This fall season is a special one at Southern Utah University as it marks the tenth anniversary of the University’s outdoor recreation program. To commemorate, the Outdoor Engagement Center has planned a host of events throughout the semester, open to all with a special welcome to SUU alumni.
Ten years’ worth of adventure, camaraderie and learning will culminate in a three-day celebration of all things wild and natural when T-Birds new and old join together to share memories of times past and make some new ones, too.
As part of SUU’s Homecoming celebration, which begins on October 10, the Outdoor Engagement Center will host a reunion, bringing together members of SUU’s student body, staff, alumni and the community for a series of outdoor-themed events and activities.
Festivities get underway on Thursday, October 10, at 11:30 a.m. when outdoor enthusiasts will gather in the Sharwan Smith Student Center Living Room to reminisce in a special Outdoor Education Series event, “Hike Down Memory Lane…Remembering 10 Years of Outdoors at SUU.”
Participants are encouraged to share photos, swap stories, reconnect with old friends and recount their fondest memories of times spent out-of-doors in the spectacular colored landscapes that surround SUU.
The adventure begins on Friday, October 11, when groups will head out for some fun and excitement, southern Utah style. Participants may choose from three recreation opportunities—National Parks Adventure, Canyoneering Adventure or Family Adventure.
The National Parks Adventure group will visit Zion National Park and Kolob Canyon where they will take a moderate hike. National park geology expert and SUU Dean of Science Dr. Robert Eves will accompany the group and discuss the area's geological wonders.
The Canyoneering Adventure will depart SUU Outdoors at 9 a.m., heading for the Kolob Terrace area where they will practice basic canyoneering maneuvers, navigate a few rappels and do some hiking. Participants will need to bring their own helmets and harnesses. Gear is available for rent in SUU Outdoors.
As weather can be unpredictable, participants are encouraged to come prepared with warm clothes and bring a lunch, snacks and plenty of water.
Excursion trips are free of charge but reservations are required. The canyoneering and parks adventures are limited to 20 people and reservations must be made by October 9. To reserve your spot, call SUU Outdoors at (435) 865-8704.
For those with families who want to stay closer to home, the Family Adventure group will enjoy kayaking, rock climbing, outdoor games and other fun activities on SUU’s campus, beginning at 9 a.m.
Later, at 6 p.m., the Family Adventure group will be treated to a Dutch oven dinner, songs by the campfire and time to connect with friends old and new at Willow Glen Inn, 3308 N. Bulldog Road, Enoch, Utah. Following the dinner, the group will head to the SUU Observatory where telescopes will be set up for stargazing at 9 p.m.
All ages are welcome at the Family Adventure; the cost is $15 for adults and $10 for SUU students and children under 12. Reservations are required and must be made by October 4.
On Saturday, October 12, the Outdoor Recreation crew invites participation in decorating and riding on the Outdoor Recreation reunion float in the annual SUU Homecoming parade. Decorating will begin at 10 a.m. in the Sharwan Smith Student Center parking lot near the entrance to SUU Outdoors.
Additional information on excursions can be found on the OEC ten-year celebration page, www.suu.edu/outdoorsreunion.
Keeping the adventure alive throughout the semester, the Center’s Outdoor Education Series (OES) will continue on Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. Sessions are open to students and community members alike and are held in SUU Outdoors, Room 172 of the Sharwan Smith Student Center, unless otherwise noted.
The one-hour presentations feature a variety of topics related to public lands, outdoor recreation and backcountry preparedness. This semester’s lineup includes discussions on outdoor videography, elk movement patterns, outdoor cooking and drumming as a therapeutic intervention.