Outdoor Leadership Courses

Feed your love for the outdoors by jumping into some Outdoor Leadership Courses!

While students taking courses in the Outdoor Leadership Minor have varying backgrounds and experience levels, all share a passion for adventure and an immense capacity for learning and growth. Classes cater to students looking to develop not just technical outdoor skills, but a leadership skill set as well. Students will develop judgment and decision-making skills, group facilitation, risk management, and teaching capabilities through lessons taught both in the classroom and the wilderness.

Courses begin with a basic introduction to outdoor skills and build on this foundation until students are able to lead and teach others in the same capacity. Students are continually encouraged to assist, plan, and lead as they progress through the minor and their skill set grows. They explore a myriad of wilderness disciplines and tasks that aid in self-discovery and technical development throughout their Outdoor Leadership journey. Students are also asked to take classes exploring Environmental Sustainability and Diverse Perspectives as well as branching out to explore Internship options. 

All skill and experience levels are welcome to come explore with us! If you are looking for more information or the answers to burning questions stop by the Outdoor Pursuits office in the Milky Way, or contact the director, Phil Zook Friesen, at phil@pacificu.edu or 503-352-2264.

A full list of courses offered can be found in the online academic catalog.

HPER-157 Outdoor Recreation

1 Credit; Fall and Spring Options

Learn basic skills in backpacking, kayaking, and camp management. Outdoor Recreation will build the foundation necessary for students to feel comfortable and confident moving into more demanding Outdoor Leadership courses. Knowledge will be applied on weekend and day ventures throughout the course.

HPER-158 Introduction to Rock Climbing

1 Credit; Fall Option

Learn the basics of rock climbing, which include belaying, movement, anchor set-up, and develop skills related to lead climbing. Students will find themselves fine tuning skills in some of the best indoor climbing gyms in the area as well as on two weekend trips to outdoor locations. Skills acquired will prepare students for the Single Pitch Instructor Course. 

HPER-160 Ski/Snowboard

1 Credit; Spring Option (Not offered in Spring 2019)

Do what you love for credit! This course provides five weeks of night lessons through February and March at Mt. Hood Meadows to develop personal skiing and boarding skills. Lessons are offered for all experience levels, from newbies to experts.

Note: Additional Costs for Rentals and Lift Tickets Apply. 

HPER-159 Sea Kayaking

1 Credit; Fall Option

This course will introduce students to essential paddling skills, equipment, safety techniques and a basic understanding of sea kayaking. Students will have the competence to paddle in sheltered bays and lakes by the end of the course. Participation fee required. The fee is used for class outings (i.e. transportation, food, campsites and permits). 

HPER-169 Whitewater Kayaking

1 Credit; Fall Option

This course will introduce students to essential paddling skills, equipment, safety techniques and a basic understanding whitewater kayaking. Students will have the competence to paddle in beginner rivers by the end of the course. Participation fee required. The fee is used for class outings(i.e. transportation, food, campsites and permits). 

OL-107 Wilderness First Responder

2 Credits; Winter Option

Learn the assessment and treatment processes applied to common backcountry injuries and medical illnesses. Students will be taught the tools to remain calm and competent when faced with a backcountry emergency through lecture, lab, and practical sessions. Those who pass this intensive course will receive their Wilderness First Responder Certification, which lasts for three years. 

OL-155 Expedition Planning 

1 Credit; Fall Option; Offered Alternating Years

Gain the tools to plan the elements of a group expedition in a rugged wilderness area beyond the United States. This course helps students develop judgment, decision-making, and critical thinking skills in order to more efficiently participate on expeditionary trips. Students will also explore historical approaches to expedition planning and develop a detailed personal itinerary for the OL-255 Winter Term travel course. 

OL-205 Outdoor Leadership Theory

1 Credit; Fall Option
Prerequisite: HPER-157

Intended for anyone interested in learning to lead more effectively. Introduction to the principles and practices of leading others using outdoor adventure trips as the construct for effective decision-making, managing group dynamics, and accomplishing clear objectives as a team. Emphasis on learning how to teach using experiential education principles, on developing students' group facilitation skills, and on making decisions to manage risks appropriately. Students will learn leadership theories and apply these theories to case studies. Designed to be taken concurrently with OL-206 Outdoor Leadership Practice.

OL-206 Outdoor Leadership Practice

1 Credit; Fall Option
Prerequisite: HPER-157

Provides the knowledge and experience needed to implement basic outdoor leadership skills. Students will explore the following factors involved in trip planning: determining trip objectives, understanding the participants, evaluating weather, selecting gear, reading maps, acquiring permits and practicing "Leave No Trace" principles. Participation fee required for transportation, food, permits and campsites. Designed to be taken concurrently with OL-206 Outdoor Leadership Practice. If a student drops or withdraws from the class after some expenses have been accrued, the student will be responsible for those expenses. 

OL-255 International Expedition 

2 Credits; Winter Option; Offered Alternating Years
Prerequisite: OL-155

Students build on skills developed in Expedition Planning and prepare to be better global citizens through exposure to cultural, environmental and social justice issues while on an outdoor adventure trip in an international setting. Develop judgment, decision-making and critical thinking skills in order to more effectively plan and execute expeditionary trips while interacting with local guides in an international context. 

OL-307 Applied Outdoor Leadership

4 Credits; Spring Option
Prerequisite: OL-207

Fine tune and continue developing the skills learned in Introduction to Outdoor Leadership. Students will focus on decision-making, judgment, and critical thinking in an outdoor setting. Longer duration expeditions will require students to demonstrate leadership, group facilitation, risk management, planning and logistics, environmental integration, and education skills. 

OL-308 Single Pitch Rock Instructor

2 Credits; Spring Option
Prerequisite: HPER-158

Further develop the skills required to lead outdoor climbing trips. Learn anchor building, route cleaning, rappelling, participant coaching, group management, high angle rescue, and base management. Students will additionally continue developing the skills related with leading single pitch sport and traditional climbs. Classes are supplemented by both gym and outdoor climbing sessions.

OL-309 Kayak Instructor

2 Credits; Spring Option
Prerequisite: HPER-159

Build on the skills developed in Introduction to Kayaking. Students continue to develop group management, safety, and navigation skills in more challenging waters. Skills related to boat handling, intermediate/advanced water techniques, multi-day trip planning, and chart and compass use will be addressed.

OL-407 Outdoor Leadership Seminar

1 Credit; Spring Option
Prerequisite: OL-307

Students are encouraged to synthesize the principles, practices, theories, ethics, and philosophies presented throughout their pursuit of the Outdoor Leadership Minor. This course will also look at how leadership skills from the minor can be applied to future professions in the outdoors and beyond.