Outdoor Action Newsletter

OA Office: The Armory, 8-3552
Trip Sign-ups: On the Web
Equipment Room: 48 University Place, 8-6417
Climbing Wall: The Armory
Trip Hotline: 8-6417

September - November '99

Last page update 11/02/99

Table of Contents

Activities Training Resources

Welcome to the first Outdoor Action Newsletter of the '99 - '00 Academic Year - OA's 25th Anniversary Year! This year 606 members of the Class of 2003 participated in the Frosh Trip. Since OA began, over 10,000 incoming frosh and OA leaders have participated in the Frosh Trip! Throughout the year over 1,800 undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty participate in the many activities that OA offers from rock climbing to community service. Watch for many exciting upcoming events!

This newsletter is published twice each semester to provide information about Outdoor Action's upcoming trips and programs. The Outdoor Action Program (OA) is Princeton University's outdoor experiential education program administered by the Princeton-Blairstown Center. For more details on OA activities browse the OA Web Site. If you have any questions about our programs, don't hesitate to call the OA office, 8-3552.

New! Sign Up for OA Trips on the Web! Sign-ups for trips this year are on the at the OA TripStore starting on Wednesday September 22. Most sign-ups are done on a first-come-first-served basis. In some cases the sign-up is an interest list and OA Leaders and Leaders-in-training may be given preference for activities. Payment is due in advance, and will be charged to your University account.

OA Open House - Come sign up for Fall Activities, Courses, Leader Training, Community Service, and Break Trips! Tuesday, September 21 from 7:30 - 9:30 PM in the Whig Hall Senate Chamber.

Wilderness Seminars

Outdoor Safety Management Workshop

This workshop is designed to make all wilderness travelers familiar with how to plan and run safe wilderness trips. The Dynamics of Accidents Model that will be taught is used by outdoor professionals around the world. All OA Leaders must attend this seminar once. Free and open to the public.

Monday, October 18, from 7:30 - 9:30 PM - McCosh 64
Thursday, October 21, from 7:30 - 9:30 PM - McCosh 64
Monday, November 1, 7:30 - 9:30 PM - McCosh 64

Rock Climbing

climber1edge.jpg (15523 bytes) Beginner's Rock Climbing Course

If you are interested in learning to rock climb, then this 3-week course will teach you all the essential techniques of climbing, including tying-in and belaying and specific climbing techniques like weight shifting, stemming, and laybacks. The course will meet on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 8:00 - 10:00 PM at the Climbing Wall on September 27, 29, October 4, 6 and on Saturday, October 9 for a day trip to an outdoor climbing site, 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM (Rain Location: Philadelphia Rock Gym). Course fee: Students $65.00, faculty/staff $90.00.

Rock Climbing & Bouldering Trips

Rock Climbing gives you a chance to challenge yourself both physically and mentally as you steadily work your way up a crag. Bouldering is the sport of traversing rock walls or large boulders and is invaluable to developing good climbing technique. Both of these trips are designed to teach beginners basic climbing skills and to allow intermediate climbers to refine their climbing techniques. OA will provide instruction and all of the equipment. No previous climbing experience is necessary. Course fees: Bouldering Trip: students $8.00, faculty/staff $12.00, Day Trip: students $15.00, faculty/staff $20.00. The day trip will be a full day and participants should bring lunch.

Bouldering Trip: Thursday, September 30, 4:30 - 7:30 PM

Rock Climbing Day Trip: Sunday, October 10,
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Top Rope Climbing Course

