With the rise in popularity of shows like "Man vs. Wild" and "Survivorman", more students/faculty/staff are getting interested in learning outdoor skills necessary for communing with nature. Fortunately for our UWS community, we don't have to travel far or spend a lot of money to have awesome adventures in the outdoors. SOAP has already gone kayaking at the Sea Caves over Labor Day and climbed at Ely's Peak last weekend.
John Dewey (1938), the "father of experiential education", argued that humans learn best when faced with hands-on situations that allow for past experience to meld with present conditions. Galloway (2000) reinforces that a variety of learning themes and university retention measures emerge during outdoor education experiences: positive peer group development, adjustment & maturity, increased student satisfaction, eased transition to college, and increased sensitivity to other cultures.
Jared Johnson, the new outdoor rec specialist, is focusing on incorporating many sustainable practices in the upcoming SOAP trips. For example, vegetables and herbs were donated from the residence life campus garden for weekend trips and students used the DTA to travel to Ely's Peak. Johnson is very excited to continue to use local resources in the SOAP program.
Interested in getting SOAP-y? Annual memberships ($30 for students, $40 for faculty/staff) get members reduced rates on trips, free equipment rental, repair assistance, and plenty of maps & books. In the 2009-2010 school year, the SOAP program had 49 members. This year is looking to be a record-breaker with 43 memberships already. For more information about the SOAP programs, please contact Jared Johnson
Look for the Campus Life Stoplight each Tuesday in the Staff Digest and on the Campus Life website.