Frequently Asked Questions

Is New Student Orientation (NSO)/Winter Start Orientation (WSO) mandatory?

New Student Orientation is a requirement for attending Colorado College and is an important process for all incoming students to participate in and connect to to their new environment. Throughout the entire orientation program students can expect to learn more about the culture at CC, how to be successful both academically and socially, develop friendships and relationships with fellow students, faculty, and staff. And of course, have a great time.

Do all Priddy Trips include a service component? Why?

Yes, all Priddy trips incorporate two full days of service with a variety of organizations and groups. Service activities range from trail maintenance with the National Forest Service to working at La Puente homeless shelter in Alamosa, CO. All Priddy Trips incorporate service in an effort to connect all incoming students with the Southwest community and instill a sense of stewardship and civic duty.

What do I need to bring?

It is important to come fully prepared for your Priddy experience. Please refer to the detailed equipment list. If you have any questions or concerns about equipment, please don't hesitate to contact Outdoor Education.

What are the important dates?

It is essential that all incoming students register for their Priddy Experirence as soon as possible so we can properly plan and prepare for your trip. Please see important dates.

How are trips assigned?

All participants are assigned to their Priddy Trip based on several factors:

  • Participant Preference: All trippees are able to select their preference to what kind/style of trip they are interested in and the NSO interns use this information to place you as close to your preferences as possible. Please understand that placing trippees into a trip they may prefer is of top concern but can be fairly difficult depending on the number of trips and number or trippees. Regardless of what trip you get placed on we guarantee you will have a great experience.
  • Medical Information: When placing trippees we also look at the recorded medical history that you all provide in your Registration. We understand many of the incoming students arriving to CC can be very active and may be arriving with injuries or other medical factors that may limit their ability to participate in specific types of trips. It is important for all trippees to disclose any and all medical information in their registration so that we can properly prepare and accommodate every individual.
  • Personal Experience: When placing trippees on Backcountry trips that will be camping and working at higher elevations we are looking for students who have experienced being at elevation (10,000 feet or more) and doing physical activity like hiking, backpacking, etc. It is important to note that you do not have to have previous backpacking experience to participate in a backcountry trip.

*Please keep in mind we do our best to place students in the most appropriate trip for them but we cannot guarantee that you will be placed on the specific trip/type of trip you request. All trips are dependent on what trip sites we are working with and many other factors. We appreciate your patience and understanding of this.

Where can I acquire all the equipment needed for the trip?

If you need to acquire some of this equipment we suggest you check on your local Outdoor Retailer, REI, Dick's Sporting Goods, Scheel's, Sports Authority, Walmart, etc.

We have a large quantity of sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and backpacks but we provide those on a first come first serve basis for those who do not have their own. If you already have these items please bring them with you or if you plan to get more involved with the Outdoor Program or do more personal trips these might be great items to invest in.

What are the different types of Priddy Trips offered and how do they differ?

We classify our trips into the following categories depending on the type of camping/lodging situation and specific amenities and comforts provided.

Urban Trips: Staying in or near a city that may include sleeping indoors on the ground. In some cases it may include camping outside in tents at an established campground facility near or within city limits. Service work may consist of working at a homeless shelter, children's museum, or habitat for humanity.

Trip/Organization Examples: Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity or Anansi Charter School

Camping Tier 1 Trips: Sleeping outdoors in tents at an established campground facility or similar with some facilities like bathrooms, running water, picnic tables, etc. Service work may consist of landscaping work, fire mitigation, painting, trail maintenance.

Trip/Organization Example: Mission Wolf or Santa Fe Children's Museum

Camping Tier 2: Sleeping outdoors at an established campsite but may require a short hike from the vehicle to get to the campsite (usually 100-500 feet) and has limited facilities and amenities. Typically sites have pit toilets but may not have access to running water. Service work may consist of landscaping, trail work, fire mitigation.

Trip/Organization Example: Eleven Mile Canyon Recreation Area, Coalitions of the Upper South Platte

Beginner Backpacking: Sleeping outdoors that requires the group to carry all of their belongings and group equipment with them to their campsite using backpacks. Campsites are usually within 1-6 miles from the trailhead/parking lot. These trips are typically at or above 10,000 feet for some or all of the trip and usually are performing trail work. All backpacking trips are meant for all ability levels and necessary equipment (hiking boots, backpack, etc) can be provided. Service may consist of trail maintenance and fire mitigation on National Forest Land.

Trip/Organization Examples: Friends of the Peak or Colorado Fourteeners Initiative

Why do I have to list my medical information?

It is extremely important to list all updated and previous medical information so that trip leaders and administrators of the Priddy Experience can help make sure that all participants will be in a safe environment. If a trippee does get injured or requires medical attention, trip leaders will have the proper information to help administer care for the trippee as well as provide this information to emergency personnel and medical professionals.

What kind of training do leaders have?

All NSO leaders go through intentional training in order to be able to facilitate a positive trip experience as well as manage risks in order to provide a physically and emotionally safe trip for everyone. All leaders are trained in Outdoor Education trip policies and procedures including risk management and emergency response that include, but are not limited to:

  • A current First Aid/CPR certification
    • Many of our leaders have Wilderness First Responder or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certifications
    • All Backcountry trips require at least one leader be a Wilderness First Responder.
  • Additional leader trainings through Outdoor Education's Ahlberg Leadership Institute
  • Third-party outdoor certifications
  • Independent outdoor leadership experience

How will your student be contacted about the Priddy Experience Trip?

If we need to contact you for more information or to share updated information about the Priddy Experience we will email all student's CC email account. Please make sure to be checking your CC email regularly throughout the summer for important information and updates.

How do I find out more information about the Priddy Trip I am placed on?

All trippees will find out their final placement during their Move-In day when they meet with their Priddy Trip for the first time. In some cases, you may receive information a few days before move in day from your trip leaders via email.

How can I get in touch with my student while they are on their Priddy Trip?

Many trips will be in areas that have no or very limited cell phone service. Throughout the trip we also ask students to be engaged and present throughout the trip in order for them to get the most out of the experience. If you need to get in touch with your student for an emergency please reach out to David Crye at or 719-389-6943 and he will be able to relay information. If you are having trouble reaching David Crye, please contact Campus Safety at 719-389-6707.

What if I have specific accommodations or a personal situation that will impact my participation on the Priddy Trip?

Our primary goal during the Priddy Trip is to help ensure that all students have a fun, welcoming, and safe experience. We work closely with our incoming students who may have special needs and accommodations to place them on appropriate trips with the necessary resources they may need. All incoming students are able to list any accommodations in their Priddy Trip Registration but if you have more specific and sensitive needs or situation please fill out the New Student Orientation Priddy Trip Accommodations Request Form. This form will help provide us with more detailed information concerning your individual situation and we will be able to work directly with you to ensure we can accommodate all of your needs during the Priddy Trip experience. You can find the form by copy and pasting the following link:


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Facility Hours

Outdoor Education Center
Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm
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The Ahlberg Gear House and Ritt Kellogg Climbing Gym will be open during the summer on a limited schedule. The Bike and Ski Co-op will be available by appointment only.  Please visit each facility page for more information regarding hours and precautionary measures.

Contact Us

(719) 389-6803

931 N. Nevada Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
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Report an issue - Last updated: 05/20/2021