The Outdoor Nation Challenge – An Incentive to Venture Outdoors

The Outdoor Nation Challenge - An Incentive to Venture Outdoors

Emily Powers, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Quite a few colloquiums ago, Outdoor University and Abbey Arboretum staff member Sarah Gainey talked about the 2014 Outdoor Nation Challenge. It did not particularly influence my life until my mother, at the astonishing rate of four or five times a day, started dashing outdoors with a camera. As she scrambled to upload the photos onto some kind of online leaderboard, I began to remember Ms. Gainey’s presentation, and Mr. Fremo showing us a valiant outdoor-selfie he had taken.

The Outdoor Nation Challenge runs until November 22 nd, and to engage you simply go outside and do virtually anything for more than 30 minutes, not forgetting to take a picture of yourself or your friends – which you then post to an online leaderboard. In order to post the pictures to the leaderboard, you must first make an account on http://www.oncampuschallenge.org/. Being a student of the College of Saint Benedict or Saint John’s University is not a requirement, and neither do the outdoors activities need to be on the campus(es) – you could be in Bangladesh and still submit entries. And, if the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University wins the 2014 Outdoor Nation Challenge, they will be named the National Outdoor Champion. This would mean receiving a custom library of outdoors equipment, in addition to scholarships and awards for the top participating students.

Seeing my mother participating so earnestly in this challenge, I decided to refresh my memory regarding it, and going online I found that Outdoor Nation non-profit describes itself as committed to “reconnecting millennials with the outdoors.” I had been starting to accompany my mother on some of her daily excursions, but this simple statement was what finally made me make an account and begin participating myself. Modern culture, youth especially, is not at all conducive to going outside, and many times we need something (or someone) to boot us outside so we can see how glorious it is – and remember how much we love it.

Outdoor Nation non-profit describes itself as committed to ‘reconnecting millennials with the outdoors.’ ”

The Outdoor Nation’s utterance about “reconnecting” resonated with me considerably more than the mentions of prizes available for individuals and colleges, and perhaps it will with you too. Even if you do not wish to join the challenge, please just go outside regularly, as it will alleviate those awful feelings of stress and depression – it will make you happy!