Students prepare for wilderness adventure


Adventure Center participants backpack in Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania during the Fall 2017 semester.

Shelbie Goulding

The Kent State Adventure Center offers 12 adventure programs each semester, including an alternative spring break trip. This year’s spring break trip offers students a chance to backpack, whitewater raft, camp, zip-line, hike and enjoy endless views of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina.

“I’ve never been the outdoorsy type until I took trips through the Adventure Center,” said junior integrated math major Faith Medlock. “I started trying the day trips and weekend trips through the Adventure Center last year. I’ve had fantastic experiences and met interesting people.”

Fourteen participants will go to North Carolina and split into two groups for two different programs: the Appalachian Trail backpacking and whitewater rafting group, and the whitewater rafting, zip-lining, waterfall hiking and camping group. One group will backpack down the Appalachian Trail while the other hikes, camps and zip-lines in the Nantahala Forest. The two groups will meet together near the end of the trip to take on the rapids for whitewater rafting.

“I’ve put a lot into these adventure programs,” Administrator Blake Osborn said. Osborn is in charge of creating the adventure programs, and he puts all his effort into making the trips worthwhile for the participants.

“The adventure programs have grown tremendously since I’ve held this position,” Osborn said. “Since I started in January 2016, the programs have progressed when it comes to promoting the trips and getting the community involved.” He’s added a lot more trips to the programs serving nearly 300 participants a year compared to roughly 100 a year in the past.

“I’m excited to get out in the wilderness and meet new people,” said freshman applied engineering major Sara Roman. “This trip gives me the opportunity to meet new people and try something new I may never get to do again.” 

Osborn said the trip will be fun and engaging for the participants.

“At the end of the week, we plan to go to Asheville for one night and explore the city and local food scene as well,” Osborn said. All expenses are paid through the trip fee of $350-400. It includes transportation, camping, equipment, lodging, rafting and food. The only additional expenses participants would have to pay is souvenirs and food in Asheville.

“I can’t wait for the adventure,” junior public health major Jared Howard said. “I’ve never been zip-lining or whitewater rafting, so it’s full of new experiences.”

Howard is most excited to get away from his daily routine and spend time with participants as excited as he is for the trip.

Osborn said the registration for these programs typically closes a month before the program launches. He says it’s a first come, first serve registration process done through the Student Wellness and Recreation Center’s website or the Pro Shop. Although the spring break trip is closed, more programs are still offered throughout the year on weekends.

“The adventure programs are still growing and we get more participants each year,” Osborn said. “I’m really proud of the adventure program, and I can’t wait to see how it progresses more in the future.”

Shelbie Goulding is the recreation and fitness reporter. Contact her at [email protected]