OPINION: Adventure is out there: WSU Outdoor Program

Climbers flock to Vantage, Wash. on Feb. 3, 2018. With spring more climbers will head outside, underscoring the importance of safety.

Weber State University sits in the middle of unrivaled natural beauty, extending an open invitation to exploration, adventure and education. Recognizing this, WSU has worked to make its Outdoor Program largely successful by offering a diverse range of inclusive outdoor activities intended to foster both a love of the outdoors and a feeling of community.

Outdoor Program coordinator Hayley Prine detailed the program’s intriguing lineup of adventures, educational clinics and special events for this summer.

Thrilling overnight adventures

The multi-day adventures are among the most thrilling options, including the Snake River Rafting Trip, which runs Aug. 11-13 and the yearly Experience Weber trip on Aug. 24-25.

The Snake River trip gives participants the chance to ride Wyoming’s ferocious rapids in Alpine Canyon, providing a weekend of thrilling water experiences and peaceful nights spent beneath the stars.

Experience Weber offers new students a warm welcome at the picturesque Pineview reservoir, enabling them to connect and make friendships before the fall semester starts.

Single-day escapades

You don’t need to look any further if you’re searching for an exciting day.

“We also have lots of single day opportunities: mountain bike dawn patrols, paddle boarding trips, rappel clinics and adaptive climbing programs,” Prine said.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a nature enthusiast, these activities are made to suit everyone’s interests.

New initiatives: Collaborations and events

The Outdoor Program is stepping it up this summer with a number of fresh projects. The culmination of the most recent partnership with Snowbasin Resort and Pineview Reservoir was the triumphant debut of Outdoor Adventure X on June 17 and 18.

The weekend was jam-packed with practical clinics on kayaking, traditional climbing techniques and outdoor first aid treks. This collaboration demonstrated the Outdoor Program’s adaptability and dedication to a variety of outdoor activities.

The WSU Outdoor Program will additionally assist the Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit on Sept. 6 and 7. They will provide their knowledge to this event held right here at Weber State as the clinic provider.

The program is also preparing for Swell by Outspring, a novel initiative aimed at encouraging women-owned businesses in the outdoor industry, which will be another first-time event. This event, which is planned to take place from Sept. 15 to 17, aims to highlight female leadership in the outdoor recreation industry.

Additionally, the Outdoor Program is keen to connect with various populations and has partnered with Ogden Valley Adaptive Sports and Salt Lake Area Queer Climbers to offer unique climbing activities.

Interdepartmental collaborations: Enhancing student experience

WSU’s Outdoor Program engages in more than just external collaboration.

“We will be running the second annual Beach Bash with Wildcat Scholars and First Gen Club, and custom paddling trips with WSU Housing, WSU Women’s Center and Study Abroad,” Prine said.

By fostering a feeling of community among the students through these interdepartmental partnerships, outdoor learning benefits are extended to the larger university community.

Leave No Trace: Conservation through education

True to its mission, the Outdoor Program promotes respect for the environment and sustainability.

“At the Outdoor Program, we use and teach Leave No Trace principles in our programs,” Prine said. “We hope that our participants leave us appreciating the land we use for recreation and have a few more tools to care for it.”

Accessibility and community impact

The WSU Outdoor Program places a high priority on enhancing the student experience and fostering a feeling of community. It supports the Ogden community by making many of its events and rental items available to the general public. Despite not offering academic credit, the program has enormous value since it promotes community building, skill development and practical education.