This year, the University of Maine chapter of the Association of Outdoor Recreation of Education (AORE) is participating in the 2019 AORE Campus Community Challenge following last year’s campus-wide participation in the event. The event started on Sept. 16 and will end on Oct. 13. Close to 100 universities are competing in this challenge nationwide. The university with the most logged hours wins the title of Most Outdoorsy campus and National Outdoor Champion.
“The AORE is a big advocate for outdoor education and getting people into the outdoors, and if we were the school that demonstrates the most spirit for everything they stand for, then that would be big for our image as a university and a community,” The President of the AORE, Jacob Burgess, commented.
This outdoor challenge requires students to download the AORE CC app from the App Store. After setting up an account, students are able to record and upload the outdoor activities that they are participating in the app. The outdoor activities that are counted for points towards the challenge on the app are any activities that involve being outside for 30 or more minutes. Students contribute to the challenge by uploading photos of their activities which in turn awards points to their university.
In the past the university has participated in the AORE challenge, and became one of the nation’s highest ranked ‘outdoorsy’ campuses in 2017.
The challenge is meant to encourage students to get outside and get more involved in outdoor activities by promoting the benefits of staying active. AORE reached out to other clubs on campus to get more people in the community involved.
“Maine Bound is coordinating this challenge for the university but everyone can be involved. From university organizations, campus clubs, to off-campus entities, it was all hands on deck and we are thrilled at the excitement for getting involved,” Burgess said.
The organization went through great lengths to set up different events for this challenge and advertising for the event. The outreach and marketing involved in this event played a huge part in influencing the number of people that would turn out to participate.
There are many titles that can be earned by the universities participating in this challenge such as National Outdoor Champion, Outsider of the Year, Regional Winner and other recognition awards for their school. There are specific events and dates that can be found on the Maine Bound Adventure Center website that students can participate in if they need help finding activities to get involved in.
As part of the AORE Campus Community Challenge, UMaine is hosting events throughout the week to promote outdoor activities. The Clifton Climbers Alliance, in partnership with Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School will be hosting a community climbing day at Eagles Bluff on Tuesday, Sept. 24. There will also be a Head Lamp 5k held after dark behind the New Balance Recreation Center on Friday, Sept. 27.
“Two years ago, UMaine distinguished itself as the champion of the Northeast region,” Burgess noted. “If UMaine gets the most involvement, we could go even further; we could be the National Outdoor Champion.”