Sports & Outdoors

PSO offers leadership opportunities

Puget Sound Outdoors (PSO) is wrapping up its first month and has already launched multiple trips for students to explore hiking and backpacking. With many opportunities coming in the near future, it’s time to get outside!

Not only have backpacking and day hiking trips begun, but the Outdoor Leadership Experience (OLE) has also kicked off. Junior and PSO Trip Coordinator Chris Eichar explained what exactly OLE offers.

“OLE is a great opportunity to help students grow in the field of outdoor leadership. OLE is part of the process that helps students lead trips for PSO. OLE occurs twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring,” Eichar said.

“Leading trips gives people the opportunity to do what they love and share it with other people.  Through leading, you get more experience in the outdoors and get to help others get excited about being outside,” sophomore Hannah Gould said.

Additionally, PSO connects all kinds of people that may have not met each other on campus.

“PSO makes the University of Puget Sound community much larger than just campus.  It allows people to get off campus and experience the beauty of Washington.  It also allows people of all experience levels to go on amazing trips for pretty cheap,” Gould said.

Not only is the OLE available for students at the University but there are many additional trips of which anyone can be a part. Those trips include gourmet food backpacking, bike touring, surfing, mountain biking and more.

The key to these trips is to generate as much interest as possible for students. PSO is constantly trying to keep students enthusiastic about the outdoors.

“The first important value for PSO is to get as many students outdoors as possible. PSO strives to be an organization [that] someone can come to with no hiking experience and learn how to become comfortable in the outdoors while at the same time being a place where experienced outdoors people can find recreational opportunities,” Eichar said.

“From my perspective, I believe in providing opportunities for students to explore healthy activities that can be done for a lifetime and are not financially exclusive,” Assistant Director of Student Activities for Outdoors Justin Canny said. “I believe in student leadership because I learned a lot about myself as a person and as a leader through being a leader for the Outhaus and Passages when I was at Puget Sound.”

Many people make up PSO, and many moving parts make it a functional organization. What happens behind the scenes includes the coordinators identifying locations, finding leaders for the trip and then receiving trip proposals and ideas. There is a pre-trip meet talking about logistics and then the students are notified about the trips.

There is so much a student can get out of joining the OLE, or just taking a day hike with the PSO. With more and more people joining, the PSO community becomes bigger, and friendlier.