Hometown: Eau Claire, WI
Program Position: Trip Leader | Adventure Outings (AO)
Student Coordinator | Wilderness Wildcat Orientation (WWO)
How did you first get connected with Adventure Outings (AO)?
I’ve had many friends over the years who were involved with Adventure Outings. They were getting out, having fun and living the life of adventure. When I came to Chico State one of the first things I did was apply for an Assistant Trip Leader position with AO.
How would you describe your role as the Student Coordinator for Wildcat Wilderness Orientation?
Wildcat Wilderness Orientation (WWO) is a program that takes incoming Chico State freshman and transfer students on a wilderness trip to kick off their college career. Wilderness trips can be incredibly valuable to people as a way to increase personal growth, academic integrity and build community. Starting college can be scary; leaving home, not knowing people. WWO is a great way to meet others, get a taste for the natural beauty that surrounds Chico, and do something adventurous to help build confidence before beginning college.
As the coordinator for WWO, I help plan and facilitate the trips that run over the summer. WWO is an introduction to Chico State. We lead trips all over California doing sports like whitewater rafting, backpacking, rock climbing, surfing…the list goes on and on. You do not need any previous skills to go on one of our trips. You just need to show up with a good attitude and a thirst for an amazing adventure!
What does working at AO do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
I have learned many wilderness skills that help me to lead safe and fun trips. More importantly though, I have learned about leadership, pushing personal limits, the importance of effective communication, remaining calm in difficult situations and the value of bringing people together through active student participation and teamwork for a common goal. To me there is nothing more valuable to personal, academic and professional growth than the interpersonal relationships and communication that I have learned through being a leader for Adventure Outings.
What do YOU hope to bring to the table in your role as the Student Coordinator/Trip Leader?
I hope to introduce Chico State students the value of getting outside. Getting there is just the first step though. It is incredibly important to me to show how to be in the wilderness in a safe and respectful manner. Teaching about safety in the outdoors, leave-no-trace ethics, the importance of personal care, pushing yourself as a leader. I find that nature can be effective in broadening students’ perspectives, perception and to be receptive to the subtle and not so subtle clues that the natural world can provide.
What are your career plans and how does your job with the Associated Students better prepare you for that path?
As a biology student I plan to spend much of my career in the outdoors. The outdoor skills I have learned working for Adventure Outings are very important for this goal. The communication, hard work, organization and dedication it takes to lead an effective wilderness trip are values that apply to every aspect of both my personal and professional life. The time I have spent working for Adventure Outings and Wildcat Wilderness Orientation have been the highlight of my college career.