OA Leadership is Service
OA Leaders volunteer their time to help incoming freshmen learn about Princeton, to teach other Princeton students leadership skills and reach out to the surrounding community utilizing their special skills to help others.
Community Service Programs
Outdoor Action takes community service to new heights by offering adventure-based outdoor education and experiential education activities to urban youth in the Mercer County area. We utilize the skills of trained Outdoor Action Leaders and Community Service Facilitators to provide opportunities at the OA Climbing Wall on campus as well as delivering innovative experiential programs to local schools and community organizations. These activities build self-confidence, improve self-esteem, and help kids develop leadership and teamwork skills.
A partnership between Outdoor Action and Peak Potential has created Peak Potential Princeton—a weekly community service program where Princeton students mentor children with disabilities at the OA Climbing Wall.
Peak Potential was started in 2000 by Dr. Jen Fu Cheng ’93 when he was a resident at a pediatric rehabilitation facility. Jen Fu, a former OA Leader and Climbing Wall staff member, was an avid climber and wanted to merge his love of the sport with his vocation of serving children with disabilities. Neurological, muscular, and developmental disorders such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy affect thousands of children each year and the emphasis too often has focused on the limitations caused by these conditions. Because of these misperceptions, many activities, especially outdoor adventure activities have traditionally been inaccessible to these children. Jen Fu singlehandedly started Peak Potential in an effort to expand the variety of experiences available to children with physical challenges. With the use of a harness and a belay system, children are able to use all four extremities to propel themselves up a wall, and those who may have a deficit in one or more extremities are able to participate and excel. The goal is to provide a psychologically beneficial activity for children with physical and developmental disabilities to improve self-esteem, cooperation, and trust and utilizing climbing movements in a scientific manner to address strengthening, motor control, and flexibility.Outdoor Action is looking for students interested in being volunteers for this program next semester. See photos and video at the Peak Potential page. Interested volunteers can sign up at the OA TripStore.
Leave No Trace Training
OA has a number of Leave No Trace Master Educators. These students have been through an extensive training and certification program from the national Leave No Trace organization. Our Leave No Trace instructors can provide training to your elementary, middle to high schools students in basic Leave No Trace and sustainability practices. Contact the Outdoor Action office if you are interested in having our instructors come to your school.
OA offers volunteer trail work projects through the Friends of Princeton Open Space (FOPOS). FOPOS maintains and develops trails throughout the Princeton area to make green spaces open to all.