Major: Outdoor Recreation and Education
Expected Graduation: December 2018
Hometown: Gahanna, Ohio
Involvement on Campus: I was the treasurer of Recreation Majors Association for a year. I have worked for Outdoor Pursuits for two years leading trips and high and low ropes challenge courses. I have also done intramural soccer and volleyball and taken multiple trips with Outdoor Pursuits before working there.
How did you choose Ohio University?
The Recreation Studies program in the Patton College drew me in because of the great faculty and program. I’ve also had many family members go to OHIO.
How did you choose your major? And, what excites you most about it?
After thinking about what I love to do most, I realized I love teaching and leading others in various outdoor activities and adventures. So, coming into freshman year, I had chosen my major. Most students in the Recreation Studies program do not declare their major until sophomore year. It is exciting to meet so many fun, outdoorsy folks who love doing what I do.
Have you ever used career or leadership training services on campus (e.g., taken a career class, gone to the CLDC, met with a career or leadership coach, etc.)?
Yes. The Recreation Studies department has a professional development seminar course which I took last fall. Through the CLDC, I have done career coaching sessions, gotten advice on resumes, completed a mock interview and done a few of the workshops such as “Understanding Emotional Intelligence” and “Understanding Ethics and Values.”
Tell us about one of your most significant career development experiences at OHIO?
During my required internship for my major this past summer I had a plethora of different unexpected experiences, but allowed me to grow as a recreation professional. This past summer I was an Assistant Camp Director at a rock climbing camp at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. After a 36,000-acre wildfire on ranch property, the participants’ high adventure experiences were delayed and eventually cancelled for the rest of the summer. After this major change, I wasn’t able to run the climbing program. However, I was a Crew Leader for a conservation timber stand improvement crew for 4 weeks as we thinned specific forested areas to create defensible space against potential future fires. I then went to a different High Adventure Boy Scout Ranch in Colorado called SOAR (Spirit of Adventure Ranch). SOAR needed more staff because of the influx of crews displaced from Philmont due to the wildfire. During my month at SOAR, I took crews backpacking and rock climbing both at the camp and in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. I also worked on the administration side of things by creating crew check-in processes, crew evaluation surveys, and program plans, as well as helping with inventory planning, budgeting, and crew itinerary logistics. I gained lots of valuable experience this summer that I was not even expecting!
What would you like to do once you graduate?
I hope to eventually work full-time in the camping world at a summer camp that runs various programs year-round.
What advice would you give to your fellow Bobcats?
Time is precious. Spend your time efficiently.
What is your favorite thing about being a Bobcat?
The coursework in the recreation department is very rewarding. The classes are difficult, but they are all very hands-on, project-based classes where you work on very realistic projects, and some projects for real recreation organizations.