Southern Utah University Takes Home Title of National Outdoor Champion

100,000 outdoor activities were logged by nearly 20,000 individuals participating in the Mother-Nature-Meets-March-Madness competition.

2015 Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge
2015 Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge
Outdoor Nation
Outdoor Nation

Washington DC -( Competition in the 2015 Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge, presented by REI and The North Face, ended Saturday with Southern Utah University winning the title of National Outdoor Champion.

The school’s student body and surrounding community logged more than 20,000 outdoor activities with 2,500 people participating. In total, 57 colleges and universities across the country logged 100,000 outdoor activities with nearly 20,000 people participating in the six-week challenge.

Individuals were encouraged to get outside through a gamified format that featured prizes from presenting partners and other weekly sponsors including Adidas, Chaco, Osprey, and Coleman among others.

“Congratulations to Southern Utah University! We are so inspired by the incredible energy, ideas and commitment that all of the competing schools and students demonstrated –mobilizing nearly 20,000 participants to log almost 100,000 outdoor activities,” said Chris Fanning executive director of Outdoor Foundation, the organization that launched the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge. “It’s so exciting to see the Campus Challenge scale in such a dramatic way and show the power, passion and potential that young people have to change campus culture and ultimately create a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts.”

The premise of the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge is simple; universities compete to see which campus can get the most people outside and active by logging activities online. Think Mother Nature meets March Madness. Through contests, prizes and good ‘ole fashion rivalry, universities provided incentives to their student bodies and larger communities. REI and The North Face provided a gear bank to the winning school, Southern Utah University. Kyle M., the student from SUU who was named Outsider of the Year, was fully outfitted by The North Face.

The United States is battling epidemics like obesity and other symptoms of sedentary lifestyles across all cultures and communities. Using an incentivized format featuring premium prizes for both campuses and individuals, paired with the power of social media, momentum for the Challenge quickly spread and continued to grow over the six weeks. In fact, this year it has 57 schools enrolled, up from 10 in its pilot year, 2014.

The only of its kind, the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge runs each fall with a call for participants kicking off in the spring. The 2015 Challenge aims to engage young people in outdoor recreation—rewarding schools with the most outdoor activities logged by the most people in their campus network (students, faculty, alumni and local community). The school with the most participants and outdoor activities will be named the National Outdoor Champion, and the top individual will be crowned Outsider of the Year.

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About the Outdoor Foundation & Outdoor Nation:

The Outdoor Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, action-oriented outreach and education programs, the Foundation works with partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In 2010, the Foundation launched Outdoor Nation, a pioneering initiative that aims to empower young leaders to champion the outdoors on campuses and in communities across the United States.

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