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A group photo from one of Recreation & Wellness' outdoor adventure trips

Adventure Trips

  "The mountains are calling and I must go!"

Interested in getting outdoors? The Outdoor Adventure Program at Old Dominion University offers quality outdoor adventure experiences including surfing, backpacking, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking and more. Trips are available to ODU students and Faculty & Staff SRC members. No experience is required. Let us take you outdoors on an adventure that you will never forget!


For questions about any of our outdoor adventure trips or programs, please contact us at recwell@odu.edu.

sunset paddle

Plan a Trip for your Campus Department!

Whether it is a learning to surf day at the beach or a sunset paddle on the Elizabeth River, we can put together a trip that fits the needs of your department. If you are a part of a campus department and would like to organize an adventure trip with the Outdoor Adventure Program, please contact us at recwell@odu.edu.

Trip Scholarships

Recreation & Wellness is looking for a student organization to take on a paddleboarding trip at Whitehurst Beach or on a Day Hike at First Landing State Park, free of charge! Get to know the members in your organization or simply spend time together in the great outdoors through our Scholarship Trip Program. All equipment is provided by the Outdoor Adventure Center.

Apply Online


De-Stress Day Hike

12/02/2023 9:00 AM - 12/02/2023 5:00 PM

Relax before finals and experience the beauty of nature located just a half-hour away from campus. No experience is necessary. A mandatory pre-trip meeting will be held the Sunday before the trip. If you do not attend this meeting, your spot will be given away. (More)

Study Abroad in Costa Rica

Trip Dates

May 11-18, 2024

Trip Information

Have you ever wanted to travel to Costa Rica? Join the Outdoor Adventure Program and hit two of Costa Rica's most famed features, volcanoes and beaches, on this exciting trip of a lifetime! No experience is necessary.

Get the adrenaline pumping with Pacuare River Whitewater Rafting, then travel to Santa Teresa and relax on the beach. There are plenty of choose your own adventure options on this experience as well, including soaking in Arenal's hot springs.

Trip cost includes roundtrip airfare to San Jose, Costa Rica from Norfolk, hotel and hostel accommodations, ground transportation, experienced local guide throughout the trip, and whitewater rafting fee.

Registration Dates

Open Now for ODU Students! Earn a free hammock if you register by December 1st!

Faculty and staff registration opens December 1, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. (Faculty/Staff spots are limited)

Please note: The trip must have at least 8 participants by February 1st, 2024.


$2,100 total (Split into 3 payments of $700 each)

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at recwell@odu.edu.


First Ascent

First Ascent is a unique orientation program for students coming to Old Dominion University each Fall. This outdoor adventure-based orientation introduces new students to fellow peers and helps ease their transition into college life, while having fun in the outdoors. This experience will help establish the foundation for building meaningful relationships within the ODU community.

No previous experience is required for any of the adventures. Our trained Outdoor Adventure Program staff will lead each adventure group through its designed itinerary!

All trips include: round trip transportation to and from the destination, all outdoor equipment and food. Dietary restrictions will be taken into consideration when planning the menu.

Trip Option 1: July 21 - 24 - Surfing & Biking Ocracoke Island, NC (Registration closes July 14)
Trip Option 2: July 28 - 31 - Backpacking Grayson Highlands, VA (Registration closes July 21)
Trip Option 3: August 4 - 7 - Bikepacking & Surfing False Cape State Park, VA (Registration closes July 28)

Register for First Ascent!

Registration Instructions

The Rec Well Portal is our program registration website. Students should sign in to the Rec Well Portal with their MIDAS information. As a new student, you may not have MIDAS credentials yet. If that is that case, please follow the instructions below to create a local account to sign up for First Ascent.

  • Visit the Rec Well Portal
  • Click "Sign In"
  • Click "Sign Up"
  • Enter "First Name" & "Last Name"
  • Enter email address & set your password
  • A box will appear, select "Complete Account"
  • Enter your Personal Information (i.e., Date of Birth, Gender, Phone Number, Address, etc...)

Once your local account is created or your are signed in via your MIDAS ID, sign up for the First Ascent program:

  • From the home page, click "Outdoor Adventure"
  • Ensure the "Summer 2023" semester is selected from the left menu
  • Click "First Ascent"
  • Click "Register" on the trip of your choice
  • Select Family Member (your name/account)
  • Read Waiver and Click "Accept Now"
  • Review and Answer the Questions (Incoming Student, UIN & Email, Health Insurance Information & Dietary Restrictions)
  • Click "Add to Cart"
  • Click "Checkout"
  • Click "Add New Card"
  • Enter your payment information
  • Click "Continue"
  • Submit Payment

Please email us at recwell@odu.edu if you have any questions or issues registering.


Share your passion for the outdoors. Become an Adventure Trip Leader!

The Outdoor Adventure Apprenticeship is a unique and valuable opportunity for students to guide their peers as an Adventure Trip Leader. To become a trip leader, accepted applicants must complete a semester-long apprentice training program. Participants will learn outdoor skills, become proficient in wilderness safety, develop leadership traits and establish a better understanding of themselves.

Interested in an apprenticeship? Fill out this interest sheet!

Questions? Email Recreation & Wellness at recwell@odu.edu.

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