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Outdoor Action

Leadership Starts Here

Leader Training Wintersession

Leader Training for Academic Year '20 - '21

With students being remote for the fall, we are moving to an online format for those parts of Leader Training that are typically taught on campus and do not require being in-person. Our first opportunity for students to embark on OA Leader Training will be over Wintersession in January. Because all of the Wintersession Courses are being offered through the Wintersession online platform, signups will be handled there not on the OA TripStore. 

Wintersession Registration Opens Monday, October 26 at Spaces are limited and are first-come, first-served.

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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.


OA Virtual Hiking Challenge
The Grand Canyon: Rim to Rim

Over Fall break Outdoor Action hosted a virtual hike of the Grand Canyon to encourage you to take your favorite (outdoor or indoor) activities--walking, running, biking, stair climbing, etc.-- and put those miles and calories burned to work in our Grand Canyon Hiking Challenge. People got to see their daily progress on Google Maps and see some of the amazing parts of the Grand Canyon through Google Street View.

The route started at the top of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. 'Hike' down to the bottom of the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail, cross the Colorado River and then hike up the Kaibab Trail to the top of the North Rim of the Canyon for a total of 22.8 miles. Participants had 8 days to complete the mileage and can log any kind of exercise towards their mileage goal. 

Learn About the Grand Canyon



Cason Crane on the summit

Get Outside with Outdoors 101!

2020 is bringing many people outdoors in new ways—from neighborhood walks to new hiking adventures.  Outdoor Action wants to help equip you with the tools you need to confidently plan and enjoy your own personal outdoor adventure! We've created a custom Canvas Site to help you learn how to get outdoors. No previous experience, no problem! We'll continue to update the Canvas site to add more useful information. Here's some of what you can learn:

  • Finding & selecting a trail in your current geographic area 
  • What to bring (including re-purposing items you may already have) 
  • Safety tips 
  • General Q&A 

Outdoors 101 Canvas Site


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 an Outdoor Action Leader - Leader Training is free

Being an OA Leader is one of the most valuable things you can do to help next year's first-year class have a successful transition into Princeton. OA Leaders are role models and mentors for 50% of the incoming class. Ask anyone you know who is an OA Leader (and there are more than 250 of them on campus) and they'll tell you it's an absolutely incredible experience. Any student can learn the skills needed to lead a group on an OA Trip and with the diversity of trips we offer (base camp, biking, backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing, sustainable farming) there's a trip for you. Don't miss out on this special Princeton experience. Train to become an OA Leader.

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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.

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