Become A Trip Initiator

Become A Trip Initiator

OP Trip Initiators are… YOU!

OP Initiators are a diverse group: they represent a variety of skill levels, cultures, shapes and sizes but they all share a love of adventure and getting people outside. OP trips are cooperative and consensus- based so the initiator is an equal participant on the trip. The group decisions, expenses, work, and logistics are shared by all participants and each individual takes responsibility for her/his own safety- much like a group of friends. Trip Initiator Clinics are offered twice per term (sign up for Email Alerts for dates/times). The initiator puts things in motion by posting a trip, facilitates the group process, emphasizes safety, and encourages everyone to HAVE FUN! The OP staff is here to help initiators as much as they like and we’ll do all we can to support you and make sure you have a great trip! Questions? Email

Benefits Of Trip Initiating:

  • Plan trips when and where you like.
  • Free OP personal gear rentals (kayaks, snowboards, XC skis, etc..)
  • Opportunities for personal growth and challenge.
  • Learn group dynamic and trip planning skills
  • Get fantastic real job skills–looks great on a resume

OP Trip Initiator Clinic

To become an OP Trip Initiator, one must attend a two hour clinic. Unlike many outdoor leadership courses that provide certifications and training, the OP Trip Initiator Clinic simply acquaints one to the OP cooperative philosophy, the unique leadership role of the initiator, and our facilities and procedures.

The clinics are usually offered twice per term depending on the amount of interest shown. The OP announces the Trip Initiator Clinic in our newsletter that is published every academic term, and on the web under Upcoming Events. Both clinics are generally held on the weekdays in the early evening (around 5:30 pm). If these times do not work with your schedule, notify the OP staff. Sometimes special arrangements can be made to offer clinics at alternate times.

Trip Initiator Training Part I: Trip Initiator Clinic

Clinics are held in the OP Barn. The first half of the clinic covers OP cooperative and leadership philosophy, liability, trip planning, conducting pre-trip meetings.

The second half of the clinic familiarizes trip initiators with OP gear, equipment and trip key packet checkout and UO liability form procedures. But if participants are interested in initiating rafting trips, they are encouraged to stay for another half hour to learn more specifically about rafts.

Trip Initiator Training Part II: Van Certification

In order to drive the OP vans, one must pass an online test and submit a copy of his or her driving record to the OP for a certification card. Once this comes back from the transportation department, a driving tutorial for our specific vehicles must be arranged with our pro-staff.

Begin the driver certification process here.

Trip Initiator Documents

1) The Trip Initiator Handbook contains anything and everything regarding trip initiating, OP philosophy and operation. If you have a question pertaining to trip initiating, the answer can most likely be found here. Given its length and thoroughness, think of it more as a reference manual.

2) The Pre-Trip Helper is great to have by your side when facilitating your pre-trip meetings, whether that be your first or tenth. It highlights a variety of topics that are useful and/or necessary to cover at the group meeting prior to your trip (e.g. skill level requirement, equipment needed, brief overview of co-op philosophy and liability, etc.).

3) The Trip Step Summary offers up an idea of the steps involved to initiate a trip from beginning to end. This one will be especially useful to you as a new initiator, as you try to get a handle on the process.