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Cornell University

Our Mission

A group of backpackers at Avalanche Lake in the Adirondacks

Cornell Outdoor Education develops teamwork, leadership, and growth through outdoor experience.

We do so by:

  • Teaching outdoor skills and judgment for lifelong recreation and fitness
  • Promoting environmental responsibility through personal connection to the natural world
  • Empowering individuals and groups to move beyond their limitations
  • Igniting a passion for experiential learning
  • Enhancing initiative, self-reliance, and compassion for others

Cornell Outdoor Education (COE) serves the broad membership of the Cornell community: students and student instructors, faculty and staff, alumni and friends, local community and outside groups. We enhance academic performance and success in the workplace by developing leadership, teamwork and personal achievement through experience-based education in the outdoor environment at Cornell University and around the world. COE programs place participants into hands-on learning situations that promote honest and constructive assessment of individual and group performance, provide natural and immediate consequences to actions, and promote personal growth. Our programs encourage participants to gain a sense of perspective in their own lives, and build support networks that develop meaningful lifelong friendships. Finally, we include fun with learning. By integrating these experiences into the rich academic curriculum and physical setting of our University, Cornell Outdoor Education plays a unique and vitally important role in developing the Leaders of the 21st Century.

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