AORE Partner News May 2016 - Page 5

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In fact, an independent evaluation shows that Outdoor Nation participants currently in college reported the highest levels of engagement and intent to continue involvement.

As a result, Outdoor Nation expanded its work with university programs and students— enabling young leaders to organize activities, build communities and ultimately create a stronger outdoor culture on their campuses across the country.

This fall, Outdoor Nation will put on its third annual Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge; 75 colleges and universities are expected compete for the title of National Outdoor Champion. It’s a six-week, March-Madness-meets-Mother-Nature campaign to see which school can get the most people outside and active. Last year 100,000 unique outdoor activities were logged by nearly 20,000 college students via the website:

oncampuschallenge.org.

In 2015, Southern Utah University won the Challenge, and Kyle M. from Southern Utah University, won Outsider of the Year. Of his experience, Kyle said, “[The Challenge] ended up enriching my life in ways I didn’t expect. My girlfriend, who also competed and I started to get more creative when looking for outdoor activities. We became motivated to help our school win, so it helped me reach out to others and get them involved.”

This year, the campaign is expected to reach even more with students able to log activities through an app and with geotagged photos.

In addition to the Challenge, Outdoor Foundation has launched Campus Ambassador Programs on several college campuses in partnership with the National Park Service and Merrell. This program is already a success and will continue to grow its investment in student leaders who spearhead activation campaigns to increase outdoor participation as well as serve as partner champions. This program gives student leaders the flexibility to get outside – their way – while recognizing the power of social media to influence broader outdoor engagement.

To date, Outdoor Nation has 50 Campus Ambassadors and is looking to double that number over the next few years due to success and increased partner support.

As you can imagine, Outdoor Nation is on the move and is (most likely) working on a campus either near you, if not your own. We want to help you grow your outdoor program however we can! Visit oncampuschallenge.org to register for the Fall Challenge (spots are still available!) or contact Ivan Levin (ilevin@outdoorfoundation.org) for additional information on our ambassador programs.