The Southern Miss Outdoor Adventure Center offers students, faculty and staff the opportunity to get outside, seek challenge and adventure – even if they have never seen themselves as athletic or adventurous. All activities are led by knowledgeable staff and range from backpacking trips and canoe trips to educational clinics.
Recently, the Outdoor Adventure Center began offering outdoor equipment rentals every Friday and Monday 2 – 5 p.m. Rental items include tents, sleeping bags, camp stoves, cooking sets, external and internal frame backpacks and head lamps.
On the first Friday of every month, Southern Miss Outdoor Adventures holds a free outdoor clinic. All participants are entered into a drawing for a free CamelBak water bottle courtesy of Outdoor Nation. Additionally, the Outdoor Center offers team-building exercises for all groups including sororities, fraternities and church groups.
According to its website, Outdoor Nation is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to reconnecting millennials with the outdoors. The organization host summits around the country as well as awards grants for outstanding project ideas, leads outdoor outings, works with youth and connects with others. A few Southern Miss students involved in Outdoor Adventures are ambassadors for Outdoor Nation, which has awarded the Outdoor Adventure Center grants in the past to help fund trips.
The Outdoor Adventure Center works to make sure that the trips are affordable for all people interested in exploring the outdoors. Any fees charged include transport, accommodations and the cost of any gear used. Trips in the past include a Red Bluff visit, a kayaking trip with manatees and a backpacking adventure along the Walls of Jericho on the Alabama-Tennessee border.
OAC trip veterans Addy Falgoust shared her experiences.
“For a lot of students, this is their first experience going on a nature trip,” Falgoust said. “Going on these trips allows them to open up, get involved and do things that they never would have considered before.”
The rock wall in the Payne Center is operated alongside the Outdoor Adventure Center and is open Monday through Thursday 4 – 8 p.m. and Fridays from 4 – 6:30 p.m. Weekend use is by reservation only. The Payne Center also hosts birthday parties as well as offers group rental options for the rock wall. Free belay clinics will be given through February for students and Payne Center members.
The Southern Miss Outdoor Adventure Center and SMAC are hosting S’mores and More in front of the Payne Center Tuesday to offer more information on its upcoming programs.
SPRING SEMESTER SCHEDULE:
Black Creek Wilderness Day Hike
Snow Board/Snow Skiing in Boone, NC
Spring Break Rock Climbing/ Hiking at Sand Rock and Little River Canyon, AL
Zip Line/Day Hike on Appalachian Trail (Desoto Falls Recreation Area and Lanier Islands, GA)
Canoe the Sipsey Fork River, AL
Outdoor Clinic Schedule:
February 3 | Camping 101
March 3 | Bike Repair
April 7 | Canoeing 101
May 5 | Outdoor Yoga