Outdoor Programs

The OPRA staff is committed to providing outstanding services and programs to the community. Learn respect for self, others, and the environment while enjoying a fun and educational experience on our worldwide trips.

Our primary goal is to manage risks to offer rewarding experiences in flatwater and whitewater kayaking; rafting, canoeing, rock and top rope climbing; hiking; backpacking; show shoeing; cross country and downhill skiing; and backcountry navigation. Activities cater to beginner and intermediate skill levels.


Outdoor Adventure Sampler

This course offers students the chance to experience many activities that make up outdoor adventure. Students will canoe, sea kayak, climb, hike, experience outdoor cooking, martial arts, ropes course, caving, and group initiatives.

Beginning and Intermediate Whitewater Kayaking

Beginning-level paddlers learn the fundamentals of whitewater kayaking in the pool and on local rivers. The intermediate class, for students with previous whitewater kayaking experience, runs through the end of October and helps students improve their whitewater techniques on class 2-3 water.

Top Rope Climbing

This course is for beginning and experienced rock climbers, covering basic safety techniques, rope work, knots, and climbing techniques. We will visit many local climbing areas, as well as Hampshire College's indoor climbing wall. Beginners are especially welcome.

Introduction to Sport Climbing

This is a style of climbing in which a person uses fixed protection to lead climb. This class will focus on teaching the technical skills and training techniques for better climbing. Students must have strong rope climbing skills before advancing to sport climbing. Perfect for experienced rock climbers wanting to learn to lead climb; this is prerequisite for the spring traditional lead climbing class. 

Wild Foods

Explore the area while searching for wild edible plants. Learn plant identification: ethical harvesting techniques; backcountry cooking, fires, and preserving will also be covered.

More information about classes is available on TheHub, and CEL-1 credit is available.

Fall 2018: Outdoor Trips and Training Classes

Weekend outdoor trips are a great way to sample the many types of activities OPRA has to offer! During winter and spring breaks, more extended trips are offered. These have included rock climbing in Greece, Spain, and Mexico; paddling in North Carolina, Texas, and the Grand Canyon; skiing in Canada and the United States; and canoeing in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. 

OPRA offers training and certification for drivers of Hampshire College vehicles, First Aid, Adult CPR, and Wilderness First Aid.  

Upcoming Weekend Trips and Training Classes

  Date Trip/Activity Cost
  8/25 and 26 Wilderness First Aid (WFA) Course $180*
  9/8/18 Whitewater Rafting: Deerfield River $15*
  9/8/18 Whale Watch: Cape Ann $35*
  9/14/18 Defensive Driver Certification $20*
  9/15/18 Rock Climbing: Pioneer Valley  $15*
  9/15/18 Defensive Driver Certification $20*
  9/15 and 16 New England rail Backpack Trip  $40*
  9/22/18 Kayaking: West River  $15*
  9/29/18 Rock Climbing: Pioneer Valley  $15*
  9/29/18 Queer Canoe Trip: Tully Lake $15*
  10/5/18 Defensive Driver Certification $20*
  10/6 - 8 October Break Rock Climbing: Rumney, NH $135**
  10/6 - 8  October Break Outdoor Sampler: Lake Champlain, VT $145**
  10/21/18 Horseback Riding: Mt. Toby Stables $50*
  10/31/18 Adult CPR Class  $55*
  10/31/18 Red Cross First Aid Class $55*
  11/2/18 Defensive Driver Certification $20*

* Discount of $10 off trip prices for Hampshire students if you use your Hampshire College email address and discount code HCSTUDENT when making payment on the OPRA website. 

**October Break trips are discounted $30 off trip price for Hampshire College students when using email address and discount code OCTBREAK when making payment on the OPRA website.

Cancellation Policy

  • Participants who notify the OPRA instructor or Teamsports administrator prior to the registration deadline will be refunded trip/class payment.
  • Hampshire students who cancel after the registration deadline or do not attend the day of the trip/class will not be refunded payment, and an additional $10 cancellation fee will be charged to your student account.
  • For Hampshire faculty, staff, and non-Hampshire students, the trip/class payment is non-refundable.

All OPRA events are substance-free.

Registration, using debit or credit cards, and additional information on TeamSports.

Trips & Activities
Sign up must be completed by noon the Friday morning prior to the trip.
Join OPRA for day, weekend, and extended trips.
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Outdoor Programs, Recreation, and Athletics (OPRA)
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002