Making its debut for the 2021 academic year, the Northwood Outing Club (NOC) program is designed for aspiring outdoor enthusiasts to build a lifelong passion for adventure sports while utilizing world-class venues and unique assets within the Adirondack Park, North America, and internationally. Students will develop soft and hard skills, environmental stewardship, risk management procedures, and leadership skills while working closely and collaborating with faculty, staff, and professional guides. Several outdoor recreation activities within the disciplines of climbing, paddling, backcountry, and front country skiing, backpacking, wilderness navigation, and outdoor living skills are available under the NOC co-curricular. NOC will be available as a one-trimester or continual three-trimester program to allow student-athletes across different co-curricular activities to participate.
Experienced LeadershipThe Northwood Outing Club (NOC) Director is Robert “Bobby” Michael O’Connor II, overseeing the education and adventure program and the restoration of the identity and historical roots of the Northwood Outing Club. Mr. O'Connor is an avid outdoor professional with expedition and teaching experience in paddling, rock climbing, ice climbing, backcountry skiing, and mountaineering. He is a NYS licensed guide, wilderness first responder, certified whitewater, kayaking/canoeing, and climbing wall instructor. He has received advanced training in NYS wildland search skills, challenge course technology, and avalanche response. O’Connor received a B.S. (2013) and M.S. (2017) in Expeditionary Studies from SUNY Plattsburgh. Before Northwood, Mr. O’Connor was a recreation professor at Paul Smith’s College and the Outdoor/Adventure Education Coordinator overseeing the infrastructure necessary for running the outdoor programs.
Historical RootsNorthwood School has a rich tradition of athletics and outdoor recreation dating back to its founding in 1905. Northwood students have been experiencing a wide range of outdoor activities ever since.
“Bobby’s energy and experience in education and the outdoor industry is an ideal match to rekindle NOC, fill the big footsteps of retired teacher Don Mellor ‘71, and accelerate our outdoor programming,” states Michael J. Maher, Head of School. “Northwood NOC alumni fondly remember the campfires and the wilderness skills they learned from NOC experiences to this day.”