Bridget Oliver in the New Zealand OPC Trip

Bridget Oliver, Miami Alumna is currently one of the Assistant Directors for the Outdoor Pursuit Center. She attended the New Zealand OPC trip during her time here and answered a couple of questions for us explaining her amazing experience.

What was a day like?

Kayak through seal colonies off Abel Tasman

Days were different depending on if we were in the front country or backcountry.  The front country was typically, wake-up, breakfast at the hostel or bakery in town, and then exploring the town.  Specifically, in Queenstown, we had a chance to do some high adventure activities since it is a mecca for that (skydiving, canyon swing, paragliding, bungee jumping, etc.) Some of our front country days were spent driving through the beautiful countryside to new towns and then prepping for the next backcountry trip.  A typical backcountry day would be: Wake up, breakfast at the hut, hike/climb/kayak and explore until we get to a lunch break or the next hut.  We typically had some time to explore around the hut before and after dinner sometimes including time in natural hot springs.  

What’s the thing you liked the most about the trip? I loved that we got to experience so much of an amazing country.  We spent just enough time in each place (well maybe not enough…I definitely want to go back!) and moved around so much that I know I got to see and enjoy way more than if I had tried to plan and complete a trip on my own.

The Angelus Hut

      What was your favorite place?     The Angelus Hut for sure!! It was an amazing, challenging, and fulfilling hike in.  The hike from the previous hut took us above the clouds (and a small airplane that flew by) and along a ridge of the mountain for an exhilarating feeling.  It was a long day, and I just felt so accomplished to make it to the hut.  The Angelus Hut was big enough that our entire group (which normally had to split in 2) was able to be together.  It was our last hike of the trip and we had bonded so much that it was so nice to be able to share the time altogether.  The amazing view didn’t hurt either.  The lake right outside the hut was so blue and calm and some of the purest, most delicious water we’d ever tasted.  I remember waking up to a gorgeous sunrise right out our bunk room window too.  My friend shook me awake thinking he was seeing the Southern Lights it was so vibrant and beautiful.  Everything about getting to and the time we got to spend at that hut was perfect and definitely my favorite place of the trip.  

Why would you recommend students to go on this trip? Why wouldn’t I recommend this trip?! To me, it is the perfect study abroad opportunity!
1. You get a chance to visit a country many people only ever dream about.
2.  You get to experience so much of the country.  
3. You get to be outside and enjoy the true beauty of the country in a way that many citizens of the country don’t even get out to do.   
4. You learn so much about yourself from your leadership skills and style to how

Climbing the Fox Glacier

you handle good and bad situations in and out of nature.  The journal I kept is still so important to me, to be able to look back at the physical, emotional, and spiritual journey I had.  It’s powerful to be able to learn naturally, and that’s what this course allows you to do.  The fact that I got to earn 3 of my college credits on this trip still blows my mind! This trip helped to steer me into my chosen career path, so I may be a bit bias, but I would say that this trip is a powerful development tool that people would be crazy to turn down (especially if you like being active in the outdoors and traveling even a little).

Intramural Teams of the Week February 12-17

Congratulations to our intramural teams of the week!

Intramural Basketball                                                   Intramural Soccer
Intramural Football                                                                Intramural Volleyball

Staff Spotlight on Gabby Kinnamon

Gabby Kinnamon

Gabby has been working here at the Rec Center for almost 4 years and is currently the Assistant Director of Club Sports and Youth Gymnastics. Parents compliment Gabby on her coaching abilities and her gymnastic kids all talk about how amazing of a coach she is. She is always willing to go the extra mile and help others in need. Additionally, she is the Rec staff socialite and likes to help organize staff gatherings at and outside of work.

When and how did you become a part of the REC staff? I started in 2014 as the Club Sports and Youth Gymnastics Intern and then in 2015 I became the Assistant Director of Club Sports, so I’ve been here 4 years.

In this position what do you do? Oversee all the club sports which we have 54 teams and  I also run our youth gymnastics program which has 200 participants in it.

What do you like the most about your job? Oh, there are so many things. One of the biggest things I like is the people I work with, all the people here at the Rec are really great and we make work fun. Also working with the club sports, developing their leadership and helping them through problems. Seeing our teams succeed and knowing that you had a small part in that and just being able to help the students, and help them for their future. And then the gymnastics program, I get to see little tiny kids progress all the way through. I usually work with the older girls and just seeing them get the skills that they’ve been working on forever it’s really rewarding.

What’s your best memory at the REC?

H.Dean Smith

It’s hard because we have so many great ones. I would probably say, I think it was two winters ago, a big group of us walked to Goggin and went ice-skating during lunch, and Dean was ice-skating and that was great. That’s probably one of the best ones.

How would your colleagues describe you? I don’t know, probably silly. I would hope they’d say I’m hardworking but I think they’d probably say something towards silly. Fun? I don’t know I handle most of the social things that happen so something around that.

What’s your favorite recreational activity? Not cardio… Swimming probably, I’ve been a swimmer my whole life and tumbling even though I’m not very coordinated anymore but it would probably be one of those two.

What are you most passionate about? Helping people succeed. I was ready to fail out of college, I was about to drop out, I hated school.  My mentor totally turned everything around for me, so I’m hoping to be that person, even if it’s just a small thing, being able to help someone. To just have the ability to impact people every day.

When are you happiest? When I’m sleeping… probably when I’m home with my husband and my pets hanging out. Or at an alpaca farm!

Do you have a personal philosophy that you live by? 

 No, I mean I guess one thing I live by is “find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” because that’s how I feel here.

By Dania Puente

Club Sports Weekly Update 02/05-02/11

Women’s D1 Hockey.  Beat ASU 4-0and 10-1

Table Tennis: Regional tournament in Toledo Finished 5th overall

Men’s volleyball competed at Xavier University for a conference playdate.

Roller Hockey Beat Ohio State6-3 and 7-2 and Michigan 12-6, Lost Akron 7-3.

Equestrian Hunt seat Team got 1st on Saturday and 3rd on Sunday at Otterbein.

Men’s Hockey D2 Beat Lindenwood University 2-1 on Friday and lost 40 on Saturday.

Skating: The Intercollegiate Figure Skating Team placed second overall at the Golden Gopher Challenge in Minnesota. 

By Michelle Gregg

Intramural Teams of the Week February 5-9

Congratulations to our intramural teams of the week!

Indoor Soccer                                                               Indoor Volleyball
Basketball                                                                       Arena Football