Outdoor Adventure Experiences

Have you always learned best through hands-on experiences?

Do you relish a challenge? Find your best self when presented with a situation like whitewater rafting through rapids or navigating a climbing wall.

The Center for Outdoor Leadership (COL) provides experiential education programs utilizing outdoor adventure recreation and challenge course facilitation to promote personal growth, social interaction, development of leadership skills and environmental stewardship.

Some of our past adventures have included:

  • Sea kayaking
  • Backpacking
  • Caving
  • Canoeing
  • Rock climbing
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Horseback riding
  • Ropes challenge courses
  • Service projects

Outdoor Service

As the Center for Outdoor Leadership embraces the concept of servant leadership, it is our goal to provide students with opportunities of outdoor service in the local and greater communities. Below is a list of past service opportunities:

  • Wings of Eagles Ranch
    Wings of Eagles Ranch is an equestrian therapeutic and outdoor adventure center located 20 minutes from Pfeiffer. The ranch provides the unique opportunity to exercise your mind and body. If you have interest in horses, working with special needs individuals, farm work and/ or adventure activities, please contact the Center for Outdoor Leadership.
  • Wayeh - Alaskan Malamute Kennel
    There is something about college students and their love for animals, especially big furry dogs. For the past four years, COL has spent several days each year as part of a fall or spring break outdoor adventure experience serving the kennel. Sidney Sachs is the responsible owner and breeder of Wayeh Kennel and Tennessee Alaskan Malamute Rescue program. Students have built a 30’ x 60’ concrete pad and six kennel runs, bathed and groomed countless dogs, socialized rescued animals and learned what it means to serve. www.wayeh.com
  • Lake House Service Days
    Join us for a day of outdoor work at the Gibson Lake House. Complete projects related to landscaping, construction and cleaning. Contact the Center for Outdoor Leadership for service day dates each semester.
  • Adopt-A-Highway Clean-Up
    Join members of the Pfeiffer community to pick up litter along Pfeiffer University’s adopted section of Highway 52. This road is frequented by much traffic and becomes littered often. Please wear work clothes and bring plenty of water. Gloves, trash bags and caution vests are provided.

COL Mission

COL supports Pfeiffer's commitment to service through programming designed to encourage student organizations, Pfeiffer Journey courses and athletic teams to think globally and act locally – supporting the COL motto of “Serving today. Leading tomorrow.” This provides a unique educational experience for our student body and fosters the development of leadership skills and outdoor ethics in COL student trip leaders and facilitators.

COL promotes environmental stewardship through Leave No Trace principles and safe outdoor experiences following the industry standards of the Association for Challenge Course Technology, American Mountain Guide Association, American Canoe Association, Wilderness Medical Institute and Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities.

Local Recreation

Pfeiffer University is located in central North Carolina, affording access to some of the greatest natural attractions our state has to offer within a two to three-hour drive. Don't wait for the adventure to find you; seek your own adventure with the help of COL and these great resources.

COL Upcoming Events

Follow us on Facebook and keep up with the COL news to see what we’ve got going on.

Outdoor Literature

There is nothing better than venturing outside with a favorite book in hand. Whether you are into casual reading or are more interested in vicariously experiencing the outdoors through others, there are many books written about nature for you to enjoy. Here are some of our suggestions.

To order any of the books below please visit Amazon.com.

Atkinson, B. (1968). Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. The Modern Library, New York, NY. 

Brautigan, R. (1967). Trout Fishing in America, The Pill versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, and in Watermelon Sugar. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA. 

Brown, Jr., T. (1978). The Tracker. Berkley Books, New York, NY.

Bryson, B. (1998). A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. Broadway Books, New York, NY. Ferguson, G. (1996). The World ’s Great Nature Myths. Falcon Publishing, Helena, MT. 

Ray, J. (1999). Ecology of a Cracker Childhood. Milkweed Editions, Minneapolis, MN.

Stetson, L. (1995). The Wild Muir: Twenty Two of John Muir ’s Greatest Adventures. Yosemite Association, CA. 

Thoreau, H.D. (1948). Walden: and on the Duty of Civil Disobedience. Rinehart Press, San Francisco, CA. 

Abbey, E. (1982). Down the River. Penguin Books, New York, NY.

Abbey, E. (1977). The Journey Home. Penguin Books, New York, NY.

Abbey, E. (1975). The Monkey Wrench Gang. Avon Books, New York, NY.

Bass, R. (1997). The Sky, the Stars, the Wilderness. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Krakauer, J. (1997). Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster. Villard, New York, NY.
Krakauer, J. (1996). Into the Wild. Villard, New York, NY. 

Maclean, N. (1976). A River Runs Through It and Other Stories. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. 

Morris, H. (1995). A Different Angel: Fly Fishing Stories by Women. Berkley Books, New York, NY.

Muir, J. (1987). My First Summer in the Sierra. Penguin Books, New York, NY.

Safina, C. (1997). Song of the Blue Ocean. Henry Holt Company, New York, NY. 

Grow Stronger, Braver and More Confident

The Center for Outdoor Leadership is committed to experiential learning using natural resources. Each adventure is led by student leaders and professional staff members trained to provide you with a safe and memorable adventure, meeting you at your skill level (beginner to advanced). Get involved! You won’t want to miss out.

Director of the Center for Outdoor Leadership

Callie Auman
(704) 463-3189