Outdoor Leadership and Wilderness First Aid and CPR, will be offered for the first time this winter as Physical Education classes at Kalamazoo College.
While Indoor Rock Climbing has been traditionally offered every term, these two new classes were created to generate student interest.
“We’ve definitely had a lot of interest,” Sara Stockwood, the Assistant Director of Outdoor Programs, said. “All of our classes are full.”
The courses were developed by Stockwood and Jory Horner, Director of Outdoor Programs, in order to meet student interest in these areas.
In past years, wilderness training workshops were offered on the evenings and weekends, but organizers found it difficult to work with student availability.
The Outdoor Leadership course will cover different topic areas each week such as map and compass education, trip planning, and leadership skills.
Upon completing the course, students will receive a nationally recognized Leave No Trace Trainer certificate.
Wilderness First Aid and CPR includes a 16 hour certification course for training in current First Aid and CPR procedures.
While outdoor education classes are not unique to K, they are not offered at every college, especially for academic credit, said Stockwood. The courses can also be applied outside of an academic setting in programs like the Kalamazoo Outing Club or a summer camp setting.
“I like the outdoors a lot,” said Kyong So K‘19, who is taking the Outdoor Leadership course this winter. “It’s definitely refreshing, especially with school if you need something to take out your energy.”
So has taken numerous backpacking trips in the Pacific Northwest and also participated in LandSea this past summer.
So plans on using his experience in the Outdoor Leadership class to plan a West Coast hiking trip this coming summer.
“A lot of these experiences are transferable to other internships or jobs or a LandSea leader position,” said Stockwood.
The Outdoor Program staff plans to create two additional outdoor physical education classes for the Spring Term, possibly focusing on topics such as paddling and climbing.
Anyone with questions or ideas for future classes should contact the Outdoor Program staff at OutdoorPrograms@kzoo.edu.