Outdoor Adventures Experiences

Outdoor Experiences (aka trips) are limited and reserved on a first come basis. To register for a COL Experience stop by the Knapp Student Office (rm 103) to register and pay your non-refundable deposit securing your spot. Cost is minimal and depends on varying factors each year. Mandatory pre-trip meetings are required for every trip. For more information email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or stop by his office at Knapp Center 101.

August 2010

    • COL Staff Training: August 27-29th 
    • Want to work as a Center for Outdoor Leadership Facilitator on the challenge course? This weekend training is required in order  to work as a facilitator. As a facilitator you will have the opportunity to impact and help student organizations, athletic teams, and academic classes at Pfeiffer while have the most fun job on campus. On Sunday, the current COL staff will join the training to learn more advanced techniques.  
    • Belay Clinics (on Pfeiffer's Campus) August 23rd-24th
    • Want to learn how to rock climb? The Center for Outdoor Leadership will show you how to belay and then take you rock climbing at nearby climbing gyms later in the semester. These clinics are
    in order to participate in any climbing trip.

               Location: Knapp Gym........Start Time: 6:00 PM..............End Time 7:00 PM

  • Inner Peaks Climbing Trip: August 26th
  • escape the heat and campus to nearby “Inner Peaks” Climbing Gym. The student trip leaders will teach you the basics to climbing and you will have the opportunity to work up a sweat on a 13,000 square foot sculptured rock. 

               Meet @ Knapp Front Desk @ 5 PM... Return between 10 and 11 PM..Cost: $ FREE your first time    

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September 2010

    • Indoor Rockclimbing Trip: September 2th
      Indoor Rock Climbing at UNCC... Sign up to head down to UNCC and climb on their indoor climbing wall. We leave
      at 6:00 pm sharp and return to campus around 10 pm. Cost is only $5!!! Check out the Page UNCC WALL                                      
    • Belay Clinic (on Pfeiffer's Campus): September 6th   
    • Want to learn how to rock climb? The Center for Outdoor Leadership will show you how to belay and then take you rock

      climbing at nearby climbing gyms later in the semester. These clinics are
    in order to participate in any climbing trip.

                                           Location: Knapp Gym......Start Time: 6:00 PM........End Time 7:00 PM 

    • Inner Peaks Climbing Trip: September 8th               
    escape the heat and campus to nearby “Inner Peaks” Climbing Gym. The student trip leaders will teach you the basics to climbing and you will have the opportunity to work up a sweat on a 13,000 square foot sculptured rock.   

Meet @ Knapp Front Desk @ 5 PM......Estimated Return Time between 10 and 11 PM.....Cost: $ FREE your first time  

  • Water Rafting Trip: September 12 th Trip List 
  • Join COL to cool off on a river in Western North Carolina. This one day trip will depart early Saturday morning and return by 7 PM Saturday night.

                             No prior experience necessary......Cost: $15........Pre-trip meeting September 7th (6pm Knapp Sack  

  • Fall Colors Back Packing Trip: September 17,18,19th Trip List
  • For those who have little to no experience with backpacking, or for anyone who just wants an easy weekend of backpacking, this is for you. We will leave Friday night and backpack for the weekend, returning Sunday afternoon. Gear will be provided.  Cost $10  

                                                         Pre-trip meeting September 14th (6pm Knapp Sack)  

    • Indoor Rock Climbing Trip (UNCC Charoltte): September 20th
    • Flat water Canoe Trip: September 26th
      Join the Center for a day of canoeing out on Lake Tillary.
    • Adventure Race: September 30th
      As part of Campus Week of Dialogue the Center for Outdoor Leadership is having another "Amazing Race" around campus. 
    • Students, Faculty, and Staff can particpate by signing up by September 25th



October 2010

  • Fall Break Trip toIdaho: October 10-16th
    The Center is taking a trip to Idaho over fall break to provide students with an alternative experience. This adventure will be
    a week of Camping and exploring new adventures. 
  • Climbing Workshops: October 21st & 28th
    Want to learn more about climbing techniques, Climbing terms, and other NEW material. Join the Center for Outdoor Leadership
    for a series of Climbing workshops.
  • 1 day Rock Climbing Trip: October 23rd
    Like Rock Climbing, or the outdoors join the center for a day of Rock Climbing.
  • Inner peaks Rock Climbing Trip: October 25th
    New Climbing experience for experienced Climbers
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November 2010

  • Climbing Workshop (UNCC Venture): November 4th
  • High Team Challenge Course (UNNC Venture): November 7th
    The Center goes to UNCC to experience the High Ropes Challenge Course.  This experience will be filled with fun an Adventure.
    for groups on campus who have experience the low ropes course at Pfeiffer, this experience will take your progress to the next level.
  • Indoor Rock Climbing Trip (UNNC Venture): November 8th
  • Inner Peaks: November 16th

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Outdoor Ropes Course Photos



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Fall Break 2011

This year's fall break will be a trip that the COL has never done before.  The Center for Outdoor Leadership will be making a special partnership with the Francis Center to spend 5 days in Spring City, Tennessee playing with Alaskan Malamutes and White Water Rafting the French Broad River.


