OCR offers trips to adventure-seeking students

By Pamela Moeller

Those looking for a little adventure and an Indiana Jones lifestyle should check out the Office of Campus Recreation’s Outing Center at NIU.

NIU’s Outing Center plans to sponsor trips throughout the school year, which will give students the chance to experience a little more of what life has to offer.

Jodie English, student assistant to OCR Promotions and Marketing, said two of the most popular programs include caving and rock climbing trips.

The center also offers trips for sailing instruction at Shabbona Lake, canoeing, camping, horseback riding instruction at a nearby farm and star gazing.

The center sponsors trips to the Grand Canyon over winter break and a trip to Texas for Spring Break.

English said the trips sponsored by the center offer more than the usual family sightseeing entertainment.

“The whole program with OCR tries to get you a little bit more experience and a little bit more adventure,” she said.

The OCR allows about 10 to 15 students to sign up for each trip, and the trips usually fill up, English said.

OCR has seen an increase in the number of students who have participated in the trips, she added.

“We used to have to cancel trips, but every trip this year has gone,” English said.

She credits the student interest to Ashley Sweda, coordinator of OCR Outdoor Programs and Building Management. English said Sweda’s advertising skills have increased participation in OCR

trips by 600 percent.

The Outing Center also provides brochures, maps and other information for those who want to plan their own adventures and don’t have the time to participate in OCR organized trips.

Camping, cross country skiing and skating equipment also are available for rental through the center.

English said the center acts as a resource for different organizations wishing to plan their own trips. Organizations can plan a group trip from beginning to end, she said.