If you are interested in learning how to set up top rope climbs, teach others how to rock climb, or in leading a Rock Climbing Frosh Trip or Beginning Rock Climbing Class, then this course is for you. Topics covered in this course include an introduction to climbing hardware, rope care, tying into natural anchors, equalizing loads, and teaching others to belay and climb safely. The course will meet on Tuesdays 4:30 - 6:30 PM and Fridays from 3:00 - 6:30 PM at the Climbing Wall. Course Dates: September 28, October 1, 5, 8, and 12 and for a full day at a local climbing site on Saturday, October 16. Course fee: students $65.00, OA Leaders $35.00, faculty/staff $90.00. Participants must have completed the Beginner's Rock Climbing Course or be competent with basic climbing and belaying skills. If you already have extensive experience in top rope climbing, you may be eligible to test out of the Top Rope Climbing Course. You should have solid experience in setting up top rope climbs and in teaching belaying and basic climbing skills. Please fill out a Climbing Instructors Application available at the OA Office or on the Web. You will need to attend the Top Rope Climbing Course Day Trip on Saturday, October 16 to demonstrate your skills and the teaching component of the Top Rope Climbing Course. If you are interested contact the OA office.

OA Climbing Wall

The Outdoor Action Climbing Wall is an indoor rock climbing practice facility located in the Armory next to Jadwin Gym. The Climbing Wall allows beginners to learn basic climbing skills, while intermediate and advanced climbers can work on refining their technical abilities. There will be experienced instructors there to teach skills and assist people in solving particular climbing routes. The Climbing Wall is open only to students, faculty, and staff of Princeton University. PUID required. Children of members of the University community are allowed to climb only with a parent present. All climbers are required to sign a waiver. The Climbing Wall is open the following times during the academic year except during breaks, reading period, and final exams. Open Wall hours begin on Friday, September 17.

OA Wall ConstructionClimbing Wall Open Hours

Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 4:30 - 6:30 PM
Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00 - 10:00 PM

To climb at the Wall you can either pay for a pass each day or buy a Wall Pass (a great deal). New climbers can climb at the wall for one free afternoon during open hours.

In order to purchase a card you must have your University ID. Cards can be purchased at the Wall.

Belaying Classes

OA offers free belaying classes for new climbers to give you instruction on how to properly tie-in and belay. Belay classes are offered at 5:00 PM each day during regular Wall Open Hours, Monday - Friday. Only individuals who have passed the belay test are eligible to belay at the Wall.

Off-hours Climbing

Climbers who have been tested and authorized by the Climbing Wall staff are eligible to climb at the Wall during off-hours. To be authorized you must have passed the Belaying Class and demonstrate proficiency in rope handling and setup. Off-hours climbers are required to purchase a Wall Pass. Please note that off-hours climbing is not permitted during scheduled Climbing Classes.


Beginners Kayaking - Flatwater to Whitewater Course

OA is offering a comprehensive beginning whitewater kayaking course. The course begins with basic flatwater paddling stokes and techniques on Lake Carnegie. We then work on maneuvers like Eddy Turns, Peel Outs, and Ferries on moving water. After mastering these skills we head to the river for work on basic river running techniques on easy rapids. The course will meet on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 4:30 - 6:30 PM: September 27, 29, October 4, 6, and a full day on Saturday, October 9. The first class on September 27 will be a practice session with the kayaks in Dillon Pool followed by a kayaking video. Course fee: students $60.00, faculty/staff $90.00, OA Leaders $30.00. All equipment will be provided by OA.

Kayak2edge.jpg (12629 bytes) Intermediate Whitewater Kayaking Course - Surfing and Beyond

If you are an intermediate whitewater paddler with a good Eskimo Roll, this course will help you expand your paddling skills. The course will use local play rapids to focus on advanced stroke work, surfing, boat control, and rodeo moves. The course will meet on Friday afternoons from 2:00 - 6:00 PM on October 8 and 15. You should plan to come to the Retendo Video on Thursday, October 7 at 7:30 PM (45 minutes). All equipment will be provided by OA. Course fee: students $45.00, faculty/staff $60.00, OA Leaders $25.00. There is a $10 equipment discount if you have your own kayak.

Retendo Video

Surfing, cartwheels, whip-its, retendos—all the wild moves of whitewater rodeo paddlers are carefully demonstrated and explained in this excellent video. If you are yearning to ride the curl, join us on Thursday, October 7 at 7:30 PM (45 minutes).

Hiking & Natural History

Mount Tammany Summit Hike

Take a break and spend a day on a hike to the summit of Mount Tammany in the Delaware Water Gap. The hike climbs 800 feet from the Delaware River valley to the summit and offers spectacular views of the Delaware River. Join us on Saturday, October 16. The trip will cover approximately 8 miles. Participants should have sturdy walking shoes or lightweight hiking boots and should bring lunch. Trip fee: students $9.00, faculty/staff $12.00.

Fall Hawk Migration Trip

The annual fall hawk migration is one of nature's most spectacular events. Each fall thousands of hawks, falcons, and eagles feel the call and begin their annual migration south. The Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is located at a gap along the Kittatinny Mountains in Pennsylvania. This gap provides an easy spot for the birds to cross the ridge and they do so by the thousands. On average, more than 24,000 birds of 14 species pass through Hawk Mountain at different periods, including bald eagles, golden eagles, ospreys, falcons, broad-winged hawks, Cooper's hawks, and red-tailed hawks. Join us on Saturday, October 2. Bring binoculars or a spotting scope, if you have one, and lunch. This is a wonderful opportunity to watch the fall migration and learn about bird identification and a great trip for faculty and staff with kids. Trip fee: students $8.00, faculty/staff $11.00 and there is a $5.00 park entrance fee. Sign up at the OA office for this once-a-year event.

Community Service

Outdoor Action and the Princeton Blairstown Center are working with a variety of schools and social service agencies to provide adventure-based experiential learning programs for urban youth in the Mercer County area. These programs use the same model for personal and group development as on an Outdoor Action trip, building self-esteem through personal challenge. We are looking for a group of dedicated volunteers who are willing to devote their time and energy to making a difference in the lives of local youth. See the Community Service Leader Training information below.

Community of Scholars succeeds at the Climbing Wall. Freshman-2-Freshman Outdoor Adventure Program

Freshmen-2-Freshmen is a joint Community House and OA program that pairs Princeton University Freshmen with Princeton High School Freshmen in a mentoring relationship. Outdoor Action will be facilitating games and activities for the collective group of Freshmen and teaching them to rock climb and belay at the OA Climbing Wall. This is a great opportunity to get to know a group of students and work with them on a monthly basis. To be a facilitator for this program you will need to participate in the Community Service Leader Training, consisting of three workshops (see the Leader Training section below). Dates for the program are as follows:

Leadership Among Multicultural Persons

This is our fourth year working with a multicultural group of students from Princeton High School. This dedicated group of students has taken on the challenging task of working to combat racism in the Princeton school district through innovative skits performed at local elementary schools. Our work is to help them prepare to be group facilitators for their upcoming work in local schools. We meet with them for 2 hours about every three weeks. If you are interested in working with this exciting project, sign up on the Web.

Fall Break Trips

Take a break from academics and enjoy the colors of fall. OA is offering a number of trips during fall break. The sign-up deadline for all trips is Friday, October 8. Full payment is required when you sign up to hold your space. For OA Leader Training Trips see the Leader Training section below.

Fast Track Whitewater Kayaking Course

This Fast Track course is designed to help you master all the basics of whitewater kayaking quickly. The course begins with basic flatwater paddling stokes and techniques on Lake Carnegie. We then work on moving water maneuvers like Eddy Turns, Peel Outs, and Ferries. After mastering these skills we head to the river for work on basic river techniques running on easy rapids. You will be staying on campus and paddling from about 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM each day. Sign-up deadline: Friday, October 15. Trip fee: students $85, faculty/staff $120. Trips fill quickly so sign up early.

Thursday, November 4 - Sunday, November 7 - (Please note that Trip dates have been changed.)

wallkids4edge.jpg (23366 bytes) Living Classrooms Service Trip

Outdoor Action is providing a special community service trip over fall break for Princeton students to help facilitate outdoor-based learning for school children. The Living Classrooms Foundation is a nonprofit organization, operated for the benefit of the community at large, providing hands-on education and job training, with a special emphasis on at-risk youth and groups from diverse backgrounds. Utilizing maritime settings the Living Classrooms provides experience-based educational programs teaching math, science, language arts, history, economics, and ecology. Princeton students will help teach city school children about the environmental education on shipboard programs in Baltimore Harbor. You will also be working in the after school program with children. In addition, you will have a chance to help rehabilitate houses in downtown Baltimore. We will be living near Baltimore for the week. For more information see www.livingclassrooms.org. The Community Service Leader Training workshops are recommended for anyone interested in participating. Sign-up deadline: Friday, October 15. Trip fee: students $100, faculty/staff $135. Trips fill quickly so sign up early. Trip departs Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, October 31 - Friday, November 5