Cost is to be determined

Experiential Leadership Development Programs

Sorry, this page is under construction at the moment. Please check back later for updates.

COL Videos


Our Mission

The Center for Outdoor Leadership is committed to providing experiential leadership and team developmental programs using outdoor adventures and challenge course programs to further the liberal arts experience of students, faculty, and community members of Pfeiffer University. We provide diverse opportunities to expand horizons through personal growth, social interactions, and environmental service work. In addition, COL fosters the development of leadership skills and outdoor ethics in our student facilitators and trip leaders through positions of responsibility and trainings.

Mission and Values


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The Center for Outdoor Leadership is committed to providing experiential education programs using outdoor adventure experiences and experiential leadership development programs to further the liberal arts experience of students, faculty, and community members of Pfeiffer University.  We provide diverse opportunities to expand horizons through personal growth, social interactions, environmental service work and environmental understanding.

  • COL supports the University's mission of developing servant leaders by providing opportunities for students to serve as student trip leaders and facilitators, engage in service programs to take care of our environment and participate in experiential leadership development programs to educate members on the concepts of leadership, relationship, communication and team. COL fosters the development of leadership skills and outdoor ethics in student trip leaders and facilitators.
  • COL is a resource for students, faculty, staff and the great Pfeiffer community to participate in and learn from various experiential education programs.
  • We engage participants in the experiential learning cycle using hands-on activities.
  • We engage people in meaningful and challenging experiences to address individual, leadership, community and environmental issues with a goal of increasing their capacity to serve.
  • We promote environmental stewardship through the practice of Leave No Trace principles and an environmental service experiences.
  • We attempt to provide safe experiences following the industry standards of Association for Challenge Course Technology, American Mountain Guide Association, American Canoe Association and Wilderness Medical Associates.



Meet the COL Leadership Team

Student COL Leaders

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Abbie Goodman
My name is Abbie Goodman and I am a junior nursing student from Richfield, NC. As long as I can remember I have always loved being outdoors and I believe that this is the main reason that I became involved in COL here at Pfeiffer. I believe that while in college having an outlet to do the kinds of activities that COL offers can be very beneficial to students as they are learning to deal with the stress of college. I think that my favorite outdoor adventure would be whitewater rafting which I have been involved with for several years. Another outdoor adventure that I have got involved with this year that I have really enjoyed is going on rock climbing trips. The thing that I really love about the Center for Outdoor Leadership is that they really want to get students to try new things and to step out of their comfort zones.

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Lindsay Sisco

My name is Lindsay Sisco, I am a junior originally from Tampa, Florida but currently live in Asheboro, North Carolina. At Pfeiffer I am currently studying to get a bachelor in science and nursing. I have been interested and involved in COL since the beginning of my freshman year. I have always enjoyed the outdoors since I was little. I have grown up doing outdoor activities with my family, from camping, hiking whitewater rafting, snorkeling in the keys, and fishing in the Atlantic. I have also have been in loved in outdoor activities over the summer including canoe camping, rock climbing, and horseback riding. In short I have always been curious to explore the world around me and meet new people. I believe you can learn many things form the details that make the world around us and the people we have the chance to meet.

A favorite quote of mine to describe my joy in the outdoors is "A tree is not just a tree, and a bug is not just a bug, and a bird not a bird. Everything you see is like a tapestry-with secrets of time, complexities unseen, and beauty incomprehensible, but all known by the one who held the thread and needle who wove them into place."

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Zach Thompson

Zach Thompson is a senior planning to graduate with a Psychology major with a minor in Criminal Justice. He has been working for the COL for the past two semesters and interned with COL last summer. In Zach's free time, he is a musician in a band called The Arms of The Loved Ones. Like most of the COL, Zach enjoys backpacking, climbing and enjoying wilderness. He hopes to complete the remainder of his undergraduate career at his home at Pfeiffer University.

Outdoor Service

As the Center for Outdoor Leadership embraces the concept of servant leadership, it is our goal to provide students with engaged opportunities of outdoor service in the local community and greater world. Below is a list of upcoming service opportunities at Pfeiffer that include outdoor elements.

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Outdoor Programs Highway Clean-Up
Join members of the Pfeiffer community to pick up trash along the adopted section of Hwy. 52 in front of Pfeiffer. 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 will be provided. To help, meet in front of Stokes Student Center at the assigned time. Dates will be announced at the beginning of each semester.

Lake House Service Days
Come join us for a day of outdoor work at the Gibson Lake House. Groups will complete projects related to landscaping, construction and cleaning. Contact the director of outdoor leadership for service day dates each semester.

