Outdoor Leadership Courses

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

While students taking courses in the 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.

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.

Outdoor Recreation (HPER-157) 

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.

Introduction to Rock Climbing (HPER-158)

2 Credits; 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. 

Introduction to Sea Kayaking (HPER-159) 

2 Credits; Fall Option

Gain the skills necessary to plan and lead a sea kayaking excursion. Students will develop water navigation, paddling, rescue, and water safety skills as well as the basics of boat care. Pool sessions and weekend trips will help students hone skills, which will prepare them for the Coastal Sea Kayaking Instructor Course. 

Ski/Snowboard (HPER-160) 

1 Credit; Spring Option

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. 

Wilderness First Responder (OL-107) 

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. 

Introduction to Outdoor Leadership (OL-207)

2 Credit; Fall Option

Prerequisite: HPER-157

Continue your introduction to the principles and techniques inherent to leading in the outdoors. Students will focus on group dynamic facilitation as well as outdoor skills, such as cooking, building shelter, navigation, trip preparation, and travel technique. Skills will be applied and tested on several multi-day trips. 

Applied Outdoor Leadership (OL-307)

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. 

Single Pitch Rock Instructor (OL-308) 

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.

Coastal Sea Kayak Instructor (OL-309)

2 Credits; Spring Option

Prerequisite: HPER-159

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

Outdoor Leadership Seminar (OL-407) 

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.