Outdoor Action Newsletter

OA Office: The Armory, 8-3552
Equipment Room: 48 University Place, 8-6417
Climbing Wall: The Armory
Trip Hotline: 8-6417

November '99 - January '00

Last page update 02/01/00

Table of Contents

Activities Training Resources




Beginners Kayaking Eskimo Roll Classes

Winter is an excellent time to learn kayaking and a warm pool is the best place to learn how to Eskimo Roll (righting the kayak if you flip). Beginners will learn the Eskimo Roll and basic strokes. There will be two beginners classes, one from 7:30 - 9:00 PM and the other from 9:00 - 10:30 PM on Sunday nights starting on November 14. Only sign up if you can attend all the classes. (Due to the popularity of this course, participants will be selected off of an interest list.) Preference will be given to those who have previously taken an OA kayaking class. Participants are required to attend the Eskimo Roll Video on Thursday, November 11 at 7:30 PM in McCosh 62 or Sunday, November 14 at 5:00 PM in McCosh 62 (see above). Course fee: students $45.00, faculty/staff $60.00.

Section 1: 7:30 - 9:00 PM
Section 2: 9:00 - 10:30 PM
November 14, 21, 28, December 5, 12


Beginners Caving Day Trip

Caving is an opportunity to explore the underground world filled with twisting passages, rock scrambling, and rooms made of rock. This trip will go to Leigh Cave, the largest volume cave in New Jersey. The trip will introduce participants to basic horizontal caving techniques and safety. No previous experience is necessary. You will need to bring old boots or tennis shoes with a good tread that you don’t mind getting muddy. Trip fee: $12/students, $15/faculty and staff.

Pre-Trip Class: Thursday, December 2, 4:30 - 5:30 PM
Trip: Friday, December 3, 12:00 - 6:00 PM

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.

Outdoor Action for Oxfam America (OA for OA) Hikathon Against Hunger

As part of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, OA in cooperation with SVC, is sponsoring a Hikathon Against Hunger on Saturday, November 20. We will be doing a 5.5 mile hike/run along the D&R Canal Towpath from Rocky Hill back to campus from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Participants give a minimum $5.00 donation to Oxfam America, an international hunger relief organization that sponsors self-help hunger relief efforts around the globe. OA and SVC are covering all expenses for the hike so that all funds donated go straight to Oxfam. Come get your daily exercise, enjoy a walk or run with friends, and donate to a good cause. You may donate even if you don’t choose to walk. Donations can be made at the OA Trip Store, the Student Volunteers Council Office, or at dining halls during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

LAMP - Leadership Among Multicultural People

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.

Rock Climbing

Introduction to 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 November 15, 17, 22, 29, and December 1 with a Climbing Field Trip on Saturday, December 4 to the Philadelphia Rock Gym. Course fee: Students $65.00, faculty/staff $90.00.

Gym Climbing at the Philly Rock Gym

If the cold weather is keeping you inside, join us on Saturday, December 4 for a day trip to the Philadelphia Rock Gym. Beginners to advanced climbers can come and work on new moves. Course fee: students $18.00, faculty/staff $25.00. The trip will leave late morning and return before dinner. Participants should bring lunch.

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 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 Card (a great deal if you climb more than once a week). In order to let you try this great sport "before you buy," new climbers can check out 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 Climbing Wall. Payment is by cash, checks or University billing.

Bring Your Group to the Wall

If you want a fun group building activity for your organization or group, schedule a night at the Wall. Contact the OA Office for details.

Belaying Classes & Climber Authorization

OA offers free belaying classes for new climbers to give you instruction on how to properly tie-in and belay. Belay classes are offered during regular Wall hours Monday - Friday. Only individuals who have passed the belaying course 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 (Monday & Wednesday from 8:00 – 10:00 PM).

Wilderness Seminars

Grace Under Pressure - The Kayak Eskimo Roll

The Eskimo roll is an essential skill for kayakers, whether you tour on open water, sea kayak, or whitewater. This video gives step by step instructions on how to master the roll including excellent underwater photography. Join us on Thursday, November 11 at 7:30 PM in McCosh 62 or Sunday, November 14 at 5:00 PM in McCosh 62. (60 minutes) Free and open to the public.

Cliffs, Crags, and Summits

Rock climbing is an outdoor pastime which draws individuals both for its physical challenge and for the aesthetics of the places people climb. Rusty Reno, a climber who has ascended hundreds of routes around the country, is going to show a collection of slides from the places he has traveled and climbed. Join us for his presentation on Tuesday, November 16, 7:30 PM in Robertson Hall Bowl 6.

