Outdoor Venture Center
Cooperative Adventure Philosophy
Trips and activities sponsored by the Outdoor Venture Center (OVC) are considered to be "Cooperative Adventure" trips. In cooperative adventure trips, leaders are also participants - they are participants who have experience and training. Their role is to serve as a coordinator or facilitator. Trip Leaders are not guides.
Cooperative adventure trips are not guide service trips. In a guided trip, the guides attempt to anticipate and fulfill the needs and desires of their clients and relieve the clients of responsibility or duties. In our cooperative adventure trips, leaders may establish rules, requirements, or guidelines related to the health and safety of participants and the environment, and they may make suggestions regarding what to do or where to go. As facilitators, the leaders provide ideas and guidance, but the ultimate responsibility for individual and group safety and enjoyment in cooperative adventure trips lies with each participant.
Participants in cooperative adventure trips are expected to participate in much of the decision making. The role of the facilitator ("trip leaders") is not to make decision for participants, but help participants help themselves.
Each participant of a group trip needs to recognize that not all their goals or needs may be met, that others may have conflicting goals. Ultimate responsibility for maximizing enjoyment lies in working with other groups members to satisfy, as much as possible, the needs of all group members.
Furthermore, due to the very nature of the outdoors and outdoor activities, most trips do not go entirely according to plan. Consequently, participants must have patience and accept mishaps or departures from their personal agenda with ease and understanding.
General Trip Information & Pricing
We supply camping and specialized equipment for most of our trips and generally pay for all camping and park entry fees and permits. Participants need only clothing, food, and some personal equipment. For river trips, the cost also includes the shuttle fees.
Most, but not all of our trips, are instructional and are for the person with little to no experience. For example, you do not need to know anything about rock climbing to attend our beginning rock climbing workshop. If you want to find out about an activity, you are welcome to come to a pre-trip meeting.
Our trips are run on a non-profit basis. Many of the administrative and overhead costs are covered by Campus Recreation through student fees. Our trip and rental fees pay for transportation, student wages, staff training, advertising, gathering information for trips, some lodging or camping fees, and the purchase, maintenance and repair of equipment. The fees we charge do not pay for the value of the volunteer time put in by our trip leaders and assistants. In exchange for keeping our prices low we expect all participants to put in an effort to make activities enjoyable and safe. This requires that you recognize you are part of a group and that you will be willing and open to participate as a team member. That is why the OVE calls itself the "Cooperative Adventure Program" (see "Cooperative Adventure Philosophy" above).
You may receive academic credit from the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation for participation in our extended trips (e.g., Grand Canyon backpacking, Rio Grand canoe trip) or classes (e.g., Outdoor Emergency Care or Outdoor Leadership). It is also possible to receive credit for a series of trips (e.g. a series of ski workshops, a series of canoe trips, or a series of rock climbing trips). You must contact Program Director, Joel Bauch (554-2997) prior to enrolling and arranging credit.
Notice of Assumed Risks
Due to the inherent danger of outdoor activities, there are many factors outside our control. Although we strive to be safe and avoid injuries, sometimes accidents occur. Other examples of uncontrollable factors include illness, injury, death, vehicle breakdowns, weather, environmental emergencies and permit regulations.
Therefore occasional changes in scheduled plans or trip destinations do happen. Plans must be, at best, tentative. If a serious problem arises, participants will be expected to help as needed. This may mean participants may not meet all their personal objectives, or may not be able to return as scheduled. Participants in Outdoor Venture Center activities must recognize that, through their participation, they are assuming the risks related to the activity, including the risk of travel, injury, illness, death, and loss of property.