A Classroom in the Mountains, Caves, and Rivers
Chris Duffy brings a wealth of knowledge and fresh ideas to the Outdoor Adventures Program
Anyone visiting the Mount is struck by the stunning natural beauty of its 1,400-acre campus at the foot of the Catoctin Mountains. Nearby are magnificent Appalachian forests, meandering trails, rugged cliffs, gorgeous rivers and sparkling caves, and these wild and wonderful places serve as the playground and classroom for the Mount’s nationally recognized Outdoor Adventures program, or CRUX (Challenging Recreation, Unleashing Experience).
Outdoor Adventures offers trips and expeditions ranging from one day to two weeks in length, leadership and development training, and team building and organizational development programming. This year, the Outdoor Adventure program welcomed Chris Duffy as new director. Duffy comes to the Mount after working with the adventure programs at Towson University and California State University, Chico. He has been interested in the outdoors ever since he was a child and often went fishing with his dad. Now, Duffy especially enjoys looking for rapids on rivers, rock climbing, and mountaineering.
Here’s something you’d probably never guess about Duffy … he’s afraid of heights!
We talked with him recently to learn about his plans for the Outdoor Adventures program.
Why is an Outdoor Adventure program important for the Mount?
Adventure Education, in its simplest form, uses outdoor activities to bring about human development. Adventure activities should be fun, offering students a chance to get away from campus, enjoy new activities with their friends, and meet new friends. These activities should also be challenging and rewarding experiences. After participating in an activity, students can reflect on what they learned, discover more about themselves, grow as individuals, and walk away with the knowledge that they are capable of more than they ever thought possible. Since students experience outdoor adventures in a group, powerful lessons about community can be learned as well. Additionally, students are taught about the natural environment through their participation in Outdoor Adventures, and the importance of being good stewards of the earth.
What are your plans for the Outdoor Adventures program?
I plan on continuing the tradition of excellence within Outdoor Adventures. I want to focus on providing our leaders with the highest quality leadership development program possible, through committed and compassionate guidance. I will also be focusing on enriching the experience that participants receive on Outdoor Adventures trips. Currently, most of our trips are day trips, but I would like to offer more overnight trips. One perk: campfires at night!
What about the zipline?
The new zipline is open! There have been two open zipline sessions for members of the Mount community to take an exciting ride across the lake. Check your email for more information on more open zipline and other fun events, or friend us on Facebook for all the latest news: Outdoor Adventures - Mount St Mary's University.
For more information about the Mount’s Outdoor adventures program, check out the website at http://www.msmary.edu/student-life/outdoor-adventure/