Weber State offers many things as a higher education institution, and campus recreation is one department that both incoming freshman and WSU’s current student body can take advantage of to incorporate outside-the-classroom aspects of their university experience.
With the new Outdoor Activities and Welcome Center on campus, it’s now easier than ever to gain access to everything from events like the annual Wildcat Outdoor Welcome to Experience Weber, which are events designed for incoming students to have as much of an immersive introduction to WSU as possible.
When it comes to the outdoors and taking advantage of WSU’s campus environment, Associate Director of Outdoor Recreation Daniel Turner said, you name it, we offer it.
The center has everything from Adventure Program trips, overnight or single-day events, training clinics, certification courses and outdoor equipment rentals to the technical training center where students can come in for a quick recreational rock-wall climb and even the ability to test team-building skills during the summer months with the challenge course.
Experience Weber — which is offered the week before school starts, and is open only to incoming students — is a great place for any incoming students to start their education at WSU, according to Turner. It’s an overnight experience at Pineview Reservoir where there are plenty of activities and a chance to engage with WSU staff members and acquaint themselves with WSU.
“The purpose of the Welcome Center is to create this unique experience for students who have come to experience this university,” Turner said.
Sarah Mackay, marketing coordinator at campus recreation, expressed how important having a communal aspect to her education has been for her.
Fischer Grubb, a trip leader who is also involved with the Technical Training Center on campus, spoke about his WSU experience and how being involved with these events has made for a richer education.
“Everything we offer is summarized by access and connection,” MacKay said. “A lot of times, there can be a barrier to outdoor recreation. Whether it’s cost or ability levels, or the know-how, we offer all of that, whether it’s adaptive rec. or affordable access or free activities, and then there is connection with others and the community.”
Mackay continued to explain the importance of “engraining” connection with others in her WSU education experience.
Grubb said, “The thing that I would tell all these students is to not be scared to try because people are intimidated to go camping or rafting for the first time, and we offer all the gear, all the instruction. We are there the whole time to give them a helping hand.”
WSU is unique in its placement on Ogden’s East Bench, right next to so many outdoor opportunities, and that is exactly where the Recreation Center and Adventure Center come into the bigger picture.
“Not only are students here for a great return on investment, but there are so many other activities and other things to help them feel engaged to connect them with other students, faculty and staff — well beyond just an incredible education — to Ogden, Utah,” Turner said.
While many of the activities, such as the Challenge Course, and equipment rentals are open to the public, being a part of the Wildcat Family brings its perks for students, faculty and staff at WSU, such as 30% off on rental discounts, being able to stop in the Welcome Center and getting training certifications that WSU now has to offer.