Over winter break, the Outdoor Adventures program trained four new trip leaders during a week-long backpacking trip in the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas.
On this leadership training course, Tope Adesida (graduate student in information technology), Kyle Anderson (freshman psychology major), Tommy Hurrell (sophomore elementary education major) and Cam Needham (sophomore physical education major) hiked the Eagle Rock Loop.
They also acquainted themselves with necessary outdoor skills such as navigation, cooking and knots as well as group maintenance and decision-making.
The students on the course were not the only employees to seek out new experiences and learn useful skills for their jobs and future.
Stephanie Seidl, a senior studying preventative and rehabilitative exercise science, spent her winter break learning and living in the outdoors.
She started her break with an 80-hour Wilderness First Responder course at the University of Wyoming, spent a week skiing in Colorado and completed a 10-day National Outdoor Leadership back-country skiing course in the Teton National Forest in Idaho. She sought out these courses as a way to make her competitive in the field of outdoor adventure programming, and she has been offered an internship at Fort Carson Outdoor Programs and Education in Colorado.
Agatha Gryglak, who is studying occupational therapy, traveled west to national parks such as Grand Canyon, Red Rocks and Joshua Tree to tour, camp and rock-climb. Gryglak is always challenging herself to new heights, and completed her first multi-pitch route of 780 feet.
Others chose to keep it local when they grabbed their packs and headed to the Ice Age Trail for a short winter backpacking trip. Outdoor Adventures graduate assistant Andrew Zeiger, along with fellow staff Keith Gortowski, Ross Prolic and Gryglak, hiked 31 miles through the snowy hills of Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine State Forest.
The Midwest locale offers no shortage of recreational outlets, but interim periods between the academic school year are great times for students to explore and do something a little outside the comfort of their familiar territory.
For more information, call (815) 753-9422 or email [email protected].