Finding Purpose in Play: Enhancing Students’ Self-Awareness through Outdoor Recreation Programming

Important Question Explored:  What are some examples of partnerships between outdoor recreation programs and other areas of student services that help students to identify their values, strengths and interests?

 

kellie_gerbers-150x150.jpgKellie Gerbers, Coordinator, Outdoor Pursuits, earned a BA in history and Spanish from the University of Georgia and a  MS in higher education from The Florida State University.  Prior to working with FSU Campus Recreation, she worked with leadership development programs and mentored NCAA athletes.

 

 

Jordan_Merrick-1-150x150.jpgJordan Merrick, Director, FSU Challenge and Camp Flastacowo earned a BS and MS in recreation and leisure services administration at The Florida State University.  Prior to working with FSU Campus Recreation, Merrick worked with Project Adventure building and evaluating challenge courses all over the United States.

 

 


Abstract

Plato once advised “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Even though today’s students are nearly 2500 years removed from Plato’s original observation, opportunities to help them find “purpose in play’ are expanding every year on college campuses. This program proposes three partnerships between outdoor recreation programs and other areas of student services.  These partnerships can help students identify their values, strengths, and interests through programming that emphasizes experiential learning in an outdoor context.

Session Experience: The session will be highly participatory. Not only will there be an active exchange of ideas, but participants will physically engage in group activities. Presenters guarantee that the presentation will incorporate a rubber chicken at some point because those in the field of recreation like to play!  The focus of the presentation is on creating partnerships on campus. We’ll discuss how various departments within the field of student affairs can utilize outdoor recreation programming (challenge courses, adventure trips, outdoor spaces, etc.) to strengthen students’ understanding of their own knowledge, skills, and values.

Extending the Experience: After the session, participants will . . . . . . take with them ideas and proposals  for new partnerships.