Rec Center’s Adventure Center offers students variety of outdoor activities


Sophomore exercise science major Antonio Torres practices a technique called bouldering Tuesday evening, Feb. 11, 2014, at the Kent Recreation and Wellness Center’s rock wall.

Hannah Reed

The Adventure Center at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center offers a variety of services to Kent State students who are looking to get outdoors.

Outdoor adventure program officer Jared Skaggs said the Adventure Center consists of six tiers. It includes a first-year adventure program for incoming freshmen, Crooked River Adventure’s canoeing and kayaking, the climbing and repelling program, the Outdoor Rental Center, the TLC teambuilding program and Flashfleet, a bike rental service.

Skaggs said the Outdoor Rental Center rents a variety of top-notch outdoor equipment to students and community members.

“We have canoes and kayaks and everything you would need to go with them,” Skaggs said. “So we have life jackets and paddles, spray tops, all the safety equipment, waterproof bags, everything for water sports.”

Skaggs said the center offers different bicycle racks, helmets, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, stoves, dishes and even kitchenware.  A full list of products that the Outdoor Rental Center rents out and its prices are located in the 2014 spring semester Recreational Services program guide.

Skaggs also has drop-in clinics in development to showcase some of the products that the Outdoor Rental Center offers.

Another rental service for students is Flashfleet, which Skaggs said is a bike sharing program currently featuring 67 bicycles for students to borrow in a second-generation system that is similar to a library. A student can get a bike, use it and return it to the same building free of charge.

“We are working to go third-generation,” Skaggs said. “So you can pull it up on your smartphone, find a bicycle, reserve it, swipe your card and you’re good to go.”

The Adventure Center also includes academic classes.

“I teach a three-credit class for rock climbing,” Skaggs said. “In the fall, I’ll teach that as well as a three-credit kayaking class. And we just received a grant for stand up paddle boarding.”

Skaggs said apart from the Adventure Center, kayak club will be starting up this week. The club will be held on Wednesdays and Sundays and allows people to try out kayaking in a pool with certified instructors.

Another thing students can try out is rock climbing, said Abby Millsaps, marketing coordinator for Recreational Services.

“Every Friday, you can come and try climbing on the wall for free,” Millsaps said. “If you’ve never done it before, you don’t want to sign up for the class. [If] you’re hesitant, you just want to try it and see what the experience is like, you can come and we have staff that will assist you.”

Millsaps said there are also many trips offered through the Adventure Center that students really get excited about.

“There’s an archery trip and a rafting trip,” Millsaps said. “There are a whole bunch of different options all throughout the semester.”

Millsaps said students can take advantage of member pricing to receive more affordable rates.

“We know that students aren’t always going to have the funds to take all these different classes,” Millsaps said. “So any kind of trip, any kind of clinic that we offer is always going to have a student rate. And that’s department-wide, not just in the Adventure Center.”

Hannah Reed is the personal health reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].