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 one's mind and body. COL staff and the greater Pfeiffer community provide service to the ranch in a variety of ways. If you have interest in horses, working with special needs individuals, farm work, and/or adventure activities, please contact the director of outdoor leadership. Several service days are scheduled each semester and are posted on our upcoming events page.

Wayeh, Alaskan Malamute Kennel & Tennessee Alaskan Malamute Rescue (TNAMR),

For the past four years, COL has spent several days each year serving this kennel as part of a fall or spring break outdoor adventure experience. Students have built a 30 X 60 concrete pad and then built 6 kennel runs on top of the pad; bathed and groomed countless number of dogs; socialized rescued dogs and puppies; and learned what it means to be a responsible dog owner and dog breeder. The next scheduled service outdoor adventure experiences to Wayeh are scheduled for Martin Luther King Day 2014 and Spring Break 2014.

Learn more here.

Important Forms and Documents

To schedule your visit experience, please complete the Challenge Course program Questionnaire. All Team Adventure Challenge Course forms are due to the Center for Outdoor Leadership two weeks in advance of your challenge course program.

Please download the Travel Directions and What to Bring Checklist to assist you in your experience.

Outdoor Experience

Experiential Leadership Development & Challenge Course programs

Directions To Pfeiffer



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.

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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 WorldÂ’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 MuirÂ’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.

Outdoor Links

Listed below are several pages of helpful links for information on the endless opportunities that await you in the outdoors. We've researched hundreds of sites to bring you some of our favorites.














(Directions and information on local and national trails and proper preparation before a hike)

(Cyclists will enjoy a list of biking organizations plus information on new trails and gear)

(Climbing tips and suggestions for sites across the USA)

(Links to several paddling companies and popular NC water spots)

Professional Organizations and Clubs
(Many links to club websites with membership information)

Services/Environmental Groups
(Find out how to get involved in environmental protection and preservation at these sites)

(The latest styles and newest gear for incredible prices)

How-To Websites
(New to the outdoor field? Learn some of the basics at these informative sites)



Challenge Course/Total Team Experience


We offer both half-day, 4 hours, and full day, 8 hours, experiences to develop your team. These programs can incorporate our group initiatives (ground based), low ropes (ground based), Team Tower, high ropes, or a combination of the two. We feel that teams need to spend time on the ground developing their support and communication structure prior to experiencing either our Team Climbing Tower or High Ropes Course. Participants will leave with an experience full of learning moments, memories, and a keepsake from the Beth Haltiwanger Retreat Center.


Challenge Course / Total Team Experiences include access to lodges. There will be no additional Lodge Day Use cost. This provision allows groups access to refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, ice machine and fresh water. Groups can have indoor meeting space, break out rooms, and access to restroom facilities.


For pricing for your Adventure Challenge program, please call or email Quinton McKissick, Director of Outdoor Leadership & Recreation


( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , (704) 463-3189).

Outdoor Links - Hiking

Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities. Trails across the US are designed both for beginning walkers and experienced trail trodders. Check out some of the links below and join us at the Center for Outdoor Leadership on our next hiking experience.




    Outdoor Links - Biking

    Cycling is a great way to stay in shape as both the muscle and cardiovascular systems of the body are worked with each peadle. Local trails are available at Uwharrie National Park as well as small trails on Pfeiffer's campus behind lake Gibson.

    Outdoor Links - Climbing

    Climbing takes on many forms, from rough and slippery rocks to slow and steady trees. North Carolina offers a wide variety of climbing sites at many state parks and local access areas. The Center for Outdoor Leadership sponsors one major climbing trip every semester along with biweekly climbing trips to UNC Charlotte's indoor wall.


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    Outdoor Links - Boating/Paddling

    Water is abundant in North Carolina and so are the opportunities to explore it. Rafting can take on many shapes. Some paddlers enjoy calm waters where scenic views are in store. Others prefer roaring rapids with unknown secrets around each turn. Whatever you enjoy, you'll find all the information you need below.


    Outdoor Links - Services/Environmental Groups

    One of the core values at the Center for Outdoor Leadership is our commitment to Environmental Stewardship. We encourge active participation in any of the many service/environmental group across the globe. Below you will find some major groups but be aware that local chapters and organizations do exist as well.


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    Outdoor Links - Professional Organizations and Clubs

    With hundreds of nationaly recognized outdoor clubs and organizations, you are sure to find one that matches your interests and passion. The list below is only a beginning. For more information about clubs and groups in our local area contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Center for Outdoor Leadership.



    Outdoor Links - Equipment/Gear

    One of the keys to enjoying your outdoor experience is to have quality gear. No adventure outside should even be considered without the proper equipment. Below are some of our favorite sites for neat gear at the most affordable prices anywhere.