Outdoor Program

Our Mission:
The Outdoor Program fosters personal growth, facilitates learning and creates recreational opportunities through skills and risk management training, leadership development, and environmentally sound trips in a supportive community.


Whitman College Wins the The David J Webb Program Excellence Award
on November 9th, 2013!

Outdoor Program staff

AORE LogoThe David J Webb Program Excellence Award is issued once a year by the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) and honors an outstanding non-profit outdoor program which has provided dynamic and innovative services to its participants, demonstrated professionalism and high standards of conduct and contributed to the outdoor community at large by sharing information and assisting other programs.

"This is an amazing tribute and recognition of many years of hard work to make the Whitman College Outdoor Program not only a signature program of the college but one that stands out at the national level." Brien Sheedy

From the AORE press release:

The Whitman College Outdoor Program is an incredible teaching program based in Walla Walla, WA. They are best known for their freshman orientation program and climbing center, but also have strong sea kayaking, backpacking and whitewater programs. The program has been a part of the school for over 3 decades.

Whitman College Outdoor Program's freshman orientation is second to none, as their trips serve over half of the incoming freshman class. They also work closely and in collaboration with academic departments to provide general trips and opportunities for the campus at large, and to encourage involvement and dedication to betterment and growth of the [outdoor recreation] industry.

Click here to read the full press release.

About the Outdoor Program

The Outdoor Program runs trips most weekends throughout the school year. These are open to all Whitman students. Trips include kayaking, hiking, climbing, rafting, skiing, snow-shoeing, ice climbing, and more! The trips are designed for beginner through advanced skill levels.

The Rental shop is the hub of the Outdoor Program. Students and community members can rent or purchase equipment from the shop for personal use. The Rental Shop manages all of the equipment used on OP trips and classes.

Scrambles are first year orientation trips that run each year right before freshman orientation. Scrambles are a week long and include hiking, climbing, sea kayaking, whitewater kayaking and rafting.

The Climbing Center is the Whitman college's state of the art climbing wall. The wall is open to Whitman students, faculty, staff as well as their family members and guests. Classes and clinics take place at the climbing wall every week.

The Outdoor Program also facilitates many of the Sports Studies and Recreation Activities (SSRA) classes on campus. We offer a variety of classes each semester, many of which include weekend trips to give students hands-on outdoor experience with their new skills.

The Bob Carson Outdoor Fund was established in 2012 to help with some of the fees associated with the Outdoor Program's activities. Students can inquire at the OP rental shop for more information about his helpful resource.

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