Outdoor Leadership Opportunity

Description: An article I wrote for the school newspaper detailing the new class being offered in the recreation department. The article is available at byuiscroll.org. 

Date: May 2018


A new class focused on outdoor activities leadership development is now available on campus.

Students interested in the management of outdoor activities can add this three-credit practicum titled “Research and Leadership Seminar” to their schedules.

This Tuesday and Thursday class is taught by Jason Thornton and Morris Christensen, both Student Activities advisers.

“(The class) gives (students) an opportunity to learn some things that will be beneficial to them in the field,” Christensen said.

Christensen said this semester students will be studying outdoor leadership principles and skills such as trip risk management, basic outdoor skills, judgment, decision-making and swift water skills.

Thornton and Christensen said they are excited for the upcoming semester.

“Last week we did outdoor cooking and camp craft,” Thorton said. “We went out to the (sports complex fire pit) and did multiple different types of cooking. We did Dutch oven, we did camp stoves and convection ovens.”

According to the syllabus, students will implement a wide variety of skills such as backpacking, orienteering, stargazing, canoeing, mountain biking, primitive skills and other seasonal activities.

Students will also be eligible to gain the following certifications: BYU-Idaho drivers permit, first aid, CPR, swift water rescue, leave no trace awareness, outdoor activities manager and American Canoe Association kayak certification.

The two biggest assignments of the semester give students the opportunity to perform trip logistics for one field experience and lead an outdoor activities event.

Students who complete the class are encouraged to become managers for the variety of trips the Activities center has to offer. From backpacking trips to caving, students will lead their classmates safely through these experiences.

Both Student Activities and the Recreation Management Department worked together to create the class. Thornton said the number of skills courses in the Recreation Management Department has been reduced, and the new class supplements the skills students need.

Thornton said recreation management majors are given first priority to the class at first but anyone who is interested can join later.

Students who want to take the class can add RM499R-02 to their schedules while registering.

Additional information can be found on the Outdoor Activities tab at byui.edu.