The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

ORC provides opportunities for outdoor activities to students

Outdoor Recreation Center allows students to rent equipment, partake in environmental activities
One of the kayaking activities set up by the Outdoor Recreation Center from 2022

For students who are looking to plan activities or rent equipment, the Outdoor Recreation Center is open to those in the community for that purpose.

Jonathan Stahl, associate director of university recreation, said the ORC is a place on campus that rents outdoor equipment and provides outdoor activities.

“It is also a place that houses about 100 different trips and clinics a year. All different types of outdoor adventures, all types of things from kayaking to rock climbing to skiing and others. Those trips are both recreational and also educational” Stahl said. “We also house professional staff who oversee our climbing wall and our challenge course.”

The ORC began in 1971, Stahl said. The ORC exists specifically for the Pullman campus, as well as other local community members such as faculty and staff.

“We exist for WSU Pullman students who pay S&A fees and we are funded through those fees,” he said. “Students who pay S&A fees get the member rates, which is our subsidized pricing for trips and rentals.”

The rental shop is open Monday through Friday 1 p.m.–7 p.m., Stahl said. The three most popular items are tents, sleeping bags and sleeping pads.

“One of our most popular items in the past few years has become our inflatable paddle board,” he said. “You can rent it for about $25 when they cost about $800.”

With the beginning of the school year next week, the ORC is doing everything it can to get the word out to students that it is an available service, Stahl said. 

“We know that students who go outside and plan trips are actually more likely to succeed in college,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in the position I am in if I didn’t have the opportunity of an outdoor program at our college.”

Besides the rental shop, another part of the ORC is the trips and clinics offered. Paula Kimmerling, coordinator for outdoor adventures, said she is involved with this aspect of the ORC.

“We run anything from sunset paddle trips to day hikes,” Kimmerling said. “I help plan logistics behind the different trips and oversee the facilitators that are actually running the trips. Our adventure facilitators are student staff employees who are certified and trained to run trips.”

Kimmerling has been involved with the ORC for two years. She said the ORC has a schedule organized prior to each semester with various trips students can partake in. One of the most popular activities for students is the sunset paddles programs.

“In terms of clinics, there’s Intro to Backpacking Skills, Leave-No-Trace clinics, to promote outdoor ethics,” she said. “We can also help plan trips if people come into the outdoor rec center. We have a variety of different resources and all of our staff are very helpful.”

In addition, the ORC can organize custom programs for groups on campus, Kimmerling said. While this feature is exclusive to campus organizations, the ORC is open to all students.

“We want to help you get outside and learn how to do so safely. We’d love to help you plan a trip whether you’re a beginner to intermediate level or advanced,” she said. “Trips and gear are cheaper here than they would be elsewhere and we want to reach as many people as possible.”

The schedule for the various activities and clinics can be found on the ORC’s website where students can sign up for them.

“Most of our programs are geared towards people with little to no experience,” Stahl said. “This program changes lives.”

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About the Contributor
JOSIAH PIKE, Evergreen news co-editor
Josiah is a sophomore broadcast journalism and broadcast production double major. He is from Lakewood, Washington and began working for the Evergreen in Fall 2021.