By Amanda Hayes
Spring has sprung, which means the Baylor Marina is open and Outdoor Adventure Programs director Cody Schrank is encouraging students to take advantage of all the program has to offer.
The Outdoor Adventure Program oversees the Marina, the Rock, Challenge Course and offers a variety of trips throughout the year. Campus Recreation recently received feedback from about 200 involved students in an email questionnaire intended to improve the student experience.
Schrank said the questionnaire concluded that students are looking for social activity, stress relief and time in nature. He also said almost 90 percent of questionnaire participants said they want to try something new and challenge themselves, all of which can be achieved in Outdoor Adventure programs.
Baylor is one of the few universities in Texas to have a river marina on campus. Located on the banks of the Brazos River across from campus on University Parks Drive, Baylor students, faculty, staff and their approved guests can visit the Marina and use the equipment from 3 p.m. to sundown.
At 53 feet, Baylor Climbing Center’s rock wall, known as the Rock, is the tallest free-standing rock wall in Texas. According to the Line Camp book given to incoming students, climbing the Rock is ranked at No. 23 of the 100 Things to do at Baylor list.
Last year, Schrank said over one quarter of students visited the Marina at least once while only about one out of every ten students visited the Rock. Although less students visit the rock wall on average, Schrank said the climbers who do come visit more regularly.
“The Rock gets a lot of repeat users, and these students build an Outdoor Adventure community,” Schrank said. “We try to foster an environment that allows them to hang out and relieve stress.”
Schrank said some students may be hesitant to participate because they are unfamiliar with rock climbing or think that experience is necessary. He said that most climbers are actually beginners, and that the staff is there to help them be successful. If you can climb a ladder, Schrank said, then you can likely climb the rock wall.
“These programs allow people to get out of their comfort zone,” said Rock staff member Steven King. “It’s an experience I would never have gotten if I didn’t participate in Outdoor Adventure.”
Schrank said students should take advantage of these opportunities before they leave Baylor, because the same activities at a gym typically require fees for entry and equipment.
“Stretch yourself, and just try it,” Schrank said. “How many times will you have access to these resources after college?”
The Challenge Course, located approximately 3 miles from campus at the Eastland Lakes Complex, is often used by student organizations or sports teams to facilitate team bonding. Outdoor Adventure group trips are also offered throughout the year, and Schrank said these prices are a good deal compared to individual trips outside of the program.
Another upcoming opportunity is Dia Del Rio on Monday April 13, the day before Dia Del Oso. Schrank said this free event gives students something to do on-campus the day before Dia, and exposes them to all the marina has to offer. There will be hot dogs, Dr. Pepper floats and free tank tops.
“The staff wants to help people try something new,” Schrank said. “Outdoor Adventure may even become a community for them to plug into.”