Tucked away on the lower level of the Recreation and Wellness Center is Auburn Outdoors, a division of campus recreation that provides avenues of outdoor recreation for students who are passionate about making adventuring a part of life.
The Auburn Outdoors program began when the Recreation and Wellness Center opened in August 2013. The program currently operates the indoor climbing facility and rental shop, offers climbing clinics and classes, bicycle maintenance classes, back country cooking clinics and many adventure trips.
Rusty Cooper, coordinator of Campus Recreation for Auburn Outdoors, explains that Auburn Outdoors is open to all Auburn University students and hopes to forge a community through the program.
“Our goal is to create a community of like-minded individuals that can enjoy outdoor recreation and meet new individuals who also share their passion,” Cooper said. “We want students to be involved with Auburn Outdoors that are passionate and relational with their peers. We want individuals who are looking to put away all the electronics of their life, unplug and connect with the world.”
Auburn University student and Auburn Outdoors employee, Amelie Thomas is happy to have found a place to do what she loves through Auburn Outdoors.
“I decided I wanted to work for Auburn Outdoors when I heard that the new Recreation and Wellness Center would come with an outdoors program,” Thomas said. “I have always loved outdoor adventures and sharing them with others, so I knew this campus program was for me.”
Auburn Outdoors offers a number of adventure-based education programs including backpacking, paddling, climbing, indoor climbing, biking, adventure trips and clinics. The outdoor center offers equipment rentals, a bike shop and trip planning resources.
Novice and experienced students are encouraged to become involved with the division of Campus Recreation.
“We want everyone to participate in our programs,” said Cooper. “One of the greatest things about these activities is that the ‘good’ people in the sports desperately want to share their love with others. It becomes an interesting dynamic that eliminates competition about being ‘good’ enough to participate. We want to see everyone try it and learn if they want to.”
The program offers adventure trips that allow students the opportunity to hone skills, experience new activities and experience new and exciting adventures.
“Our trips cover a wide spectrum of activities,” Cooper said. “We do basic hiking and backpacking, mountain and road cycling, rock climbing and kayaking, just to name a few. We are constantly seeking new ideas from students on what they think would be cool, and we try and make it happen. We try to make all of our trips educational in one way or another so those that participate leave excited that they had a great time, but also that they learned something cool.”
Auburn University students can now get active, get involved and start having adventures with the help of Auburn Outdoors.
“Auburn Outdoors offers students opportunities for adventure at the climbing wall, our rental shop gives students the tools to go outside and do what they love, and best of all, Auburn Outdoors offers afternoon, weekend and weeklong trips with activities like mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking, paddle boarding and much more,” Thomas said. “Auburn Outdoors makes adventure easy!”
For more information about Auburn Outdoors, visit www.campusrec.auburn.edu/outdoors.
(Photos courtesy of Auburn Outdoors Fall Brochure)
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