On November 5th, we took a group of fellow students to our campus Outdoor Education Center (OEC) for a high ropes adventure course. The OEC is part of the WVU Research Forest, which sits in the original Coopers Rock State Forest. We had campus vans transport us all out to the woods, and as we got closer and further into nature, you could feel everyone’s excitement growing. The OEC creates a nice environment that encourages facing your fears and challenging yourself by getting you outdoors, which aligns perfectly with the National Park Trust mission. As college ambassadors for National Park Trust, how could we pass up such a fantastic opportunity?

The day was filled with challenges being conquered, fears being faced, and endless laughter and smiles. The high ropes adventure course was challenging, but we had an excellent guide that made it super fun. Everyone was motivating each other to keep going and not give up. It was a really cool thing to experience all these rewarding emotions while being high up in the trees and appreciating nature. What a cool way to enjoy the outdoors with friends, right?

After completing the course, we ended the day with some lunch and gave the students some National Park Trust swag as a reward for facing their fears and appreciating the outdoors with us. Many of the students laughed and bonded over lunch afterward, and how cool it is to say you met a new friend while conquering a high ropes adventure course in beautiful West Virginia.

One of the most rewarding parts of the trip was exposing our fellow students to some of the outdoor adventure opportunities we have right here, super close to campus. So many students that attend our university have never explored more of West Virginia besides campus and the downtown parts of Morgantown. This trip was an awesome opportunity to show the students some of the beautiful outdoors this state offers, like Coopers Rock State Forest. A handful of the students who came mentioned to us that they had no idea West Virginia University has its own ropes course and would be interested in returning on their own time. I think we opened the eyes of some of our fellow students to the fact that there is more to West Virginia than just the city of Morgantown. The most rewarding feeling is knowing we sparked a bit of adventure in our fellow students, and we can’t wait to see who will join us at our following events.