Amazing adventures in the great outdoors

Backpacking students participating in outdoors recreation.

Backpacking the Appalachian Trail. Canoeing the Rio Grand River. Surfing some California waves. Exploring the Maquoketa Caves. You name it, and chances are the Outdoor Recreation Program at Iowa State has offered it. It's like their motto says, "The outdoors can be for everyone." No matter what you like to do.

But getting out in the great outdoors isn't the only thing the Outdoor Recreation Program offers. It also provides students a sense of belonging and an awesome way to form lifelong friendships on their Iowa State adventure. Just ask staff member Elizabeth Happ, senior in dietetics. "I transferred to Iowa State as a second-semester sophomore and thought I'd have a difficult time finding friends," said Happ. "I applied to Outdoor Rec hoping to find a good group of friends and an opportunity to learn more about the outdoors. Outdoor Rec has provided me this and more."

Program director Jerry Rupert, who has been with the program for 13 years, says when students participate in the Outdoor Recreation Program, they'll also find leadership opportunities that will benefit them in the future. "We believe the work we do with students will help them in their careers after leaving Iowa State. It doesn't matter what the career field is -- leadership is something that can be applied anywhere," said Rupert.

Iowa State offers a multitude of programs and activities to help you broaden your horizons outside of the classroom. We also offer more than 800 clubs and organizations on campus, from dancing to engineering, which means you're sure to find a group you love. So if getting out in the great outdoors doesn't sound all that great to you, don't sweat it. We have plenty of groups that enjoy the great indoors, too.