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Aggies Find Their Wild Side for the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge

Wednesday, Sep. 27, 2017

The Student Life section of Utah State Today highlights work written by the talented student journalists at Utah State University. Each week, the editor selects a story that has been published in The Utah Statesman or the Hard News Café or both for inclusion in Utah State Today.

By Shelby BlackUSU Statesman, Monday, Sept. 25 2017  

Students at Utah State University are on a mission to prove that Utah State is the most outdoorsy campus in the nation by participating in the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge.

The goal of this challenge, which is being hosted by popular outdoor brands such as REI and Enos Hammocks, is to get students involved with nature by having them upload photos of themselves doing any sort of outdoor activity. By uploading photos, students help earn their school points and have a chance at winning various outdoor product prizes.

To kick off this month-long challenge, The College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences hosted a campout on the Quad. Students were invited to set up their tents and enjoy a night of BBQ, campfires, stargazing, and sunrise yoga.

“As a part of the College of Ag I came out to support,” said Christy Achen, an Agricultural Communications major. “And there’s free hotdogs and a lot of fun to be had!”

Although it was a wet and rainy night, several students braved the elements and endured an entire night on the Quad.

“I always take every opportunity I can to go camping,” said Michaela Brubaker, a junior. “What other chance am I going to get to camp on the Quad?”

By the next morning, only a few tents were left on the Quad.

“I am pretty outdoorsy so anything that can get me outside is great,” said Audrey Lidgard, a freshman. “I’m also making a trip to the Tetons later this month.”  

Students are planning on participating in other activities this month to help Utah State win.

“I love the outdoors, especially skiing,” said Kyle Adams, a freshman. “I’m going to longboard a lot this month as well.”

Riley Maloney, an employee of the USU Outdoor Program, encourages students to get involved by doing small things outdoors.

“Anything you can do to be in nature, whether it’s a day trip or just a walk outside, is a great way to expose yourself,” she said.

Activities that students can use to help USU gain points range from simply walking around campus to backpacking. Anything you log will help propel USU higher in the competition. The more extreme the activity, the more points the school will earn.

According to Chase Anderson, Outdoor Product and Design Program Development Officer, over 500 Aggies are participating in the challenge.

“We need all of you to help us win the competition!” Anderson said. The challenge will be running from September 18th to October 15th.

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