Saturday July 20, 2024  

The Outdoor Action Program at Princeton University

The Outdoor Action Program is Princeton University's outdoor and experiential education program adminstered by the Vice President for Campus Life Office.

Outdoor Action History

The Outdoor Action Program (OA) was begun as a pilot project in 1973 by members of the Dean of Students Office to address the issues of isolation experienced by students on campus and to provide an opportunity for increased interpersonal interaction and personal growth. The pilot program involved a small group of entering freshmen who participated in a group wilderness activity in the fall of 1973. That first trip brought eight entering students together with upperclass leaders. The program was an immediate success as a bonding experience for new Princetonians, an opportunity to meet upperclass students, and a chance to explore the wilderness. Student leaders with wilderness camping skills were recruited and backpacking equipment was purchased, so that the program could serve more students. The next trip, in 1974, had 100 participants. As this expansion was occurring, students and administrators involved in the program felt that Outdoor Action could provide other outdoor experiences during the year in addition to the Frosh Trip. As a result, OA began offering trips and programs throughout the academic year for all students, faculty, and staff.

From that small beginning, the program has grown to the point that in September of 2007 over 640 members of the Class of  2011 (52%) participated in this year’s Frosh Trip Program and over 50% of all currently enrolled undergraduates have participated in some form of Outdoor Action activity through trips, training programs, or on-campus events throughout the year. Currently there are over 200 undergraduate and graduate students who are involved with the program as leaders.

Outdoor Action Program Mission Statement

To provide enriching educational and personal growth experiences through outdoor and adventure challenge activities to members of the Princeton University community and to urban youth in the Princeton area encouraging leadership development, skill development, and stewardship of the natural world.

Office: Outdoor Action Program, Dillon Court West, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544

Phone: 609-258-3552, 609- 258-6230

Equipment Room: 350 Alexander Street, Princeton, NJ 08540. Phone: 609-258-6230

Climbing Wall: The University is building a new state-of-the art climbing wall for OA inside the southeast column of the football stadium.