Nepal: The Mountain Kingdom

Come explore the beautiful mountains of Nepal through images of a 16-day trek along the Annapurna circuit in the Himalayas. Nepal is a country of great diversity both culturally and ecologically. Rick Curtis will take us on a journey that will follow a group from sub-tropical forests at 2,000 feet to the Thorong-la Pass at 17,700 feet, as they climb alongside the impressive Annapurna ridge with peaks reaching up to 26,504 feet. The talk will explore culture and environment of Nepal as well as how to trek at high altitude. Join us on Wednesday, December 1, 7:30 PM, in Robertson Hall Bowl 6. Free and open to the public.

Outdoor & Environmental Careers Workshop

Many people who enjoy the outdoors look for ways that they can integrate the outdoors into their career. Outdoor and environmental careers can include leading trips for Outward Bound or NOLS, doing environmental advocacy work, attorney, public policy, environmental engineering, teaching, outdoor education, etc. This workshop will provide information on the broad range of careers available, resources for finding job leads, and skills required. The workshop will be held on Thursday, December 2, from 7:30 - 9:00 PM in Robertson Hall Bowl 1. Free and open to the public. For more information check out the OA Guide to Outdoor and Environmental Careers on the OA website.

Wilderness Education Seminars (WES)

NEW! This new series of seminars is a great opportunity to learn outdoor skills, or review those that have gotten rusty. 

Backcountry Navigation with Map & Compass

Learn how to use a map & compass to navigate in the backcountry. Come prepared to be outside as we hike a compass course through campus. Sunday, December 5, 12:00 - 3:00 PM, Location TBA. This workshop will be free of charge and open to the public.

OA Exploring Winter Series

These free OA Workshops will teach you the fundamentals of safe travel in the winter. Whether you are a cross-country skier, downhill skier, snowboarder, Telemark skier, snowshoer, winter camper, etc. you will enhance you ability to enjoy the winter environment.

Winter Travel I - Winter Camping Seminar

Nothing can quite compare with crawling out of a snow shelter into a brilliant sunny day in a snow-covered wilderness, putting on your skis or snowshoes, and heading out. Winter camping is a very specialized outdoor skill requiring extensive knowledge of equipment, trip planning, weather, travel skills, and knowledge of environmental hazards. The seminar will cover how to prepare for a winter camping trip—personal clothing, group equipment, food planning, winter travel and camping, snow shelters, obtaining water in the winter, ice crossings, and minimal impact camping. Extensive notes will be distributed. The seminar will be held on Tuesday, December 7, from 7:30 - 9:00 PM in Robertson Hall Bowl 6. Free and open to the public.

Winter Travel II - Hypothermia & Cold Weather Injuries Seminar

If you travel in the winter time, whether downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, hiking, or winter camping, you need to understand your body’s physiological responses to cold. This seminar will cover the causes, recognition, and treatment of the major cold-related injuries: hypothermia, frostnip, and frostbite. The program does not assume any prior first aid training, yet will cover these topics in depth. Extensive notes will be distributed. This program is highly recommended to anyone engaging in outdoor winter sports. It will be held on Tuesday, December 14 from 7:30 - 9:00 PM in Robertson Hall Bowl 6. Free and open to the public.

Intersession Trips

Outdoor Action will be running a variety of trips and training programs during Intersession break. Trips fill quickly so sign up early. The sign-up deadline for all Intersession Break Trips is Friday, December 5.

Cross-country Skiing Trips in Vermont

Cross-country skis set you free to go almost anywhere on the snow. Suddenly the winter woods are white open. There is, of course, no better place in the east for cross-country skiing than Vermont. All levels of skiers are welcome from beginner to advanced, so no previous skiing experience is required. Beginners will be taught the fundamentals of in-track skiing while experienced skiers can be off skiing on their own. The trips will be staying in a rustic house in Rochester, Vermont, cooking their own meals, and skiing at some of the finest cross-country ski touring centers in the east. Each day the group may have a new skiing experience. In the evening you can sit around the wood stove and relax after a good meal. Trip fee: students $170.00, faculty/staff $220.00, which includes transportation, meals, lodging, ski equipment, and trail fees. There is a $25 discount if you have your own skis. The dates for the trips are as follows:

Saturday, January, 22 - Wednesday, January 26
Wednesday, January 26 - Sunday, January 30

Wilderness First Responder Course

OA is sponsoring a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Course over Intersession taught by Wilderness Medical Associates. This is an excellent course for anyone spending extended periods in wilderness or remote environments including backpackers, paddlers, climbers, photographers, and scientists. This 72-hour intensive course is specifically designed to emphasize the wilderness context—remote locations, severe environments, and simple improvised equipment. The course will cover patient examination and evaluation, body systems and anatomy, trauma care, environmental emergencies, splints, wilderness rescue, and backcountry medicine. This is an intensive course that meets 10 hours each day with morning lectures and afternoon skills practice including simulated rescues, daily quizzes and a final exam. The course will run from 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM each day and will be held at the Princeton-Blairstown Center. The cost of the course includes lodging and all meals. Participants will be staying in rustic cabins at the Center. Preference will be given to OA Leaders and Leaders-in-training. Course fee includes meals & lodging: OA Leaders $295.00, Princeton students $495.00, faculty/staff $590.00, outside the University $650.00.

