Outdoor Leadership Program

Outdoor Leadership

The Inclusive Excellence Outdoor Leadership Program (OLP), founded in 2015, strives to create greater equity of access for historically underrepresented students to engage in the outdoors while cultivating leadership in those students. OLP aims to raise greater understanding of the historical and societal context within which inequities and disparities of outdoor recreation occur, while creating opportunity for non-mainstream forms of outdoor recreation to be recognized and valued.

This initiative is not affiliated with the James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus.

      What Will I Get from OLP?

      Benefits of OLP include:

      • Skills training on keeping self and others safe in a variety of outdoors settings and increased confidence in outdoor recreation activities such as hiking, backpacking, and camping.
      • A supportive community with similar passion for inclusive excellence and social justice.
      • Opportunities to dialogue around issues of power, privilege, and oppression as they relate to outdoor recreation, structural land use policies, and the construct of the urban-wilderness dichotomy.
      • Leadership development that includes self-exploration of identity, strengths, weaknesses, and how one relates to others as a leader.

      Please note that pre-trip orientations are mandatory.  Food and transportation will be provided. 

      During mandatory trip pre-meetings, participants will engage in training on fundamental outdoor skills such as trip safety, map-reading and orientation, as well as participate in individual and group reflection on identity and/or social justice issues. Each trip will involve team-building components to cultivate community and meaningful connection among program participants.

      Trips may include:

      • Day Hikes
      • Urban gardening
      • Rafting
      • Rock climbing
      • Camping
      • Backpacking
      • Snowshoeing
      • Summiting a 14’er


      Who Can Participate?

      This program serves historically underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students who identify as beginners and may have had limited access or opportunity to engage in outdoor activities in the past.

      Participants can choose to come to any of the outings, and the program is designed for each pre-meeting/outing pair to be standalone events.

      Previous OLP Trips Include:

      • Food Justice Service Project with The GrowHaus
      • Hikes in locations like Roxborough State Park, Saint Mary's Glacier, etc.
      • Indoor and Outdoor Rock Climbing Trips
      • White Water Rafting in Idaho Springs
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      Want to learn more about OLP? We’d love to hear from you!

      Email our team and our OLP coordinators will be in touch