Washington DC –-(Ammoland.com)- This fall, 88 universities and colleges from across the country will compete in the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge, an initiative of the Outdoor Foundation, which kicks off September 4th and runs through October 15th. For six weeks, students, faculty and the surrounding communities at the competing schools will take part in the Mother-Nature-Meets-March-Madness like program, resulting in one person being named the Outsider of the Year and one school given the title of National Outdoor Champion. Most importantly, the Challenge will use prizes, competition, and gamification to fight the growing inactivity crisis in America among youth by helping connect them to the outdoors in a fun and personal ways.
“The Challenge is about using technology for good – specifically, for the health and wellness of an entire generation of young people,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation. “We are rewarding and incentivizing college students who spend time outside because we believe they will have memorable experiences, develop a love for the outdoors and ultimately spend more time protecting and enjoying our beautiful parks and wild places. This is what the Challenge is about – creating a cultural shift that leads all young Americans to the great outdoors.”
The Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge is simple; individuals compete to see who can spend the most time outside and active. The individual who does wins the title of Outsider of the Year. The school that has the most individuals logging outside hours will win the title of National Outdoor Champion. Thanks to our Challenge sponsors, universities will provide incentives to their student bodies and larger communities to get outside and active like stickers, gear, head-to-toe outfitting and even a trip and an internship opportunity. A full list of participating schools can be found here.
The 2015 Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge built on the success of the 2014 pilot program, expanding from 10 to 57 schools. Over the course of six weeks, schools leveraged the assets and infrastructure of their college campus to engage new audiences in the outdoors. Outdoor programs and outing club members often served as lead organizers for the Challenge – planning school-wide activities, promoting individual participation and in many cases, introducing new outdoor activities to spark initial interest. Ultimately, the students worked to build a stronger outdoor campus community and culture. In total, the 2015 challenge inspired 99,675 outdoor activities led by nearly 20,000 college students earning a social reach of 11.5 million.
The Challenge was developed to combat some of today’s bleak statistics around young people and outdoor participation. Current research tells us young people spend 50 percent less time outdoors in natural settings than the generation that preceded them. The average young adult today spends eight hours in front of a screen and only a few minutes outside.
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. For more information visit: OutdoorFoundation.org and OutdoorNation.org