The Pacific Index

Outdoor Pursuits

Program offers trips, classes, gear rentals and plenty of opportunities to explore outdoors

Holly Bartholomew

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Outdoor Pursuits (OP) has provided countless Pacific University students the opportunity to make new friends, explore the outdoors, try new activities, push their limits and have fun. For recent Pacific graduate Marija Feller, OP led to a dream job.

Feller, who worked as an instructor with OP for the past two years and as the Voyages Coordinator last year, will shortly start work, running the climbing wall at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton.

“The reason I got this job was because I started going on the weekly climbing trips to Planet Granite in Portland and eventually took a couple of classes,” Feller said.

Though OP may not lead to a dream job for every student at Pacific, it has a lot to offer students, starting with opportunities for new adventures.

“I would just encourage students to try something new,” Feller said. “People can learn a lot if they just go outside and put themselves in a situation they’re not 100 percent comfortable with.”

Though many members of the OP team are very experienced in a number of different outdoor activities, students certainly do not have to be to participate in an OP trip.

Outdoor pursuits is a good way to try new outdoor activities in “A safe, comfortable way,” Feller said. “And you don’t have to go out and buy all the gear yourself.”

OP is most well-known on campus for its Voyages—outdoor adventure trips offered to all incoming freshmen before the fall orientation starts.

However it offers trips year-round, day trips, weekend trips and trips over fall and spring breaks. There is also an outdoor leadership minor, with several different classes taught by OP staff.

Students can also take advantage of gear rentals at OP. OP rents, canoes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, camping gear, climbing gear, snowshoes, ski equipment and a lot more, nearly anything that may be necessary on any type of outdoor adventure.

For students, the trips and gear rentals are very cost efficient. “For students, prices are super subsidized,” Feller said.

This summer OP acquired three new mountain bikes and three new rafts. According to Feller OP will likely start week night mountain bike trips this year.

Feller and the rest of the OP team is excited to have their own rafts because it means that they will now be able to lead their own rafting trips.

“Before we would contract out another company to lead our rafts, so now we are moving in the direction of leading our own trips,” Feller said. “And we have three leaders who just spent the whole summer raft guiding in southern Oregon, so we are getting both the skills and the gear to be able to do that.”

OP also recently obtained a Deschutes River rafting permit. With the new permit and rafts, OP plans to offer a fall break rafting trip on the Deschutes in central Oregon.

OP offered its first ever international trip last year, a two-week rafting excursion in Mexico during winter term.

Though it was originally only supposed to take place every other year, OP will be offering the trip again this coming winter.

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Outdoor Pursuits