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The College of St. Scholastica

Fuel Your Desire for Adventure

Discover unlimited ways to explore campus and the surrounding area through St. Scholastica’s Outdoor Pursuit. We provide high-quality, fun-filled activities to the entire College community and several partner organizations. Whether you want to explore the local hiking and biking trails or head out on a backcountry wilderness exploration, our expertly-trained student guides will lead you. Adventures are beginner-friendly and adaptive options to meet the needs of all abilities are available.

Backcountry Saints Guide Training

Interested in becoming a guide? Backcountry Saints is a group of students who are passionate about providing safe wilderness experiences. Start training with this group and pursue your professional outdoor certification through the American Canoe Association or Professional Climbing Instructor Association.

Programming for Everyone

Training is made possible by donations from groups, organizations and individuals. Program opportunities like winter skill/activity days, indoor rock climbing, stand-up paddleboarding or trip adventures are available to those that donate. Contact Outdoor Pursuit to learn more.

gear-op-rental

OP Rental

Outfit you and your group for a day of canoeing, biking, paddleboarding, kayaking, snowshoeing or an extended camping experience. Begin planning your trip today. Reserve your gear and equipment through our online rental reservations.

Gear rental is open to the public. Discounts are given to St. Scholastica students, alumni and employees. Payment is due at the time of pickup at the OP Office in Burns Wellness Commons.

Rental Information

Discounts

Current St. Scholastica students, employees and alumni receive discounts on rentals. During checkout use your CSS login/email, enter your respective discount code and students/alumni must enter graduation info.

  • Students get 50% off, use code: cssstudent
  • Employees get 25% off, use code: cssemployee
  • Alumni get 25% off, use code: cssalum

Discounts will be applied to the order total at checkout. No discounts on purchases.

Rentals During Student Breaks and Summer

Email us to discuss rental options when our office will be closed. We handle these requests on a case by case basis.

Our office is staffed by students, so our office is closed or operating on modified hours during student breaks.
During the summer our hours are modified. Usually we are open Monday – Friday during the day and closed on weekends.

Before or After Hours Pick Ups and Returns

Email us to discuss pick up and returns outside of our office hours. Several variables determine what we can accommodate, so we handle these requests on a case by case basis.

Sizing Help

If you are unsure of your size, look at the item descriptions for sizing guides. Some items such as paddles and ski poles can be sized when you pick up the item. If you have additional questions, please contact us.

Terms and Conditions

Customer Inspection, Use, and Care
  • It is the responsibility of the renter to understand the use and care of all rental equipment. Customers may request a demo and/or explanation of the equipment at pick up.
  • It is the responsibility of the renter to inspect all rental equipment and verify it to be free of damage, fully functioning, and all parts are included.
  • The renter is responsible to pay for any missing parts or damaged equipment.
Cancellations, Changes, Late Fees, and Refunds
  • Cancellations made more than 48 hours prior to pick up receive a full refund. Refunds may take up one week to process.
  • Cancellations made less than 48 hours prior to pick up receive 50% rental credit.
  • Outdoor PURSUIT! reserves the right to change, adjust, and cancel reservations at any time.
  • No refunds will be issued for gear that is returned early.
  • Reservations which are not picked up or cancelled and have not been paid, may incur a fee added to the users account up to the original reservation amount.
  • Late gear will accrue a fee equal to the one-day rental fee for each item for every day past the due date.
Payments
  • Reservations must be paid for before or at the time of pick-up.
  • Checks (payable to OP!), cash, credit/debit cards are acceptable forms of payment.
Transportation of Equipment
  • When transporting equipment, it is the responsibility of the renter to ensure all equipment is loaded and secured properly prior to driving.
  • Outdoor Pursuit staff may assist the renter with loading and unloading. The College, Outdoor Pursuit staff and program is not responsible for any vehicle damage caused by rental equipment.
Damage, Loss, Theft, Cleaning
  • Gear should be returned in the condition it was given. It is the responsibility of the renter to take into consideration the condition of the gear in order not to accrue damage/misuse.
  • If gear needs to be repaired, the cost will be assessed to the renter.
  • If gear needs complete replacement, the renter will be charged the full replacement cost.
  • If gear needs cleaning, a charge of no less than $10 will be assessed.
  • All fees are due within 7 business days of the fee being assessed.
Liability

Neither the College of St. Scholastica or the Outdoor Pursuit program will be responsible for any casualties or accidents resulting from the use or misuse of rental/purchased gear. The renter/buyer is responsible for having familiarity with the equipment and understanding the risks associated with many outdoor activities.

Purchases

All sales are final. No refunds, exchanges, or holding of items. The College of St. Scholastica or Outdoor Pursuit cannot be held liable for any of the gear either bought or sold.

St. Scholastica students walking on the St. Scholastica Duluth campus trails.

Guided Adventures

Outdoor Pursuit provides students with 50-70 trips per year. Trips range from a hike or hammocking close to campus, to week long dog sledding excursions and spring break ski trips in the mountains. We offer trips to suit all ranges of personal adventure and challenge.

Guided Adventures provide student guides, equipment, training, transportation, food and fun! The cost is minimal and most day trips are free for students. Contact us to learn what we have planned.

Female student scaling the indoor climbing wall.

Climbing Wall 

Our 40-foot indoor climbing wall is open from fall through spring and has routes for all abilities. The Bouldering wall is a great place to practice those powerful moves before heading outdoors, while our 5 lead lines offer endless challenges. We have adaptive equipment to assist people with limited mobility and wheelchairs. St. Scholastica students climb for free and can purchase daily passes for guests! Yearly passes available for the College’s employees and alumni.

Private Groups and Parties

New to climbing, looking for a place to climb, climbing with a group or hosting a birthday party? Contact outdoorpursuit@css.edu for more information. 

kayak-lake-superior

SOAR Program

Duluth is your destination for outdoor fun! Start your college journey with an adventure sponsored by Outdoor PURSUIT! Join us Aug. 25-Sept. 3, 2021 for rock climbing, canoeing or backpacking and leave with new friends and a head start on college. These adventures are guided by highly-trained and nationally certified student guides. No experience is necessary.

Student Outdoor Adventure Retreat (SOAR) Information

Cost

$250. This covers meals, transportation, instruction, group equipment, meals and souvenir.

Outdoor Pursuit on Social Media

For more information on SOAR call 218-625-4940 or email outdoorpursuit@css.edu.

Student Outdoor Adventure Retreat: Rock Climbing

Location

Devil’s Lake State Park

Trip Difficulty

Easy/Moderate: Each day of the trip we will be hiking roughly 2-4 miles to a unique climbing site. We will set up climbs of varying difficulty in order to meet the ability of everyone on the trip. There will be beginner friendly training and instruction prior to embarking on our trip as well as continued instruction during the trip. No prior experience is required!!

Number of participants

10-12

Guides

Mike, Chloe, Amelia & Quinn

Description

Your trip will begin with some training at the local Duluth climbing crags. After learning the basics, we will head south to Devil’s Lake. Devil’s Lake State Park is a 374-acre lake surrounded by 500-foot-high quartzite bluffs created by glacial deposits during the last ice age approximately 12,000 years ago. With an abundance of trails, campsites, beaches, and picnic areas the park has become the most visited state park in Wisconsin. Devil’s Lake is home to thousands of climbing routes scattered throughout the park (which we will be exploring). Each day we will venture to a new climbing location while taking in the magnificent views visible from the crags. During the week, we will coach you on climbing techniques so each person can progress in skill. When we finish climbing each day there will be opportunities to hike various trails, swim in the lake, and if you’re lucky we might even show you our secret rocks for jumping into the lake!

This trip is a great experience for all, no matter your prior knowledge of climbing! We hope to see you on the climbs!

Student Outdoor Adventure Retreat: Canoeing

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA)

Explore the most famous wilderness canoe location in the world, right outside our back door! Spend four days with us exploring the Canadian Shield country. Our guides will teach you all of the paddling and camping skills needed to travel through this one-of-a-kind wilderness. Each day you will paddle across lakes and rivers surrounded by breathtaking landscape. Look out for waterfalls, hieroglyphs, and maybe even a moose. During the evening, you can wind down with camp games, great food, and get to know your trip mates. This would also be a great time to talk to the guides about what college is like as well as ask any questions you have not been able to ask yet. Meet new friends as your paddle silently guides you through the awe-inspiring depths of this boreal forest region. Choose your level of challenge by deciding between two difficulty options.

Canoeing the BW (Two Trips Offered)

Trip Difficulty

Moderate: During the trip, we will be paddling and portaging about 6-12 miles per day, for a total of about 45 miles in 6 days. This trip can be physically demanding and will involve carrying canoes and gear that can weigh up to 60 lbs in addition to making our way across some rough terrain from lake to lake. It is a good idea to prepare physically for this trip. We will be paddling most of the day with some portaging *you will be wearing life jackets while paddling; not shown in video*. In terms of wilderness skills and knowledge, prior experience canoeing and camping is helpful and welcomed but not required to succeed! Your guides can teach you everything you need to know. All we ask is that you come with a positive attitude and willingness to learn. If you are up for the adventure, making new friends, and spending some time in the wilderness, this trip is for you!

