Chico State Adventure Outings Wins Award for “Excellence” and its “Get Outdoors” Scholarship
Chico State’s Adventure Outings is a program dedicated to outdoor recreation for students. The program is student operated and includes a ton of great outdoor trips and equipment rental programs that are available to any Chico State student. From hiking in Lassen to white water rafting the American River, Adventure Outings has something for all student outdoor adventurers.
The program is so cool, in fact, that it was recently named the Gold Winner in the NASPA Excellence Awards for Athletics, Recreation, Physical Fitness, Non-Varsity Sports, and related Excellence category for its Get Outdoors Fund Scholarship Program. Here is the details of Adventure Outings from NASPA:
The Get Outdoors Fund at California State University, Chico provides scholarships for outdoor adventure trips. Students at CSUC have been facing increasing financial barriers to participation in Adventure Outings (AO) trips, as indicated by qualification for federal financial need, evaluation data, and feedback.
The Get Outdoors Fund provides scholarships that help engage individuals of all backgrounds in outdoor pursuits, regardless of socioeconomic status. To generate revenue for the Get Outdoors Fund, Adventure Outings works in tandem with the Bike Cart, a bicycle repair program that serves the Chico State community. Revenue for scholarship funds is primarily generated through a used bicycle auction. At the end of each semester, abandoned bicycles on campus are collected by the Chico State University Police Department. Bikes that remain unclaimed after 6 months are then released to the Bike Cart. Staff sort through the bikes to determine value, strip usable parts, and recycle unusable bikes and parts as scrap metal through Associated Students CSU, Chico Recycling. Usable parts stripped from these scrap bikes are repurposed and utilized to replace parts on bikes to be sold. Bikes are repaired as needed and sold at a semi-annual auction ran by Bike Cart staff. A small fee from each bike sale goes back to the Bike Cart to cover the cost of labor and new parts, and the remainder transfers into a scholarship program, the Get Outdoors Fund, for students to attend an Adventure Outings trip.
Since its inception in 2007, the bike auctions have generated over $50,000 for the Get Outdoors Fund, and over 1000 used bikes have been repurposed and sold to provide the campus community with an environmentally-responsible transportation option. In order to apply for a scholarship, students complete an application through OrgSync, the universityâ€™s online engagement platform. The application gauges financial need through various questions including FAFSA financial aid qualification, description of the studentâ€™s financial situation, and the need for the scholarship in order to participate in an Adventure Outings trip.
In the last 3 years, 438 scholarship applications have been received via OrgSync, and 385 of those applicants (approximately 89%) have received scholarship offers. Scholarship awards from the Get Outdoors Fund then provide support for students to be able to enroll in outdoor adventure offerings through Adventure Outings. These offerings include student-led outdoor adventure trips such as backpacking, whitewater rafting, and rock climbing, taking place throughout the academic year as well as summer wilderness orientation programs.
As evidenced by the data presented in the Student Learning and Success section, participation in Adventure Outings trips has a positive effect on students. Involvement positively impacts student success. Retention rates increase as students build connections on and off campus and sense of belonging strengthens. To conclude, the Get Outdoors Fund contributes to the overall college experience of Chico State students.
Synergy between Adventure Outings, Bike Cart, and campus collaborators breaks down financial barriers to student engagement in outdoor adventures and creates opportunities for involvement that enhance the holistic well-being of students.
So cool! Congrats on your award! Here are some of the adventures that Adventure Outings students experience throughout the year:
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Six AO staff braved overnight temps below 20 degrees to attend our Caving Training last weekend. In all, they explored over 14 different caves while camping and exploring Lava Beds National Monument near the Oregon border. Thanks to these folks for working hard to make our future trips even better!
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The Wildcat Wilderness Orientation staff just finished a week-long training. They're now ready to help incoming students have grand adventures while learning how to successfully transition to college life. Only a few spots remian on the Summer 2018 trips; learn more and register at wwo.csuchico.edu.
We just love this program! Check out their video to preview the upcoming activity this spring: