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The Outdoor Adventure Center’s mission at Washington County Community College is a place where community happens through adventure programming with people growing and collectively interacting with the natural world. It is a hub to foster collaboration among regional partners, learning, and fun for people of all ages. We provide resources to promote community wide health and wellness through adventure activities. Scroll down to find more about how we formed the OAC mission.
The idea for the Outdoor Adventure Center began in 2007. The OAC was designed for students enrolled in the Adventure Recreation and Tourism program could deliver adventure-based programming to the public. The interaction would benefit students to have authentic, meaningful, experiential learning opportunities as part of their education. Public programs would also increase opportunities to learn new outdoor skills, promote health and wellness, and become more connected to outdoor resources in their own back yard.
Since then, the demand for outdoor programming has exceeded the capacity of Adventure Recreation and Tourism degree students to deliver experiences as part of their degree requirements. The OAC now manages and operates a 1400-square-foot climbing wall, a high and low rope challenge course, a disc golf course, and an outdoor equipment rental center. It also provides year-round outdoor programs for youth such as a summer sailing program, week-long adventure camps, and instructional climbing programs. The OAC now hires a staff comprised of students, graduates, and industry professionals in order to deliver all of its programs.
In addition to its programming, the Outdoor Adventure Center currently maintains a fleet of rental equipment that includes everything from canoes and sea kayaks to mountain bikes, to cross-country skis, to ice skates, to camping equipment. This gear is available to students for free and to the public for a small rental fee. All of the equipment at the OAC is inventoried and maintained by student staff. We believe it is imperative that our equipment is in the best shape possible while patrons can enjoy their experience as well as increasing their health and wellness.
The OAC is currently managed by a full-time Coordinator. One Student Manager position provides student-led coordination for both front-line service in the office for rental equipment and programs, and management of the rock wall facility. Student leaders and other professional leaders are hired as needed to provide programming that is not directly connected to students’ curricular requirements. Rock wall student assistants are hired to provide staffing for the climbing wall public hours, birthday parties, and custom programming. The OAC Coordinator is supported by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Retention and the Dean of Student Affairs and Enrollment as well as works directly with the College President.