.

What's included: Trip fee includes all meals, transportation, trip leader instruction and activity-specific gear rental (excludes personal clothing and footwear). Students with financial need, such as Pell eligibility, may apply for a scholarship to reduce program cost. Please email adventure.osu.edu for details.

To register: Create a new RecRegister account. Follow the instructions by using your OSU email and ID #. Once you have created your account, you may sign-up. Note that this program holds a first-come, first-served registration and payment is required.

Location: Hocking Hills, OH
Dates: August 11-15, 2019
Number of participants: 12
Total cost: $425


Wilderness Welcome: Biking and Boating
On this trip, first-year students will bike a section of the Great Allegheny Passage and whitewater raft the Lower Youghiogheny River in beautiful Ohiopyle, PA. This trip will focus on developing leadership skills while connecting with nature, other first-year students and Ohio State. Student leaders will provide guidance on how to set up tents and cook in the backcountry. This trip is appropriate for novice and experienced bicyclists and rafters. At the end of the trip, staff will help students move in early and join the OWL program. This trip is also available for 1 academic credit. Email adventure@osu.edu to inquire about enrolling for academic credit.

This is a mixed backcountry and frontcountry trip: Participants on this trip will sleep in tents and there will be no access to showers, running water or other modern amenities during the first two nights. There will be limited amenities available during the second two nights of the trip. Trip leaders will teach participants how to dispose of waste properly by following Leave No Trace ethics.

What's included: Trip fee includes all meals, transportation, trip leader instruction and activity-specific gear rental (excludes personal clothing and footwear). Students with financial need, such as Pell eligibility, may apply for a scholarship to reduce program cost. Please email adventure.osu.edu for details.

To register: Create a new RecRegister account. Follow the instructions by using your OSU email and ID #. Once you have created your account, you may sign-up. Note that this program holds a first-come, first-served registration and payment is required.

Location: Ohiopyle, PA
Dates: August 12-15, 2019
Number of participants: 14
Total cost: $325