Coastal Canoeing Trip

Sand dunes, sea birds, bayside marshes, and surf are just part of the special environment of the Atlantic barrier islands. This four-day canoeing trip to Assateague National Seashore will follow the Chincoteague Bay canoe route to bayside wilderness campsites. There will be time to play in the dunes, hike, swim, and see the wild horses of Assateague and Chincoteague. All canoeing and outdoor equipment will be provided by OA. Sign-up deadline: Friday, October 15. Trip fee: students $85, faculty/staff $120. Trips fill quickly so sign up early.

Saturday, October 30 - Tuesday, November 2

hikersedge.jpg (39904 bytes) Backpacking Trips

The autumn color views from the summits of the Shenandoah Mountains in Virginia are spectacular. There will be two 4-day backpacking trips to the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park over fall break. Each trip will hike 7-8 miles each day and basic wilderness and leave no trace camping skills will be taught. Equipment will be pro
vided by OA. Sign-up deadline: Friday, October 15. Trip fee: students $85, faculty/staff $120. Trips fill quickly so sign up early. Dates for the trips are as follows:

Saturday, October 30 - Tuesday, November 2
Thursday, November 4 - Sunday, November 7

Women's Backpacking Trip

Trips in the wilderness have traditionally been framed by a paradigm of competition. This trip will provide an opportunity to explore community and the self-discovery of women in an outdoor setting. Join us as we travel to the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia. The group will hike 7-8 miles each day. Equipment will be provided by OA. Sign-up deadline: Friday, October 15. Trip fee: students $85, faculty/staff $120. Trips fill quickly so sign up early.

Saturday, October 30 - Tuesday, November 2

Graduate Student Backpacking Trip

This is a special OA trip designed to provide an opportunity for graduate students to explore the wilderness. The autumn color views from the summits of the Shenandoah Mountains in Virginia are spectacular. Participants will work together to manage the trip and will learn basic backpacking and leave no trace camping skills. The trip will hike 7-8 miles each day. Equipment will be provided by OA. Sign-up deadline: Friday, October 15. Trip fee: students $85, faculty/staff $120. Trips fill quickly so sign up early.

Thursday, November 4 - Sunday, November 7

OA Leader Training Program

Outdoor Action encourages all students, faculty, and staff to participate in the OA Leader Training Program. Our Leader Training Program is considered one of the most comprehensive in the nation. In order to expand our Community Service Program OA has developed a special set of trainings for students interested in volunteering.

Community Service Leader Training

As well as learning group games and initiatives, facilitation and processing skills, participants develop a deeper understanding of the issues facing urban youth and how to manage difficult behavior. Upon completion of the following training program, you will be better prepared to effectively facilitate experiences with urban youth.

Wilderness Leader Training

As well as learning valuable wilderness skills, participants develop leadership, group facilitation, safety, and first aid skills. Upon completion of the training program, you are eligible to apply to lead OA trips. These trainings are offered several times each semester and are described in more detail below. The Leader Training Trip will serve to tie together all of the skills that you learn in the workshops, pre-trip classes, and First Aid Training. You must complete all of the other Leader Training Requirements before taking your Leader Training Trip.

Backpacking Leader Training Courses

Frosh Trip Hikers along the Appalachian TrailLeading a backpacking trip requires extensive training in wilderness camping skills. This is a 5-week course designed to teach all the wilderness skills necessary to lead multi-day backpacking trips including route planning, equipment preparation, wilderness travel techniques, map and compass, outdoor cooking, minimal impact camping, etc. The course will meet weekly and will culminate in a 5-day backpacking trip. Each participant is required to research and teach a class on a particular wilderness topic. You are required to attend all of the weekly classes. The text for the course will be The Backpacker's Field Manual, written by Outdoor Action and published by Random House. Trip leaders will set up class times for each group. Trip fee: students $85.00, faculty/staff $120.00 (includes The Backpacker's Field Manual). Sign-up deadline: Monday, September 27.

