Outdoor Education

In addition to the Quest Leadership & Pre-Orientation program, Trinity also offers students, faculty, and staff options to learn from adventure and challenge with Outdoor Education (OE). 



Hartford and the surrounding environment provide a unique opportunity for students to explore and experience outdoor and experiential pursuits in close proximity to Trinity's urban campus. Outdoor Education at Trinity provides opportunities for students to participate in and lead outdoor skills clinics and expeditions while learning how to make informed decisions leading peers in wilderness settings. 



Leadership Development 

Get involved by leading outdoor trips! Student led wilderness trips are offered throughout each semester. Lead and Assistant Instructors have the opportunity to plan and lead outdoor trips throughout New England with Outdoor Education.    

PHED 155 OLP - 0.5 credits

This course will develop competent student leaders using field experiences to study effective leadership practices. This course will engage students in discussions and practical experiences focused on leadership skills necessary to effectively lead in the outdoor field. Student leaders will work to develop their personal leadership skills through a series of lectures, labs, and group activities. This course will culminate with a final field-based expedition where students will plan, facilitate, and lead each other. Leadership topics will be taught in three categories including: Hard Skills, Soft Skills, and Meta Skills.

Skills Classes

PHED 105 Rock Climbing I - 0.25 credits

Introduction to Rock Climbing. This class takes place at the Glastonbury rock climbing gym. Students will learn how to use a harness, tie knots and belay a climber. All equipment will be provided. Introduction to movement skills in an indoor environment will be introduced. Students who take this class will become belay certified at the Central Rock Glastonbury gym.

PHED 205 Rock Climbing II - 0.25 credits 

Upon successful completion of Rock Climbing I, student can enroll in Rock Climbing II, which will introduce students to several advanced techniques of the sport. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to lead climb in an indoor environment. If the weather permits, this class may have the opportunity to go outside. Students must be belay certified or have completed Rock Climbing I to enroll in this course.


Weekend Trips

Outdoor Education offers courses in a variety of outdoor activities. Orienteering, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, ice climbing, skiing, and fire building are a few of the weekend possibilities.

Spring 2018 Trips

  1. Ski Shuttle to Mt. Snow in VT: Saturday, February 3rd, 7am-7pm
  2. Ice Climbing: Saturday, February 10th, 9am-5pm
  3. Ski Shuttle to Ski Butternut in MA: Saturday, March 3rd, 8am-5:30pm 
  4. Outdoor Rock Climbing: Saturday, April 7th, 9am-5pm  


Periodically, OE will offer programs to farther-reaching destinations outside our normal adventuring venues of southern New England. Canoe trips to the Florida Everglades, mountaineering in Mexico, rock climbing in the Southwestern Desert, and backpacking in Southern Appalachia are to name but a few. These expeditions occur during academic recesses, typically during spring, winter, or summer breaks. 

Upcoming extended trips include:

  1. Backpacking in Death Valley National Park: January, 12th - January, 20th 2018
  2. Hiking and rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park: March, 10th - March, 17th 2018


Team Building

Open to all students, faculty and staff to build the components of a successful team. The OE program can help facilitate the bonding process to help your team, residence hall, or department form connectedness and work on collaboration. We work both on-campus and off using outdoor resources to aid in the group development process. 


Equipment Rental

Trinity College's Outdoor Education program has a variety of equipment available to borrow free of charge for all current Trinity students, faculty, and staff.  Our equipment includes backpacks, sleeping bags, ground pads, water bottles, etc.  Inquiries about specific equipment available to borrow may be directed to jami.cogswell@trincoll.edu.    

How to Borrow Equipment: Fill out the Equipment Check-Out Form and send to jami.cogswell@trincoll.edu.  Please submit forms at least 48 hours in advance of equipment pick-up. Current Trinity ID must be presented when picking up equipment. 

Equipment Returns: Equipment must be returned within 2 weeks of rental.  If you need equipment for a longer period of time, contact jami.cogswell@trincoll.edu to arrange a different return date (not guaranteed). All equipment must be returned in clean, dry, and working condition.  Equipment room staff will inspect the equipment for damage upon its return. The borrower assumes all responsibility for any damaged, lost, stolen, or not returned equipment and will be charged for its replacement.        

Equipment Room Location & Hours:
Ferris Athletic Center, Unit D Storage Closet
Spring 2018 Hours: Tuesdays 12:30pm-2:30pm and Thursdays 12:30pm-2:30pm. 



OE Forms:

OE Medical Form
OE Assumption of Risk Agreement


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For more information contact:

Kevin Johnson
Recreation & Quest Director
Phone: (860) 297-5102
Fax: (860) 297-2021

Jami Cogswell
Recreation & Quest Assistant
Phone: (860) 297-2104