Outdoor Recreation Center | Photo by Shaddia Qasem | The Wright State Guardian
Wright State’s campus recreation planned to hold a waterfall hike on Jan. 14, but canceled the event due to lack of participation.
Involvement declining post-pandemic
The number of students participating in campus outdoor recreation events has been steadily declining since COVID-19, according to Andrea Reed, a trip leader at the Outdoor Resources Center, the outdoor recreation headquarters.
Campus recreation canceled the hike due to only two students signing up on Engage, with one student canceling last minute, according to Reed.
Members of ORC expressed COVID-19’s impact on the number of students participating. According to Reed, campus outdoor recreation has been struggling to regain the number of participating students to a pre-pandemic level.
“Pre-COVID, we had a lot of different people going on a lot of different trips. We had people doing weekend trips as well as week-long trips,” Reed said.
Mason Knickerbocker, the student manager at ORC, emphasized the need to rebuild the community of ORC post-COVID.
“There was a big gap of time where we did not have people doing anything on campus. Even after restrictions were lifted, I don’t think people realize how many things there are to do,” Knickerbocker said. “A big part of what we need to do is create a community of people interested in outdoor recreation.”
The ORC built up a community pre-COVID, with the office as well as an indoor climbing wall being a communal spot for members of ORC, according to Reed.
“COVID wrecked the community we had going. It took a while to build up that community,” Reed exclaimed.
A shining light
However, Erin Compaleo, the outdoor recreation program manager, voiced the increase in numbers of students making use of the climbing wall, suggesting that off-campus events decrease students’ motivation to partake.
“The climbing wall has seen a significant increase in student participation, especially in the fall semester. We’ve seen over twice the amount of students interested in climbing and continuously coming back,” Compaleo said.
Compaleo urges students to participate in ORC events, exclaiming the advantages of joining as well as highlighting a few exciting upcoming events.
“It’s a great way to get outside and improve your mental and physical health by moving your body and enjoying the peace that nature brings you,” Compaleo said.
ORC is hosting a ski and board event on Friday, Jan. 27 at Mad River Mountain, where campus recreation will transport students to a nearby ski-resort with the option to bring personal gear or rent.
Additionally, another upcoming trip to Fenton, Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 11 involves an ice climbing facility.
Finally, Florida Paddle Adventure will be a week-long event over spring break, including paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming and snorkeling.
For more information on upcoming events of campus recreation, visit the ORC website; alternatively, visit the campus recreation office at 092 Student Union.