Healthy, Active Living

While living the life of the mind, our students enjoy exploring the physical world. Many play varsity, club, or intramural sports. Plenty take advantage of our location and outdoor programming to sample Maine’s spectacular natural offerings.

Every student begins the Colby experience by embarking on an intensive outdoor adventure with a small group of fellow first-years, building friendships and self-confidence before the fall semester even begins. The outdoors is part of the education here. There may be no greater classroom.

Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips

COOT (Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips) is an outdoor-based orientation program required of all first-year Colby students. Trips are designed to be fun and engaging while preparing students for their transition to living and learning on campus.

    Keys to COOT

    COOT provides students with opportunities to develop meaningful social connections while being challenged at an appropriate level through a wide range of experiences throughout the beautiful state of Maine. COOT leaders provide an ongoing mentoring presence on campus throughout the academic year.

    The COOT program, which takes place Sept 1-3, 2017, offers students classic outdoor experiences such as rock climbing, backpacking, canoeing, civic engagement, yoga, local exploration, and whitewater rafting. Iced COOT takes place Jan 13-14, 2018, and is designed for our Global Entry Semester students with a focus on exploring the state’s winter activities.

    Trips range from mild to strenuous in exertion level and provide students with an exciting array of activities from which to choose. It is our goal to provide everyone—from beginners to those experienced in the outdoors—with a trip well-suited to their interests and ability level.

    Since 1975 the COOT program has helped more than 12,000 first-year students navigate the woods and waters of Maine and the corridors and classrooms of Colby College. The program is managed by administrative staff with significant collaboration and assistance from student leaders. Our leaders undergo a competitive selection process and must successfully complete all training requirements to be considered a COOT leader.

    Backpacking

    Backpacking
    About this trip
    Activity
    Backpacking
    Exertion Level
    Strenuous
    Amenity Level
    Backcountry

    These trips are well suited to students that are comfortable in the outdoors. Beginners, as well as those with hiking or backpacking experience, are welcome. Located on various sections of the famous Appalachian Trail, as well as the western portion of the newly designed Grafton Loop Trail, participants will leave the car behind as they backpack from campsite to campsite each night. These trips enjoy a time-honored cross-COOT experience — meeting up with another COOT group hiking in the opposite direction on the trail.

    All of these trips involve rustic, backcountry camping and range from moderate to strenuous in exertion level.

    An internal or external frame backpack (4,500-plus cubic inches), broken-in hiking boots, a sleeping bag, and a sleeping pad are required for backpacking trips.

    Basecamp

    Basecamp
    About this trip
    Activity
    Basecamp
    Exertion Level
    Moderate
    Amenity Level
    Frontcountry

    Mount Katahdin, Acadia National Park, Saddleback Mountain — explore some of Maine’s true treasures. Also discover some of its best kept secrets such as the Cutler Bold Coast, Gulf Hagas, and more. These trips are a wonderful introduction to the outdoors in Maine. Basecamp trips “make a home” at one site and explore the area by hiking, sightseeing, or beach hopping.

    These trips generally enjoy frontcountry camping with access to modern amenities, with a few exceptions such as Gulf Hagas. They range from mild to moderate to strenuous in exertion level.

    A sleeping bag and a sleeping pad are required for these trips.

    Canoeing

    Canoeing
    About this trip
    Activity
    Canoeing
    Exertion Level
    Moderate-Strenuous
    Amenity Level
    Backcountry

    A classic Maine experience! Enjoy open water paddling on the St. Croix River, Debsconeag Lake, or Seboeis Lake. These backcountry trips paddle from campsite to campsite each night taking in the scenic beauty of some of Maine’s most beautiful mountains and lakes.These trips involve rustic, backcountry camping and range from moderate to strenuous in exertion level.

    Participants should be comfortable with water-based activities and have established swimming skills.

    A sleeping bag and a sleeping pad are required for these trips.

    Challenge Course

    Challenge course
    About this trip
    Activity
    Challenge Course
    Exertion Level
    Mild-Moderate
    Amenity Level
    Cabin

    Laughter is a wonderful way to bring people together! Fun, excitement, and challenge characterize this experience that allows participants to interact through games, initiatives, and low- and high-challenge course elements. Following the challenge-by-choice model, participants will be encouraged to step outside of their comfort zones and try new activities in a highly supportive environment. Our partner for this experience will be Camp Caribou, located just down the road from campus in Winslow, Maine.

    Civic Engagement

    Community engagement

    In partnership with the Lives of Purpose program, participants will spend a day working with the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, learning about how our community is responding to pressing local needs and how students can be involved. Participants are encouraged to apply for the Lives of Purpose year-long program dedicated to building community and serving meaningfully.

    Cooking with Local, Sustainable Foods

    GARDEN
    About this trip
    Activity
    Cooking with Local, Sustainable Foods
    Exertion Level
    Mild
    Amenity Level
    Cabin

    Goat-milk cheese, wild blueberries, and sunchokes. Experience the vibrant local foods community in Maine.

    This trip will begin with an introduction to the use of local, sustainable foods on campus. We will then expand out into the community visiting farmer’s markets and local businesses centered around the use of these foods. A guest instructor will provide guidance on cooking with your locally purchased treasures.

    Fishing

    Fishing
    About this trip
    Activity
    Fishing
    Exertion Level
    Mild-Moderate
    Amenity Level
    Frontcountry

    Fishing is a classic Maine activity. Participants will enjoy formal fishing instruction from some of the best local guides. Experienced anglers and beginners are both welcome. More detailed information regarding specific species and regulations will be issued upon registration for this trip.

    Participants will be provided gear. The State of Maine requires a fishing license for each individual, which must be purchased by participants in advance through the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

    Local Exploration

    Downtown Waterville
    About this trip
    Activity
    Local Exploration
    Exertion Level
    Mild
    Amenity Level
    Cabin

    Get oriented in your new backyard! Local exploration trips explore the Waterville area and neighboring communities to give participants a diverse introduction to the many resources and activities available as they make their new home at Colby. Activities include, but are not limited to, a tour of Waterville Main Street, a yoga class, and an introduction to the Colby Outing Club cabin. We will make our home in a cozy cabin on Great Pond in the Belgrade Lakes region.

    Organic Farm Stay

    Organic Farm
    About this trip
    Activity
    Organic Farm Stay
    Exertion Level
    Moderate
    Amenity Level
    Frontcountry

    Have an interest in learning more about local, organic foods? Have a green thumb? Then Organic Farm Stay COOT is for you. In this working experience, you will be introduced to an authentic Maine organic farm. Activities include introduction to organic farming practices, first-hand experiences with farm tasks and labor, as well as the opportunity to partake in the fruits of your labor. Organic foods produced directly on the farm will provide nourishment for the group.

    Rock Climbing

    Climbing
    About this trip
    Activity
    Rock Climbing
    Exertion Level
    Moderate-Strenuous
    Amenity Level
    Frontcountry

    Visit Acadia National Park and experience rock climbing along Maine’s legendary rocky coast. We will partner with Acadia Mountain Guides to offer this spectacular experience. Beginners are welcome. Participants should be comfortable with heights. Personal climbing shoes are not required but you are invited to bring your own pair if you have them. All other climbing gear will be provided.

    Surfing

    Surf COOT Photo
    About this trip
    Activity
    Surfing
    Exertion Level
    Moderate-Strenuous
    Amenity Level
    Frontcountry

    Surfing in Maine? Absolutely! Catch some of the best waves in the state along the shores of Ogunquit. Participants will be introduced to both surfing and stand-up paddle boarding. Beginners and experienced surfers are both welcome. All gear is provided. Strong swimming ability is a requirement for participation in this trip.

    Whitewater Rafting

    RAFT
    About this trip
    Activity
    Whitewater Rafting
    Exertion Level
    Moderate
    Amenity Level
    Backcountry

    Calling all adventurers! Located in The Forks—where the Kennebec and Dead rivers meet—this whitewater rafting and falls exploration trip is sure to thrill. Crab Apple Whitewaterwill serve as our guide for the rafting portion of the trip leading us down class III and IV rapids and providing a delicious cookout for lunch. The rest of the trip will be comprised of light hiking and excursions, including a visit to a special point of interest, Moxie Falls. Participants should be comfortable with water-based activities and have established swimming skills.

    Yoga

    Yoga
    About this trip
    Activity
    Yoga
    Exertion Level
    Mild
    Amenity Level
    Cabin

    Art, science, philosophy, a path to self-discovery—yoga has been described as all of these. The scenic Camden Hills region will serve as home for this trip, which includes guided yoga sessions each morning, light day hikes in the peaceful Tanglewood Forest and Fernald’s Neck Preserve, and ample time for reflection and/or journaling at the end of each day. Additional opportunities include a sunset dinner atop Bald Rock Mountain and a chance to dip your toes in the waters of Penobscot Bay.

    This trip is a cross-COOT with the Mindfulness and Meditation COOT, which means you will cross paths with this other group.

    ICED COOT January

    Iced COOT takes place Jan 13-14, 2018, and is designed for our Global Entry Semester students with a focus on exploring the state’s winter activities. Ice fishing, snowshoeing, ice climbing, and indoor challenge course are a few of the offerings students can choose from. Fellow first year students from the fall semester join in Iced COOT to help welcome the GES students to the Colby community.

      Challenge Course

      Challenge Course

      Spend two days at Camp Kieve working on team building and climbing in their indoor climbing center.

      Dog Sledding

      COOT Dog Sledding

      Join our partners at Haywood Kennels as we spend the day learning about mushing and raising sled dogs.

      Ice Climbing

      Ice Climbing

      Ever wanted to climb ice? Maine has wonderful opportunities to climb in the winter. Accompanied by our guides, students enjoy a full day climbing in the western mountains of Maine.

      Ice Fishing

      Ice Fishing

      Spend a day on the ice with local fishing guides catching pike, trout, and other cold water species.

      Snowshoeing

      Snowshoeing

      Snowshoe on the trails of Camden Hills State Park and enjoy the quiet of the park in the winter.

      Yoga

      Yoga
      About this trip
      Activity
      Yoga
      Exertion Level
      Mild
      Amenity Level
      Cabin

      Art, science, philosophy, a path to self-discovery—yoga has been described as all of these. The scenic Camden Hills region will serve as home for this trip, which includes guided yoga sessions each morning, light day hikes in the peaceful Tanglewood Forest and Fernald’s Neck Preserve, and ample time for reflection and/or journaling at the end of each day. Additional opportunities include a sunset dinner atop Bald Rock Mountain and a chance to dip your toes in the waters of Penobscot Bay.

      This trip is a cross-COOT with the Mindfulness and Meditation COOT, which means you will cross paths with this other group.

      Club Sports

      Colby Outing Club

      The Colby Outing Club is the largest club on campus with more than 300 members annually and a mailing list of more than 1,000. An entirely student-run organization, the club exists solely to get people outdoors. The Colby Outing Club organizes trips every weekend, maintains an extensive inventory of outdoor equipment, and is always excited to help students plan their own expeditions.

      Colby Mountaineering Club

      The Mountaineering Club is a forum for all those interested in pursuing adventures in the vertical world, whether your medium is rock, ice, or plastic.