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Outdoor Action

Leadership Starts Here

Leadership Starts Here!

Sign up for OA Leader Training

The Outdoor Action Leader Training Program is focused on developing leadership in every student regardless your level of previous leadership or outdoor experience. If you want to take the next step in becoming a more effective leader, sign up for Leader Training over Wintersession, Spring Break or spread out during the spring semester. The Leader Training Program is free to all students.

All students are encouraged to participate in OA Leader Training, whether or not you want to lead OA trips. We are looking for dedicated students who want to intentionally develop their leadership skills to be leaders at Princeton and beyond. In OA we don't just talk about leadership, we place you in real situations where you get to practice leadership and receive feedback that will help you be a better leader.

Leadership Skills you'll develop include:

  • Judgement & Decision Making
  • Giving & Receiving Feedback
  • Bystander Intervention Skills
  • Creating effective learning sequences
  • Learning how to challenge yourself and others

Outdoor Action is offering spring Leader Training for those interested in leading OA Orientation and other trips. This is a great opportunity to build your leadership and outdoors skills. This spring we are offering:

  • Leadership Workshop Series - a three-part series of 3 hour virtual workshops
  • Outdoor Technical Skills - a two-part series of 2.5 hour virtual workshops
  • Managing Safety in the Backcountry - a 2 hour virtual workshop

Registration is now live at

Learn More & Sign Up

Explore Princeton Outdoors!

OA Local Hikes Series: The Institute Woods

The Institute Woods is 500 acres of woodlands, trails and open space just 1.5 miles from campus, on the other side of the golf course. It is a spectacular place to go immerse yourself in nature within walking distance of campus.We'll go over how to get there, the layout of trails & how to navigate them using your phone, some of the amazing wildlife and trees that are there, and give you the maps you'll need to run your own easy hike. A typical walk will take about 3 hours and cover about 5 miles. Come learn about this great resource you can access anytime. Register for the Zoom presentation




OA Alumni Speakers Series: Majka Burhardt '98

Majka Burhardt ’98, a former OA Leader, professional climber, author and social entrepreneur, will share about Legado—the international conservation organization she founded to protect Sky Islands in Africa, the most hyper-biodiverse mountains in the world. Majka will share stories of dealing with climate change, discovering new species, leveraging a team of world-class rock climbers for cliff-side access to scientific research, working as a conservation entrepreneur and more.





Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2020 - NOW AVAILABLE FOR STREAMING!

Banff is back! Watch online on Vimeo. A portion of your ticket price supports Outdoor Action

We all missed not having a Banff Film Festival in April 2020. Outdoor Action Program which has brought the Banff Film Festival to central New Jersey for over 25 years. The Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour is an international film competition featuring the world's best footage on mountain subjects. The festival began in 1976 and is held annually on the first weekend in November in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Each year, the festival receives approximately 330 films in the film festival competition. An international film festival jury chooses the best films from the finalists and awards prizes in eight categories: Grand Prize, Climbing, Mountain Sports, Mountain Environment, Mountain Culture, Short Mountain Film, and Feature-Length Mountain Film. Audience members select the winner of the People's Choice Award.

The Banff Mountain Centre is now available as an online Film Festival on Vimeo. A portion of your proceeds goes to support the Outdoor Action Program so we hope you'll continue to support us by watching online. There are two different film Programs: Amber and Onyx. Viewers can purchase a single program for $15 (with 3-day viewing access). You can also purchase a World Tour Bundle of both programs for $28 (with 14-day viewing access).


Learn More & Purchase Streaming

Why Uncertainty Makes us Anxious: How to hack our brains to cope

Healthy Insights from 'Dr. Jud' Brewer '96

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, Outdoor Action and Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) hosted Dr. Jud Brewer '96 MD PhD for a webinar exploring the physiology of anxiety and how we can 'unlearn' millions of years of evolution to be more mindful and less stressed. Jud is a former OA Leader Trainer who says, "I first learned about growth mindset through OA and it changed my entire career trajectory." His TED talk from 2016 has over 15 million views. You'll really enjoy his down to earth and practical insights on how to take control of stress.



From the Summit of Everest: Cason Crane '17

Cason Crane '17 became the first openly-LGBT person to climb Mt. Everest and the Seven Summits - the highest mountain on each continent. Join us tonight as Cason shares stories and photos from Everest and his other climbs and answers your questions about:

  • What climbing to to top Everest is really like. Why do we climb?
  • Challenging yourself at the highest levels and relying on your team
  • The Rainbow Summits Project & raising awareness for LGBTQ issues
  • Lessons learned from adventure--defining and redefining success
  • Understanding & navigating privilege--at Princeton, in the outdoors, and in society


All About Outdoor Action

Outdoor Action (OA) is Princeton's outdoor education and leadership program. Each fall OA provides a multi-day outdoor orientation experience for the incoming first-year class. During the academic year, OA offers trips and events open to the entire Princeton University community through activities like hiking, backpacking, canoeing, and rock climbing as well as speakers and films, instructional classes on outdoor skills, and leadership development workshops. OA also runs the Outdoor Action Climbing Wall, an indoor rock climbing gym and training facility. OA provides open hours for climbing when classes are in session as well as instructional classes for beginners. OA trips and activities are led by students who have completed the OA Leader Training program, a comprehensive leadership development program that will teach you how to effectively manage any group or team and teach you all the outdoor skills you need to know to be comfortable in the outdoors. OA Leader Training is open to all members of the Princeton community and is free for undergraduate and graduate students. The OA Leader community is the largest leadership program on campus and welcomes everyone interested in developing leadership skills to serve others. No prior outdoor experience is required to participate in the OA Leader Training program or any OA activity. We can provide you with the knowledge and the equipment to explore and enjoy the outdoors. OA also operates an outdoor equipment rental facility if you want to rent equipment for going on your own trips.


Staying Healthy & Connecting with Nature during Covid-19

This compilation of resources for the Outdoor Action community contains various ideas for ways to stay connected to the natural world when your usual outlets may not be available.  Spending time in nature has huge positive health benefits (NatureRx) and we encourage you to take advantage of these recommendations while also adhering to the current health policies for your local region.  We have a new web page that we will continue to update filled with resources for you to explore, from hike recommendations in your local community (including Princeton) to YouTube channels filled with virtual hikes. 

Connecting with Nature 


Become part of the Largest Leadership Organization on Campus

Outdoor Action Leader Training is starting up for the spring. We are the largest leadership training program on campus and the experience that you get leading for OA is invaluable. We are looking for the most diverse group of students to become the next generation of OA Leaders. You don't need to have any previous experience in the outdoors or even to have gone on the OA Frosh Trip. We can teach you everything you need to know to be an effective leader both on campus and in the outdoors.

Learn More