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CORE encourages students to enjoy the outdoors

“It’s sick-nasty,” Sean Wilkinson, CORE graduate assistant said. “You and three of your closest friends in a canoe, armed with buckets. You go around dumping gallons of water into the opposing person’s boat, sinking them, having them float up from the bottom.”

Wilkinson is obviously a fan of canoe battleship, one of CORE’s signature events.

Wilkinson’s enthusiasm for all things CORE – Center for Outdoor Recreational Events – is contagious. Take a visit to the CORE office in the Sustella garage and you will find yourself excited to sign up for an upcoming trip or participate in one of its workshops.

Wilkinson in charge of the trips and rental center and will gladly explain any of the upcoming trips or what is included in a workshop.

“We give students the opportunity to connect with the outdoors,” Wilkinson explains about the CORE’s purpose. “It’s been proven that the outdoors helps people lower stress levels and makes them focus more, especially students with things like A.D.D.”

Wilkinson describes nature deficit disorder which impacts people that don’t go outside and are affected by a plethora of medical problems.  This disorder is caused by the lack of outdoor activities partaken by modern young people today.

“Kids who were more likely to go outside and basically burned off that excess energy had less A.D.D. symptoms,” Wilkinson said. “And it’s still something in college where a large percentage of students are still affected by ADHD and studies are done that show that active stuff helps with these problems.”

To help do its part in keeping the VSU student from worrying about nature deficit disorder, CORE has created a variety of outdoor activities. The list of upcoming trips runs the gamut from white water rafting down the Ocoee or snow skiing in West Virginia.

All trips are designed for maximum fun with minimum funds. Going off of student suggestions, the CORE staff must  ascertains the viability of the trip by determining cost and how to keep the trip cost effective.

“We are students, after all,” Richard Thomas, a member of the CORE staff and senior Environmental Geoscience major said. “The big challenge is getting the trips at a reasonable price.”

The CORE staff has met that challenge by keeping most of the CORE trips in the $25-45 range.  However, a few trips are going to cost you more.

Most expensive is the ski trip to Winterplace Ski Resort in Ghent, West Virginia at $250. CORE is partnering with Clayton Sate College in providing the ski trip. Students will travel to Clayton State and leave for West Virginia via charter bus.

“It’s the only trip that we don’t provide the transportation,” Thomas said.

On October 6, the group will host a skydiving trip to St. Mary’s on the Georgia coast. Wilkinson plans on taking two vans with between 20-24 jumpers. The trip has proven popular, selling out quickly despite a cost of $170.

“The vibe is like nothing else,” Wilkinson said. “There have been a few people that sit on the edge, not ready to go.”

That’s why the sky diving is done in tandem. Another person will be strapped to your back, forcing you out of the airplane.

“I was really confident before the jump,” Khatiga Nasir, junior biology major said of her sky diving trip in the fall of 2011. “Then when it was time to jump, I got a little nervous. When I jumped, I didn’t feel fear. All I know was that I was falling and having fun. But it ended too soon.”

Another event, “Women in the Wilderness” weekend, is a women only trip to Florida that includes camping and kayaking. Other trips include a rock climbing trip to Alabama and a surfing jaunt to Jacksonville Beach. CORE accepts flex, cash and check for all paid trips.

However, CORE also has free events throughout the year as well.  If you attended the Happening, then you may have seen Wilkinson show his skills on the slackline.

“If you saw the Super Bowl half time show with Madonna, you have seen the slackline,” Wilkinson said. “It’s been described as a tightrope and trampoline combo.”

In addition to the slackline event coming on Tuesday, there are a host of other events, including the cosmic climb event, which Thomas and Wilkinson described as a giant rave on a wall. Cosmic climb will be tomorrow at 9 p.m.

In October, CORE will host Rocktoberfest – a top rope climbing competition, a geocaching workshop, as well as the haunted trail, just in time for Halloween. CORE will round out the semester with Boulderpalooza – a horizontal climb up the rock wall, a fire cooking workshop and the aforementioned canoe battleship.

If you don’t want to go on one of the trips, be sure to check out the rental center at CORE.  There you will find an assortment of outdoor activity equipment, including kayaks, camping cookware, sleeping bags, tents and volleyball nets.

Regardless of which trip you chose, Wilkinson said to bring an open mind and sense of adventure.

“Bring a willingness to press that uncomfortable button,” he said. “Because there are going to be a lot of things that challenge students.”

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One comment

  1. Sean, good job, sounds like alot of fun. My question is can anyone go on these trips or is it just for the students at “VSU”? take care of yourself. rick

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