Number of Participants

7 is the maximum number of participants per trip to the BWCA. Permits allow for 9 people total, each of our OP canoe trips will have 2 guides.

Guides

Sam and Cinneididh or Katlyn and TBD

Description

Want to start off college with an adventure? Well, there’s no better place to start than in the beautiful BWCA! Join us for a six-day canoeing adventure through one of Minnesota’s most treasured destinations. On this trip, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful outdoors while escaping from regular everyday life. During the day, we will paddle across lakes and rivers, enjoy some sweet views, and bond with your fellow tripmates and guides. At night we will set up camp next to the lake, cook some awesome dinner, play camp games, maybe go swimming and bond around the campfire! This is an awesome time to make new best friends and ask the guides any questions you have about college, as well as reflect on the upcoming year.

Entry Point/Route Map

#39 Baker Lake

Check out These Videos

Get a sample of what a Boundary Waters Trip is like.


Student Outdoor Adventure Retreat: Backpacking

Starting college with a pack, hiking shoes and 10-12 of your new friends just screams adventure and good times. Come along for one of our backpacking trips where you will travel scenic routes and share your life story. The muscle aches will be worth it when you return to school with lots of new memories and friendships to help you get through the transition to your new home at St. Scholastica. Due to the overwhelming demand, we will offer two backpacking trips, both take you through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and each has its own unique appeal and challenge.

During your trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, you will hike along part of the 42-mile North Country National Scenic Trail. The trail hugs the shoreline of Lake Superior, providing hikers with amazing views of sandstone cliffs, sand dunes, waterfalls, lakes, and forest. Each day you will hike to new a campsite. In the evenings, you cook, hang out and build relationships that will help you get off to a good start at St. Scholastica.

While on this trip, the leaders will share their own knowledge and wisdom on how to have a good time and prepare you for the next few years that you will spend in college. Don’t be shy, if you have questions they are there to provide you with answers. If you are looking for a backpacking trip with breathtaking views, fun guides and the opportunity to meet new friends then sign up now!

A Shore-ly Picture Perfect Backpacking Trip (Two Trips Offered)

Trip Difficulty

Moderate: This trip is 5-11 miles of hiking each day, with a heavy (25-45lbs) backpack, on uneven and slightly hilly trails. Your pack will contain your personal gear and portions of food and camp gear – so pack light! We recommend preparing for this trip with moderate incline walking or hiking.

Number of Participants

10

Guides

Megan and Emily or Maddie, Payton and Dan

Description

Are you looking for some adventure before starting college? Come join us on the most scenic shoreline of Lake Superior. We will be spending 5 nights in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and will hike 3-10 miles each day. Your days are filled with many Instagrammable moments, the food will be delicious, the tents will be cozy, and the company will be great. On the trail, expect to be stumped by riddles and entertained by games of 20 questions, all while building friendships to help you transition into life at St. Scholastica. We will spend our evenings swimming, hanging around the campfire, playing cards and talking about life. The guides will share their wisdom about school, student life and answer any questions you might have. If you are looking for a backpacking trip with breathtaking views, fun guides and the opportunity to meet new friends then sign up and join us on this rockin’ journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

So why should you be part of SOAR?

Are you nervous? Excited? Maybe you’re just anxious to move on to the next chapter of your life? Let Outdoor Pursuit and our student guides help you transition into your new home. Your week will be full of exciting opportunities and adventures. Our guides will train you and provide you with all of the necessary equipment to have a fun and safe trip. During your trip, you will build relationships with others that are going through the same changes you are, as well as ask all those questions you haven’t been able to ask in an emotionally and physically safe environment. So if you’re ready to go on an adventure and meet some new people, look at the trip options and SIGN-UP!!! Space is limited and trips fill fast so don’t wait too long.

Can I bring my cell phone?

During the SOAR trips, cell phones, mp3 players, or other electronics which will distract them from the experience are NOT ALLOWED. Most of the locations we travel to do not have cell phone reception and we do not want you to break or lose your electronics in the wilderness. We do allow cameras and digital cameras so you can document your experience. Each trip will also have a digital camera for participants to use throughout the entire trip, we will share those photos with anyone who requests them.

What about safety and emergency communication?

In terms of safety and communication, our guides are trained in wilderness medicine, emergency response, and risk management. We are strategic and detailed when we plan and prepare for these trips in order to minimize risk and maximize fun. Each trip is equipped with first aid supplies, a guide who is nationally certified in wilderness medicine and a device to alert the college and the nearest emergency services if needed. We take safety very seriously. If you have any questions, let us know.