Saturday, January 22 - Sunday, January 30

Beginners Winter Camping Trip

Snowshoeing through the deep forest, cooking on the snow, and sleeping in a snow cave are part of the special magic of camping in the winter. The 3,000-foot peaks of the Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts near Mount Greylock serve as a spectacular backdrop for this Beginners Winter Camping Trip. Winter Camping is a demanding physical activity that builds on three-season camping skills. Therefore, these trips are open only to those who have been on a previous OA backpacking trip (such as the OA Frosh Trip) or who have other backpacking experience. The trip will teach a broad range of winter camping skills, including snowshoeing, snow shelter construction, and basic winter travel skills. Most specialized winter equipment will be provided by OA. Persons interested in participating must attend the Winter Camping Seminar and the Hypothermia and Cold Weather Injuries Seminar or obtain the workshop notes from OA (also available on the OA Web Site). Trip fee: students $95.00, faculty/staff $130.00.

Pre-trip Preparation, Tuesday, January 25
Wednesday, January 26 - Saturday, January 29

The Outdoor Action Leader Training Program

Outdoor Action encourages all students, faculty, and staff to participate in the OA Leader Training Program. OA’s Leader Training Program is considered one of the most comprehensive in the nation and has been imitated by numerous other schools.

Wilderness Leader Training

Basic Wilderness Leader Requirements

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 next series of workshops will be in February of 2000. The Leader Training Program is structured to build upon the skills learned throughout your training. The Leader Training Trip will serve to tie together all of the other skills that you have learned. Therefore, you should have completed all of the other Leader Training Requirements before taking your Leader Training Trip. You may still be completing requirements while you are taking the pre-trip 5-week classes for the Leader Training Trip, but you should have completed the other requirements before the 5-day trip begins.

Backpacking Leader Training Courses

Leading a backpacking trip requires extensive training in wilderness camping skills. The Backpacking Leader Training Course 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. Trip participants will plan all aspects of the trip, including route, food, and equipment, and each participant is required to research and teach a class on a particular wilderness topic. You are required to attend all the weekly classes which will be scheduled by each group. The text for the course will be the Backpacker’s Field Manual, written by Outdoor Action and published by Random House. You will need to have completed all of the other OA Leader Requirements before going on the Leader Training Trip. The next trips will be offered during Spring Break and during "Dead Week" after final exams in May.

Spring Break Regular Trip:  Saturday, March 11 - Friday, March 17
Spring Break Fast Track: Saturday, March 11 -
Sunday, March 19
Dead Week: Saturday, May 20 - Wednesday, May 24

HEART Wilderness First Aid & CPR Course

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, faculty/staff $100. Subtract $16 if you don't need CPR. The class will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays in Jadwin Hall A07, 7:30 - 10:30 PM, with the exception of the first class, CPR, which will meet in 219 East Pyne from 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM. The dates for the course are as follows:

November 15, 17, 22, 29, December 1, 6, 8, and 13

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. After you have taken the class you can sign up for the road test (generally on Sunday afternoons following the class). Additional information can be obtained by calling the Public Safety Office. The schedule of classes can be found on the Public Safety website.

Tuesday, November 9th from
4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. in McCosh 66

Outdoor Jobs

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 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 with Outdoor Action

The OA Frosh Trip is the largest program of it’s kind in the country. It takes a lot of preparation to handle over 750 leaders and participants each year. Once again OA will hire two leaders to work full-time from the end of exams through the Frosh Trip (this amounts to 12 weeks of work with 2 weeks off). This is a tremendously rewarding job to create the largest wilderness orientation program in the country. You’ll learn and do many different things including: logistics planning, route planning, menu planning, equipment inventory and ordering, trip assignments, researching new areas, etc. It’s a great learning opportunity for people interested in working in outdoor education. In addition, summer staff lead some day and weekend trips during the summer. It’s both a fun summer and gratifying to see the end result of all your efforts, another successful Frosh Trip. 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. In addition, you need to be well-organized and a self-starter to take on this position of significant responsibility. Salary: The job will pay $3,000 for the summer plus an $800 housing allowance. If you are interested in working with OA over the summer, please complete a summer job application (Adobe Acrobat) and mail it to the OA Office.

Princeton- Blairstown Center

The Princeton-Blairstown Center has openings for summer 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. Persons interested should contact the Blairstown Office at 908-362-6765 for additional information and applications. Additional information is available at the OA Office or check out the Princeton Blairstown Center Web site.

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