Become a Trip Initiator


OP trip initiators are students just like you.


OP initiators are a diverse group; they represent a variety of skill levels, cultures, and experiences, yet they all share a love of adventure and the outdoors. 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 their own safety.

Trip Initiator Clinics are offered twice per term. The initiator begins a trip by posting a trip, facilitating the group process, emphasizing safety, and encouraging everyone. The OP staff is here to support initiators and help create a great trip.

Questions? Email

Benefits of Trip Initiating

  • Plan trips when and where you like
  • Free OP personal gear rentals
  • Opportunities for personal growth and challenges
  • Learn group dynamic and trip planning skills
  • Get fantastic real-life job skills

Trip Initiator Training Part I: Trip Initiator Clinic

To become an OP trip initiator, you must attend a two-hour clinic. The first half of the clinic covers OP cooperative and leadership philosophy, liability, trip planning, and conducting pre-trip meetings. The second half of the clinic familiarizes trip initiators with OP gear, equipment, trip key packet checkout, and UO liability form procedures. If participants are interested in initiating rafting trips, they are encouraged to stay for another half hour to learn more specifically about rafts.

The clinics are usually offered twice per term depending on the amount of interest shown. If you are not able to attend the clinics due to scheduling conflicts, notify the OP staff as special arrangements can sometimes be made.

Trip Initiator Training Part II: Van Certification

In order to drive the OP vans, you must first pass an online test and submit a copy of your 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.

Driver Certification Request

Trip Initiator Documents

Find these documents at the Outdoor and Bike Program Office, EMU 008.

  • The Trip Initiator Handbook contains anything and everything regarding trip initiating and OP philosophy and operation.
  • The Pre-Trip Helper is great to have by your side when facilitating pre-trip meetings, whether your first or tenth. It highlights a variety of topics that are useful and necessary to cover at the group meeting prior to your trip (skill level requirements, equipment needed, brief overview of co-op philosophy and liability).
  • The Trip Step Summary offers an idea of the steps involved to initiate a trip from beginning to end. This will be especially useful to new initiators as you try to get a handle on the process.