Appalachian voted Blue Ridge Outdoors’ ‘Most Adventurous’ college

Michael Bragg

Appalachian State University was named the “Most Adventurous” college in a 32-college tournament created by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine.

Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine established a bracket in April, similar to the NCAA Basketball tournament, pitting various colleges in the Blue Ridge Mountain region against one another based on attributes that made them adventurous, according to blueridgeoutdoors.com. 

Readers of the Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and supporters of the various colleges submitted their votes online through the magazine’s website. The publication provided a few standout attributes about each college to help readers decide which to vote for.

In the final round, Appalachian defeated Brevard College 11,232 votes to 5,391, according to the publication’s website.

Some “landmark programs” attributed to Appalachian’s adventurousness are the Wilderness Orientation Program, Instructor Development Program, month-long domestic and international expeditions and the outdoor program scholarship, according to the article.

Appalachian was also noted for the indoor climbing wall and 50-meter pool located in the Student Recreation Center, according to the article.

The award is a testament to the student body, said Rich Campbell, director of Outdoor Programs and associate director with University Recreation at Appalachian.

“Our student body really embraces the lifestyle of a general appreciation for where they live,” Campbell said. “They like to take care of themselves, they like to be active and they are really excited about doing things that are good for the environment.”

Campbell said there is a list of numerous outdoor activities available to Appalachian students, including the Wilderness Orientation Program, an indoor climbing wall and access to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Gorge and various rivers.

Campbell said that Outdoor Programs provides the opportunity for students to do a lot or a little regarding outdoor activities.

“It becomes part of the psyche for so many people up here,” Campbell said. “Just to have the option to be a part of multiple activities creates a great environment. We are really excited to engage with people at every level of interest.”

Campbell said that while showing plenty of respect to other schools in the area, it does not surprise him much that Appalachian received the award.

“The student body we have is one that wants to try new things, meet new people and continue to show respect to their surroundings,” Campbell said. “Because of these things, I would say it is fitting that Appalachian deserves the recognition it was given.”

Junior recreation management major Daniel Combs said he agrees with Campbell about Appalachian having options for all levels of interest.

“Outdoor Programs has, hands down, influenced my college life as much as anything else,” Combs said. “I started using the climbing wall for recreation and eventually became employed there as a result of enjoying it so much. I have met plenty of friends along the way through Outdoor Programs, too.”

Story: GERRIT VAN GENDEREN, Intern News Reporter