By SARAH GRAMMER
New this fall, Campus Recreation is offering the Outdoor Recreation program for students, faculty, staff and alumni. OREC gives the UMW community the opportunity to get their exercise with campus recreation outside of the Fitness Center walls for the first time while providing fun and adventure.
OREC’s main goal, according to Kevin Sullivan, the Student Administrator of Outdoor REC, is to promote wellness through outdoor activities. Right now OREC is gauging student interest based on the 250 student signatures and emails they received at club carnival.
“We are a program of UMW’s department of Campus Recreation focused on promoting wellness through outdoor activities,” Sullivan said.
The first and only trip that has happened so far this semester was a sunrise hike up Old Rag Mountain in the Shenandoah Valley. Senior biology major, Jenna Eggborn shared her experience from the recent hiking trip.
“We started hiking around 3 a.m. in the pitch black,” Eggborn said. “We were able to see the stars clearly during parts of the hike and we made it to the summit around 6:20 a.m., the sunrise was beautiful and much worth the 3200 foot hike up to the top.” Eggborn views the new program as a way for students to define fitness for themselves and fit it into their lives in ways that they may not have thought of before.
“Taking students outdoors and off campus allows them to see that being healthy and happy is not just playing a sport or lifting weights,” Eggborn said. Junior marketing major, Amik Kler, was also on the trip and described it as being enjoyable as well as challenging.
“The trip consisted of an immense amount of rock climbing that I was not prepared for, especially in the dark,” Kler said, “but I definitely enjoyed the adventure.”
The sunrise hike up Old Rag was one of many trips that OREC is offering this semester. The program has been divided into three different tiers. Tier one trips, like the one to Old Rag, are ones that are considered more local. These trips will include exploring High Bridge Trail in October as well as rock climbing at Peak Experiences climbing gym in November. Tier two trips are located a bit farther from campus, but still manageable in one day. These trips give students the opportunity to explore more of Virginia and will include activities such as Geocaching and Caving. The first tier two trip is scheduled for Sept. 24.
The only tier three trip being offered for the fall semester will take place over fall break and will include four days at Ace Adventure Resort in Fayetteville, West Virginia.
A range of events and activities will be offered for students to participate in such as whitewater rafting, hiking and attending Fayetteville’s Bridge Day. More details about the trip are located on the Campus recreation website.
Included on the OREC website is information on the rental program, a new and exciting service which Outdoor Recreation is offering. The program allows all students, faculty, staff and alumni the opportunity to explore the outdoors on their own without having to invest in expensive camping and hiking equipment themselves. The prices at the rental center are very affordable ranging from the most expensive item (a four person tent) at $7 for students and $14 for faculty, staff and alumni.
Information about the rental program and all trips can be found through Campus Recreation on the university website, CREC social media accounts or CREC on Orgsync.