By | Charlotte Rutigliano
According to Recreation and Administration professor Gen Marchand, the challenge started in 2013 with only about 10 participating schools. This year, there are 92 colleges and universities across the nation participating in the challenge.
“Last year was the first year HSU participated, and we won,” Marchand said.
HSU won about three thousand dollars worth of North Face camping gear. Any HSU student can rent the gear for free, minus a small cleaning fee.
Marketing professor Nancy Vizenor said events like this are really great for HSU, and that it’s good for both students and the school to be involved in a competition like this.
“So many of our students are attracted to HSU because of the amazing outdoor experiences,” Vizenor said, “so if potential students who enjoy time outdoors see that HSU is apart of this challenge, they may feel sure that the university will offer experiences they desire.”
Marchand said there is an outdoor for everyone, that going for a walk in the park is the same thing as mountain biking.
“There’s a point system that has many layers,” Marchand said. “Most things are either five or ten points, but you get more points for being in groups, or participating in school-sponsored activities.”
Activities like last Sunday’s Paddlefest, a school-sponsored event that took place at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center in Eureka.
The event allowed students and community members to use paddle boards, kayaks and canoes for free. Each person who logged their activity on the Outdoor Nation app gained ten points for participating in a paddle sport. Center Activities also set up hammocks, which would add an additional five points. Participants also gained more points for either having three or more people in the photo, sharing the post on either Facebook or Twitter, and indicating that it was a school-sponsored event.
Because of Paddlefest, HSU was able to pass CSU Sacramento and move into third place, with the point total currently at 86,314. HSU is trailing behind second-place Texas Woman’s University by almost seven thousand points.
You can join the challenge by downloading the Outdoor Nation app. The challenge ends on October 15th.