The Outdoor Action Frosh Trip program is currently short of 30 students to lead freshman orientation trips come next fall.
The current shortfall in leaders might be prompted by fewer members of the Class of 2017 having gone on an OA trip than in the preceding year, program director Richard Curtis ’79 said. Additionally, the University enrolled 1,357 students for the Class of 2016, more than the 1,292 it enrolled for the Class of 2017.
“Our goal is training 100 new leaders,” Curtis wrote in an email while on vacation. The Outdoor Action program will host two spring training sessions. One session will be held over spring break, while another will occur over the course of several weeks after the break. Potential leaders are required to take classes in first aid, CPR, group dynamics and technical skills.
Curtis noted that the program has used many methods of communication to reach would-be applicants, including posting flyers around campus, tabling at residential colleges and sending emails.
Hope Lorah ’17, who participated in an OA trip, said the leaders on her trip encouraged her and her fellow freshmen to eventually become OA leaders.
“I had thought about it then and wasn’t sure, and honestly it was more an impulse decision a few weeks ago for me,” Lorah said. “I was looking at my spring break plans, and I didn’t have much going on, and I saw the opportunity that I’d be able to do it.”
Lorah added that emails about becoming an OA leader, reunions with her OA group and hearing friends say they had done the fall training or were going to do the spring training helped to remind her that the opportunity was there.
Joseph Yates ’17, who signed up to become an OA leader in the fall, also said that a combination of factors led him to sign up to become an OA leader.
“There were a lot of flyers and things after we got back. It was definitely something I was thinking about while I was on the trip,” Yates said. “And from there it was just a matter of signing up for classes and things like that.”
Yates added that he had tried to convince friends to do the training but that, so far, many remained borderline and had scheduling conflicts with the training schedule or the trip itself.
Erica Nori ’17 said she simply didn’t have time in her schedule to train to be an OA leader.
“I wanted to be a leader because I really enjoyed my trip, and I met some really great people, and my leaders were awesome,” Nori said. “But I just don’t have enough time with softball and school and everything. I’m thinking maybe in the fall.”
Ben Koons ’15, who will lead an OA trip for the third time later this year, said having a shortfall of OA leaders at this point wasn’t necessarily indicative of a problem.
“In the fall they’ll want more than they end up getting, and in the spring they try to catch up and get more people, and usually they do that,” Koons said. “I’ve seen a lot more advertisements for it than I usually have.”
However, Curtis noted that the number of freshmen that the program can accommodate is directly dependent on the number of students who sign up to be leaders.
OA is continuing to offer slots in its training classes through its website.