First Tracks

What could be better than starting your college career knowing you already have a community of friends at WSU? Perhaps building that community while backpacking or kayaking the summer before your first semester? We agree. That’s why we’re pleased to offer the First Tracks: Outdoor Orientation Program exclusively for incoming first-year students.

This program allows you to explore northwest wilderness areas, bond with a small group of your future classmates, develop skills with experienced leaders, and take on an exciting new adventure before embarking on the biggest adventure of all – college.

 First Tracks helps you…

  • Start making life-long friends before you start your first semester.
  • Explore your new home, the Palouse, in new and exciting ways.
  • Gain technical skills in backpacking or kayaking, camping, and backcountry cooking. 
  • Practice problem solving, collaboration and communication in safe, adventurous, and outdoor space.
  • Reflect on who you are and who you want to be as a WSU Cougar and beyond.
  • Meet experienced outdoor experts and learn more about what the WSU Outdoor Recreation Center has to offer.

We built this program to improve your WSU experience. We think spending time outside, with fellow new Cougs is a great way to start. Check out our FAQ page for more information about the program and details about the trips. If you have more questions, please contact us at orc@wsu.edu. 

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Registration Ends June 9

First Tracks Backpacking Eco Adventure

Jul 8 - Jul 15 in ORC Lobby
[M] 5:00 p.m. - 11:59 p.m.
[Su TW Thrs F Sa] 12:00 a.m. - 11:59 p.m.
[M] 12:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
$275
 
 
First Tracks: Outdoor Orientation Program is designed specifically for incoming first-year students to experience backpacking in Idaho's Frank Church Wilderness, just a 1/2 day drive from Pullman. In addition to bonding with future classmates, you’ll learn key wilderness backpacking skills such as how to safely navigate in the wilderness, pack a backpack, set-up a safe and secure camp, purify your drinking water, cook on a backpacking stove, and camp utilizing “Leave No Trace” principles. You'll also be doing trailwork for the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation to maintain and restore their current trail system. Trip rating is level 2. Good physical conditioning is needed; no backpacking experience necessary. Cancellation Policy: In order to minimize our environmental impact, maintain facilitator-to-participant ratios, meet permit criteria, and transportation logistics, ORC trips are often programmed for small groups. Late cancellations can seriously impact our ability to accommodate others and recover costs. • Cancellations made up until 2 weeks prior to the registration deadline will receive a full refund. • Cancellations made within 2 weeks of the registration deadline receive 50% refund. • Sorry, no refunds are given past the registration deadline. Participants may not be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs during an ORC activity. Drugs and alcohol are not permitted in WSU vehicles/vessels or at campsites (or other accommodations) at any time. Depending on the severity of infraction of rules and policies, a range of disciplinary actions may take place from a verbal warning to removal from activity, contacting local authorities, and the office of student conduct.
 
 

Registration Ends June 23

First Tracks: Kayak Touring

Jul 19 - Jul 26 in ORC Lobby
[F] 5:00 p.m. - 11:59 p.m.
[Su M TW Thrs Sa] 12:00 a.m. - 11:59 p.m.
[F] 12:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
$275
 
 
First Tracks: Outdoor Orientation Program is designed specifically for incoming first-year students to experience a kayak tour on one of the beautiful lakes just a 1/2 day drive from Pullman. In addition to bonding with future classmates, you’ll learn key kayak touring skills such as how to safely exit and re-enter your boat, pack a kayak for touring, purify your drinking water, cook on a backpacking stove, and camp utilizing “Leave No Trace” principles. Trip rating is level 2. Good physical conditioning is needed; no kayaking experience necessary. Cancellation Policy: In order to minimize our environmental impact, maintain facilitator-to-participant ratios, meet permit criteria, and transportation logistics, ORC trips are often programmed for small groups. Late cancellations can seriously impact our ability to accommodate others and recover costs. • Cancellations made up until 2 weeks prior to the registration deadline will receive a full refund. • Cancellations made within 2 weeks of the registration deadline receive 50% refund. • Sorry, no refunds are given past the registration deadline. Participants may not be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs during an ORC activity. Drugs and alcohol are not permitted in WSU vehicles/vessels or at campsites (or other accommodations) at any time. Depending on the severity of infraction of rules and policies, a range of disciplinary actions may take place from a verbal warning to removal from activity, contacting local authorities, and the office of student conduct.