Whitewater rafting, kayaking, paddleboarding to hiking, backpacking, and rock climbing – we offer a range of adventures tailored for your group.
Custom adventures are for other UT Knoxville campus offices, student organizations, and athletic teams. We are the UT Knoxville resource for outdoor adventures.
Our highly trained student trip leaders and instructors ensure a great time is had by all; not only do you get a fun experience, our staff help make it a meaningful experience for your organization.
We can help you plan your own group adventure or lead it for you.
Types of Adventures
We offer on-campus groups such as office, teams, and student organizations the ability to reserve outdoor adventure equipment for your self led trip. Our staff will help ensure you have the right equipment for your adventure and do our best to outfit you at a great price.
If you have an idea of what you are looking, you can check out our online local outdoors resources. Or if you want help getting started, send us an email, or visit us in the Outdoor Center (lower level of TRECS). We have a host of maps and guidebooks we can use to help you plan a great adventure.
A recreational adventure trip, such as whitewater rafting or star gazing, are less intentional and programmed. These trips don’t have a formal outcome – you just want your group to enjoy the time together. These trips are like many other of our adventure trips offered throughout the year. Perfect for trying something for the first time.
The trips are highly customizable- your group experiences many challenging situations to create opportunities for learning transferable skills and analogous situations. We use Webb’s Depth of Knowledge as a framework to help you choose the level of learning appropriate for your topic(s). These trips are facilitated in a way to avoid an over-programmed experience. We work with you and guide you to set everyone up for success by allowing the adventure to be fun while also being educational.
In leadership development trips, we flip the script and put your group members, the participants, in charge. Participants on these trips make real-time decisions in the wilderness on a variety of choices which directly impact their day. Don’t worry we will front-load this experience so participants are set up for success. Our staff give feedback and lead group reflection in the moment and along the way.
The trips are similar to recreational trips but have a higher demand on your group to learn how to do the activity. These trips have specific outcomes around learning outdoor adventure skills such as whitewater kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking. These trip are fun, but take on the feel of skill building clinics with drills on various aspects of the activity and performance evaluations from our staff.
Pricing for Custom Adventure Trips
Due to the customizable nature of the programs, we price each trip out with each group. Prices for day trips range from $10-$50 depending on activity type, duration, size of a group, need for transportation, etc. Overnight trips that include food and camping start around $75 per person depending on duration, camping location, food, etc.
Setup a Custom Adventure
Email Josh Elder at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the discussion 3 weeks in advance.
Learning Outcomes & Assessment
For educational and leadership development trips we can work with you to design a trip with specific learning outcomes using the challenges we can create and inherent in adventure sports. These adventure experiences allow us to create unique assessments to measure the impact of the adventure experience on your group.
Challenge + Support = Growth
“As a Resident Assistant for the University of Tennessee, it can be difficult to plan team building events that residence hall students want to attend. Partnering with my Living and Learning Community, UTOP was able to provide a unique experience that allowed my residents to work together as a team through challenging rapids and technical obstacles; throughout the day and upon completion, I was able to see my residents come closer together than ever before!” ~Chase Toth, (Recreational Trip)
“The Center for Leadership and Service has been partnering and working with UTOP for years and have had nothing but positive experiences. Between coordinating local outdoors experiences for our incoming students over the summer to programming trips for our living and learning community in the academic year, our students have always left positively impacted and with a new perspective of the outdoors. The staff are timely in reply, professional, helpful, and work to tailor to your needs. They’re incredibly well equipped to lead educational conversations during the trips, keep safety at the forefront of all planning and execution, and always beat the price of local competitors. We’re incredibly thankful for them and their services.”~Jacquelyn Ledford (Center for Leadership & Service)
“I absolutely loved this experience. The leaders were wonderful people who were really knowledgeable about the trail and just wanted the group to have fun and be safe…This experience allowed me to get more comfortable leading while being unsure of what I was doing. This skill will help me in the long run because no one really knows what they are doing all the time, so the more comfortable you get not knowing, the better of a leader you will be. Overall, I am very grateful for this experience as it got me out of my dorm and I met a bunch of great people who share the same interests as me.” ~1794 Scholars Student (Leadership Development Trip)
“During the hike I learned about leadership, trust, endurance. Because we took turns leading the group down the path, I got to not only witness leadership occur, but also got to be one myself…I also was reminded of my own and others capacity for endurance. The trail was pretty long (I cannot recall how long now) and the weather was relatively chilly. We walked for miles, we climbed up cliffs, and we delved through caves. This required a large amount of endurance and also forced me to face my fears about being in caves. This trip reminded me that trusting in a group is paramount, being a leader is a collaborative effort, and that I am stronger and braver than I have to be in everyday life.” ~1794 Scholars Student (Leadership Development Trip)
“What hiking allows individuals is an opportunity to exercise mind and body. As an avid hiker, each hike I go on presents its own challenges and opportunities. Hiking with other 1794 scholars was an opportunity to express skills I have learned on past hikes about the outdoors and to learn new ones about interacting with other leaders. While the hike wasn’t a service project, it did work to prepare students for future service projects by teaching leaders to work with other leaders. For those who haven’t quite reached their leadership potential, the hike was a way for these students to tap into a little bit of this potential. Over the course of the hike, teamwork was fostered by our guides. Even though we got lost on the poorly marked trails more than once, it was a fun experience that I won’t soon forget. When encountering issues on the trail we used the collective mind of the group to problem solve. Often the conclusion we came to was the wrong one, but the conclusion was much less important than the skills fostered in coming to the conclusion as a collective.” ~1794 Scholars Student (Leadership Development Trip)
“One of my favorite things is being outside, so when I heard about the 1794 Leadership Hike with UT Outdoor Pursuits I jumped at the opportunity. The day before the hike all it did was rain. This made me nervous for the hike because I knew that the path would be muddy and slippery, not the best conditions for hiking. Even knowing the conditions might not be as pleasant as I had hoped, I was still excited to go. During the school year it is hard for me to find time to search out good hiking spots, so I knew that I was going to enjoy this trip no matter the conditions of the weather…I’m extremely happy I went on this hike and I enjoyed the opportunity I had to interact with different members of the 1794 honors program, as well as feeling accomplished after a nice, enjoyable hike. I am looking forward to going on more outings and adventures with UT Outdoors Pursuits.” ~1794 Scholars Student (Leadership Development Trip)