GV’s Outdoor Adventures Program Encourages Exploration – Grand Valley Lanthorn

Grand Valley State University’s Recreation and Wellness Program is currently promoting its Outdoor Adventure Program to get students outdoors and involved in nature.

Aaron Rusch, student leader of outdoor adventures, said the primary goal of the program is to unite nature-loving Lakers and give them the confidence and knowledge to explore.

“(Outdoor Adventures) really encompasses gear rental, outdoor programming, and the rock climbing wall,” Rusch said. “The overall mission is to empower and inspire the GVSU community through outdoor activities and grassroots opportunities.”

Outdoor adventure meetings vary by location and time throughout the year, hoping to appeal to a variety of students with different interests.

Events vary in difficulty, from multi-day hiking and climbing to exploring local parks.

Rusch said Outdoor Adventures hopes to continue expanding its primarily hiking and climbing events into other outdoor activities.

“When we give students these experiences, there’s a range where everyone is super comfortable, but we want to push these students a bit out of their comfort zone into new experiences so they can grow and build itself,” Rusch said.

On Outdoor Adventures trips, student leaders like Rusch make sure students have the necessary equipment and transportation for events. On longer trips, student leaders draw up an itinerary with all-inclusive travel and accommodation costs.

Some of the most notable upcoming trips include hiking and rock climbing during spring break in Alabama and Arkansas, and ice climbing in Munising, Michigan.

The group’s next meeting will be February 6 in Pigeon Creek, where students can go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

Outdoor Adventures also runs educational workshops based outside of the Ravines Center, such as personal bike maintenance and wilderness first aid. The program here also offers outdoor gear rentals and free bike tune-ups.

In addition to this, the program partners with other larger organizations to extend their reach.

Some of the notable programs include Leave No Trace, National Outdoor Leadership School, Outward Bound, Student Conservation Organization, and American Hiking Society.

For those looking to go on a solo adventure, Outdoor Adventures has laid out safe routes and places to safely paddle, bike, hike or climb.

Later this semester, Outdoor Adventures will host a month-long event for students called “Microadventure March”.

In March, participants will receive a bingo card to complete by completing activities such as going unplugged for 24 hours or visiting a new park. The more boxes filled in, the more prizes they are eligible to receive.

For more information, students are encouraged to website or contact Recreation and Wellness.

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