Upenn Recreation


Penn Outdoor Adventure believes that outdoor and adventure-based experiences allow students to develop a variety of leadership skills that are crucial to a student’s development while at university and are transferable to life and career skills beyond the outdoors and Penn.  Penn Outdoor Adventure strives to prepare students to be effective leaders through theory and practice in both back and front country experiences. Outdoor and climbing wall leaders must be able to prepare, lead, analyze risk, teach, and demonstrate competence and judgment while leading a group of their peers in an unfamiliar environment. Through increased responsibility in adventure activities students will also develop tolerance for adversity and uncertainty.  Current and former Penn Outdoor Adventure staff have been involved with Wharton Leadership Ventures, worked as Penn Quest leaders, are officers of the Penn Outdoors Club and Penn Climbing Club and have gone on to work professionally in the outdoor field.



Student staff receive continual training pertaining to managing risk, outdoor skills progression, instructional techniques, customer service, group dynamics, judgement, logistical support, group management and more.  Training occurs through periodic training sessions, shadowing experiences, mentoring experiences with the Assistant Director, Outdoor Adventure or senior staff and through on the job experiential education.  Staff also have the opportunity for additional training through a variety of certification courses through the American Mountain Guides Association Climbing Wall Instructor certification or Single Pitch Instructor certification as well as NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) Wilderness Medicine courses and more.


We are always looking for students to get involved with our Outdoor Adventure and Climbing Wall programs.

Assistant Outdoor Guide – Assists the Lead Outdoor Guide with leading outdoor trips by helping to prepare for outings, analyzing risks, managing groups and teaching adventure based skills.

Lead Outdoor Guide – Is responsible for leading outdoor trips by planning and executing trips for groups of up to 10 participants.  Identifies and manages risks and makes judgement decisions for the benefit of the group.  Manages all aspects of group logistics and trip planning.  Is certified in wilderness medicine and is responsible for treating and effectively handling any injuries that occur on an outdoor trip.  Takes the lead on teaching adventure based skills.  Manages any group dynamic issues that occur while in the backcountry.

Climbing Wall Attendant – Manages the everyday operations of the Penn Climbing Wall.  Identifies and manages risks associated with indoor rock climbing.  Displays a high level of customer service.  Provides climbing skills instruction for scheduled courses.  Educates patrons of the rules of the climbing wall.


Interested in getting the latest updates on Campus Recreation Outdoor Adventure and Climbing Wall programs?  Please Click Here to submit your name and email address to the List-Serve.


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