At OP, we go beyond recreation by using the outdoors to build belonging, support self-efficacy, and empower groups and individuals with the courage, confidence, and competency to flourish.
Our goal is to have fun and help your class, department, or organization grow through experiences with outdoor recreation and education. You don’t need any prior experience to be part of an OP program. Our skilled staff undergoes intensive training so we can ensure a safe, dynamic, and immersive experience for all participants regardless of their ability levels.
We’ve led everything from two-hour on-campus team-building sessions to week-long environmental education excursions to Alaska. So whether you want to develop teamwork, build community, or engage students with experiential education, we’ll tailor adventure made for you and your goals.
Want to lead an adventure yourself? Ask us about discount gear rentals!
What We Provide
- Goal-oriented trip leaders
- Trip planning & logistics
- Transportation to and from the trip location
- All necessary equipment
- Risk management
- Food (upon request)
The outdoor industry has a saying: “There’s no bad weather, just bad gear.” At OP, we take pride in our gear’s quality and our leader’s adaptability. As a result, all OP trips run rain or shine. Still, safety is our top priority. If we decide the weather it’s unsafe, we’ll notify you at least 12 hours in advance of your trip and either reschedule or provide a refund.
OP does not provide refunds for trips unless we cancel the trip due to inclement weather or health hazards. Trip locations are subject to change due to safety concerns.
All trips are priced per person for custom programs. The exact cost depends on group size, program length, and program type. This allows us to provide quality gear, reliable transportation, and trained trip leaders. Reach out to us for a quote.
If cost is prohibitive, please let us know anyways as we may be able to work with your group.
Best For: all-purpose, forest bathing, community building, gentle intro to the outdoors
Day hikes are the swiss army knife of outdoor recreation. One of our most versatile activities, a day hike can be tailored to suit your group’s needs whatever they may be.
Our unique location in central North Carolina allows us to deliver breathtaking views no matter how many (or few) miles your group desires to hike. Plus, the awe inspired by day hikes is psychologically proven to help participants form core memories that can shape learning outcomes in participants minds.
Best For: all-purpose, community building, reflection
Awe-inspiring. Breathtaking. Life changing. Our backpacking trips will take you to the most beautiful parts of North Carolina, Virginia, or Tennessee. Along the way, we’ll make sure that all students connect not only to the region, but also to each other.
From pitching a tent to playing trail games, these trips are truly immersive experiences. Although it may seem intensive, we work tirelessly to ensure all our trips are accessible and beginner friendly. We’ll work with you to decide how to best meet your group where they’re at and will tailor-make a trip to fit their needs. Plus, we’ll be there to help every step of the trail.
Best For: team building, trust building, confidence building, empowerment
Few activities match rock climbing’s ability to encourage trust, teamwork, and communication in such a fun and engaging way.
Although it may seem daunting, our climbing trips are accessible for all – even those who want to stay on the floor. We follow a Challenge By Choice (CBC) model that empowers participants to stretch themselves while also checking-in with their comfort levels so as to set both personal goals and personal boundaries.
We dissuade peer pressure and instead encourage groups to respect and celebrate all participants’ boundaries. As a result, groups learn to meet one another where they’re at and to be inclusive rather than coercive.
Best For: all-purpose, meditation & yoga, creative workshops, fun in the sun
Stunning lakes serenely encased in the beauty of the blue ridge mountains are just a short drive from campus. Let us take you there on one of our stand-up paddleboarding trips.
These trips often feel like wellbeing focused, water-based retreats. In fact, being on bodies of water move has actually been proven to help our brains rest, restore, and heal. Capitalize on these nature-based benefits by including a meditation or yoga session into your program. Or, simply enjoy a day filled with sun, splashes, and shared conversation.
Recommended Group Size: 12 or less
Best For: communication, team building, trust building, fun in the sun
Whether canoeing a still lake or a flowing river, the level of communication that passes between paddling partners is unmatched by nearly any other activity.
The front paddler must relay the presence of obstacles to the river-blind back paddler, who must learn to trust their partner’s cues. They both work together to decide when and where to turn, which stroke to use, and how fast to go.
All of our canoe trips inherently emphasize this communication, trust, and teamwork. But upon request, we love providing specialty team-building sessions that utilize fun activities from racing to flipping to build community and trust within groups.
Recommended Group Size: 10 or less
Best For: strengths and weakness awareness, confidence building, communication
There’s a dozen different way to approach a trail. While some people are ready-to-ride risk takers, others may stop and examine obstacles before tackling them.
At OP, we see mountain biking as a way to develop personal awareness about one’s response to challenge. We help participants discover if they’re protectors, analysts, adventurers, etc. Then, we work with groups to discuss how all approaches to obstacles can be useful in their own way, and to reflect upon how their new-found operating styles can best be used to support the group as a whole going forward.
Whether you’re looking for a fun Friday evening at Tanglewood Park, or a day-long excursion to the Virginia Creeper Trail, put your group’s power to the pedal with a custom mountain biking trip.
Recommended Group Size: 8 or less
Start Your Journey: A Step-By-Step Guide
Now – Schedule A Meeting
Once you have an idea of what trips sound best for you, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can meet with you to answer your questions, and develop a mutual vision for your experience.
30+ Days Prior – Submit The Trip Request Form
Fill out the trip request form HERE. Once we’ve confirmed all the logistical information, we’ll send you an invoice so that you can finalize payment.
1 to 2 Weeks Prior – We Contact All Participants
We’ll email your group with trip details, packing lists, and links to the medical form and liability waiver that all participants will need to fill o
3 to 4 Days Prior – Final Contact and Geal Pull
We’ll email your group any final logistical details, purchase your trip’s food and supplies, and set aside all the gear for your trip.