Saturday, October 30 - Wednesday, November 3
Wednesday, November 3 - Sunday, November 7

Leader Training Fast Track Course

Fast Track provides the opportunity to complete all of your leader training requirements other than first aid during fall break. In order to participate in the fast track option you must have already completed Wilderness First Aid and CPR. The remainder of the OA Leader Training workshops will be offered at the beginning of Fall Break followed by the Leader Training Trip the second half of fall break.

Trip fee: students $85.00, faculty/staff $120.00 which includes The Backpacker's Field Manual. Participants must sign up by Monday, September 27.

First Aid and Safety

HEART Wilderness First Aid & CPR

Health Education and Rescue Training (HEART) will be offering a 25-hour Wilderness First Aid Course which includes CPR. This intensive course will cover patient examination and evaluation, body systems and anatomy, wound care, splinting, environmental emergencies, and backcountry medicine. This is an excellent course and is highly recommended to all wilderness travelers. The course is taught by experienced Wilderness First Responders and Emergency Medical Technicians. There is extensive hands-on practice of skills through realistic simulations of actual wilderness emergencies. Course fee: students $76.00, faculty/staff $85.00 (subtract $16.00 if you do not need CPR). There will be two sections offered:

Adult CPR Courses

HEART (Health Education and Rescue Training) is offering a course in Adult CPR that will provide American Red Cross certification. Course fee: students $16.00, faculty/staff $20.00.

Thursday, October 14, 7:00 - 11:00 PM

Outdoor Safety Management Seminar

Please see the description of this program above. All OA Leaders must attend this seminar once.

Monday, October 18, from 7:30 - 9:30 PM
Thursday, October 21, from 7:30 - 9:30 PM
Monday, November 1, 7:30 - 9:30 PM

Van Driver Training

OA Leaders are strongly encouraged to become authorized van drivers. You must attend a two-hour training class and complete a 15-minute road test. The class is held in McCosh 66 (late arrivals are not permitted to attend). After you have taken the class you can sign up for a time slot for the road test (generally on Sunday afternoons following the class). Additional information can be obtained by calling the Public Safety Office. For dates and times see the Public Safety Website www.princeton.edu/pubsaf/fleet.htm.

Wednesday, September 29, 1999 at 7:00 p.m. in McCosh 66
Thursday, October 21, 1999 at 7:00 p.m. in McCosh 66

Group Building and Leadership Development Programs

Facilitator's Workshop

Facilitating groups requires developing special sensitivities to teachable moments. The facilitator's role is to provide an experience and then, through guided reflection and exploration, encourage personal growth and development. This workshop will train OA leaders or others interested in group facilitation in specific techniques including group contracts, sequencing activities, and debriefing and processing techniques. This is a hands-on, experiential workshop where we will utilize a variety of group initiatives to discover the fundamental principles of facilitation. Be prepared to have fun! Join us on Sunday, October 3 from 11:30 AM - 7:00 PM in Liberation Hall in the Third World Center. This workshop is open to anyone interested in developing their skills in working with groups. There is no fee for this workshop.

Leadership & Group Dynamics Workshop

One of the greatest challenges of being a group leader is learning how to lead and motivate a group, and how to use the small group experiences to promote self-exploration and learning. The Leadership and Group Dynamics Workshop is designed to teach OA leaders how to effectively lead groups. The workshop will focus on listening and communication skills, stages of group development, conflict resolution, and the situational leadership model. This is a hands-on, experiential based workshop so be prepared to be active and to have fun. The workshop will be held on Saturday, October 9, from 11:30 AM - 7:00 PM in Aaron Burr Room 110. This workshop is open to anyone interested in developing their skills in working with groups. There is no fee for this workshop. You must have completed the Facilitators Workshop previously in order to attend.

