By Matt Sabongi
Students and faculty at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities not only spend their time studying the natural world but playing in it, too! As a student, I was an avid participant in the University's Center of Outdoor Adventure. Throughout my life, I have had a passion for the outdoors and adventure sports. I enjoy backpacking, kayaking, snowboarding, hiking, climbing, and biking--to list a few. When I began as a student at the U of M, I was determined to continue pursuing my passion for adventure sports and the outdoors, even though I was moving to a metropolitan city. The Center of Outdoor Adventure helped me experience the best of both worlds: exploring the great outdoors while living the city life.
The Center for Outdoor Adventure (COA) provides student with alternative recreation experiences revolving around the outdoor activities. Throughout the year, COA hosts clinics and trips that introduce both beginner and experienced adventurers to the fundamentals of outdoor adventure skills and environmental ethics. Activities range from backpacking to ice climbing, both locally and nationally.
No matter if you are a experienced outdoor enthusiast or simply a learning the ropes, COA can provide students with the information and equipment needed for any outdoor adventure. COA has a great rental center full of equipment for every season at very reasonable student rates. Also, if you're looking to buy or sell some gear, the COA Gear Sale is a great way to get your hands on quality equipment at a student-friendly price.
Climbing is another great way for members to get involved with the Center for Outdoor Adventure. The climbing walls were actually the resources I used the most as a student. After my classes, I would walk over to either the Minneapolis or St. Paul Recreation Centers to climb either one of COA's two bouldering caves and full climbing wall.
The Center for Outdoor Adventure office is located in the lower level of the Minneapolis recreation center (or simply "The Rec," as students refer to it!). If you're visiting campus for a campus tour or simply in the area, make sure stop by and see the great resources COA provides for students interested in exploring the outdoors.