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Outdoor Education

Learning cannot be limited to the classroom. Our program is consistently ranked as one of the nation's best as it helps students, faculty, and staff explore their sense of place and adventure.
Sea kayaking with Outdoor Education.

What We Do

We get you out! Whether it is kayaking, tree climbing, snowshoeing, or ice climbing, our goal is to develop your sense of place, leadership, and adventure in the great outdoors.

Regardless of skill level, we take members of the Colgate community out of the classroom and into some of the region's most beautiful natural settings — often just a brief ride from campus.

You can get involved in several different capacities:



Kitty Calhoun November 4,  7PM
Meyerhoff Auditorium

Last Ascents is about Alpine routes that Kitty has climbed that may not be repeated due to climate change. Her lifestyle of minimalism has been the key to her success in the mountains and provides a framework for interaction with our environment. Minimalism is not simply "doing without", but is a constant reassessment and focus on what is important. Alpinism and the more general concept of minimalism is a fundamental choice about the way we live - it is an attempt at a more "mindful" way of life.

Kitty Calhoun first roped up in South Carolina at 18. A year later, she started ice climbing while attending University of Vermont. Kitty has climbed dozens of peaks worldwide. In 1990, she led a successful expedition to climb Makalu — the fifth highest mountain in the world at 27,825' — becoming the first woman to make the ascent. Kitty is the recipient of the prestigious Underhill Award from the American Alpine Club. Kitty has been a climbing ambassador for Patagonia since 2000.


Fall  Two  Backyard Adventures

Wilderness Photography

Outing:           Friday , October 16               4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Do you enjoy photography and think we have a beautiful campus?  This BYA will teach you about the basics of how to take spectacular outdoor photographs!  Join the leaders as they show you the best spots to catch the sunset and fall foliage on this afternoon BYA.


Outing:           Sunday, October 25              10:00 a.m. – 2:00.p.m.

Use technology to go on an adventure!  Geo-caching is a new sport developed by GPS users to show each other interesting and hard to find places around the world. Besides learning the in’s and out’s of geo-caching, you will also learn how to navigate with a GPS and a compass. What do you find in the cache? Treasure! However, the point of geo-caching is not the cache, but the journey. This journey will take you to some of the lesser-known areas in and around Hamilton.

Little Falls Community Climbing Day                     

Outing:           Sunday, October 18              10:00 a.m. – 6:00.p.m.

Enjoy a fall day of rock climbing in Little Falls, NY.  Located right beside Lock 17 of the Erie Canal, Moss Island offers both rock climbing and a look into the infrastructure of CNY.  This BYA will teach you the basics of rock climbing, and you will have the opportunity to challenge yourself on the various rock climbs that your leaders will set up.  There will be something for everyone!

Climbers under 18 are required to have a notarized waiver – this is required by the City of Little Falls

Register for Backyard Adventures with Trevor at tkreznar@colgate.edu,  ext 6117

Mission Statement
Our mission is to provide learning and teaching opportunities through diverse outdoor and experiential opportunities. Our programs allow students to develop leadership skills, strong interpersonal connections, an adventurous spirit, and a sense of place within Colgate, Central, and Upstate New York. Intrinsic to this, we support the mission of Colgate University and the department of Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics through our commitment to health and wellness, personal growth, social responsibility, active citizenship, and lifelong learning.
Core Values
  • Leadership as a mechanism for growth and independence
  • Experiential programming that enriches and supports classroom instruction
  • Strong and authentic relationships built in a substance-free environment
  • Continual betterment of self, place, and others
  • High standards of instruction and professionalism

Fall II Outdoor Education PE Class Sign-Ups Additional Day

Rock Climbing, backcountry cooking, stand up paddleboard, and more.

In Person
The COOP  Wednesday, October 14
10:15 a.m.–2:00 p.m.


Camino de Santiago Trip

3 Happy Pilgrims from Colgate's group
In late May / early June, Outdoor Ed Director, Abby Rowe, and six faculty hiked 140 miles of the Camino de Santiago in an effort to scout for future extended study trip in courses relating to Art History, History, Religion and Spanish Culture. READ MORE

Outdoor Ed Gets a Nod From Lightweight Community

Group of students poses for a photo while camping
Evan Chartier '14 (pictured far right) is a Colgate Outdoor Ed instructor and a Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador. With his additional expertise at OE, we have been able to craft a successful Lightweight Camping program that Gossamer Gear is now excited to feature. Thank you, Evan, for helping us get to this point! LEARN MORE