OA Resources

Outdoor Action Library: OA has an extensive library of over 500 titles covering such subjects as backpacking, outdoor cooking, bike touring and repair, canoeing, caving, climbing, cross-country skiing, mountaineering, wilderness first aid, and wilderness survival. There are also numerous guidebooks to wilderness areas, as well as reference manuals on a wide variety of outdoor sports. OA also has subscriptions to Backpacker, Canoe, Cross-country Skier, and other magazines, as well as an extensive collection of videotapes on such topics as expeditionary mountaineering, rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, bike touring, wilderness first aid and wilderness photography. All of these are available for perusal or borrowing from the OA Office. The OA Library List is posted at the Outdoor Action Web Site. You can browse the title list by subject.


For information on gear to take on trips include personal equipment, group equipment, and first aid equipment, check out the OA Equipment List Page.

Equipment Room: The Outdoor Action Equipment Room is open on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 8:00 - 10:00 PM throughout the semester (with the exception of school breaks and final exams). OA has a wide variety of backpacking, general camping, biking, and other equipment available for rental by the general University community on a minimal rental fee basis. If you are interested in running your own trip and need equipment (sleeping bags, backpacks, bike panniers, stoves, cooking gear, etc.), please come by the OA Equipment Room located in the basement of 48 University Place (8-6417). For more information check out the OA Equipment Rental Brochure.


For the latest info on Jobs with OA jump to the OA Jobs Page.

Outdoor/Environmental Jobs and Internships: Persons interested in summer positions or in post-graduation careers involving the outdoors should examine three monthly publications that are kept in the Jobs Book in the OA Office. The Environmental Opportunities Newsletter, Association for Experiential Education Jobs Clearing House, and SCA Earthworks list positions available in environmental education, outdoor education, environmental lobbying, research, and teaching. For job counseling services see Rick Curtis or the Career Services Office. See the OA Guide to Outdoor & Environmental Careers on the Web.

Summer Jobs - It's never too early to start planning your summer!

Frosh Trip Program Coordinators

Each year we hire two OA Leaders for the summer to coordinate all the planning for the Frosh Trip. This is a great summer job that offers lots of responsibility and a great work environment. The position is 12 weeks of work with one week off; the other week of vacation will be spent in Colorado helping with the Mt. Princeton Climb for which all expenses are paid. Qualifications: You must have completed all of the leader training requirements, have lead at least one multi-day OA trip and be an authorized van driver. Salary: approx. $3,000 with a $500 housing allowance. Applications are available at the OA Office or www.princeton.edu/~oa/jobs/index.shtml.

Class of 1969 Summer Service Internship

This position is designed to expand OA’s community service initiatives through developing partnerships with new community organizations, developing training programs for students, and providing experiential activities for urban youth in the Mercer County area as well as outside New Jersey. This is an exciting summer internship that includes work both on campus and at the Princeton Blairstown Center. Salary: The job pays approx. $2,800 for 10 weeks. Applications are available at the OA Office or www.princeton.edu/~oa/jobs/index.shtml.

Princeton Blairstown-Center Summer Camp Positions

The Princeton-Blairstown Center has openings for staff in its summer camp program. Each summer PBC offers an outdoor adventure program for urban youth ages 10 - 17. This is an exciting and challenging opportunity to work in the outdoors. If interested contact the Blairstown Office at 908-362-6765. Additional information is available on the Blairstown Web site (webware.princeton.edu/PBCenter).

Outdoor Action trips and activities are only open to Princeton University students, faculty, and staff. Specially listed activities are open to Princeton University alumni and their families.

All online information at the Outdoor Action Web Site is protected by copyright laws. You may set up links to material found at the Outdoor Action Web Site. Printed versions of the material may be distributed for nonprofit educational use as long as no fees are charged for the material, attributions are made to the author, and no content changes are made. Commercial use of this material either in electronic or printed form is prohibited without express written permission from the author. Copyright © 1995 - 2004, all rights reserved, Rick Curtis, Outdoor Action Program, Princeton University. Send your comments and suggestions on the OA Web Site to Outdoor Action