Partners in Adventure and Learning
Students' Living-Learning Experiences Enhanced Through OA-LLC
By Matthew Bates
The Outdoor Adventure Living-Learning Center (OA-LLC) is a partnership among three departments: Heath, Human Performance and Recreation in the School of Education, Outdoor Adventure in Campus Recreation, and Campus Living & Learning in Student Life.
Each department works collaboratively to make the program a success. Designed to provide like-minded students an opportunity for personal growth, intellectual stimulation, and leadership development through outdoor adventure experiences, the OA-LLC is a distinctive opportunity at Baylor based on the principle that outdoor adventure experiences can and do accelerate students' learning about themselves and others.
Outdoor adventure experiences get students out of their "comfort zones" to face challenges that help students develop life skills and traits to be successful in college and beyond. While all OA-LLC activities have educational components, some activities of the LLC also focus on the social, service, leadership, and spiritual aspects of a student's life.
"Last spring break I went on a camping trip with the OA-LLC to the Grand Canyon. It was such a wonderful experience, and I know a great deal of the success of the trip had to do with how well the leadership teams from Outdoor Adventure and HPPR worked together. It was a trip of a lifetime," said Ashley Thornton, a McAllen, Texas, senior and member of the OA-LLC.
Students in the OA-LLC live in the North Village Residential Community and participate in one cohort class each semester. Participants must submit applications and reference forms for the limited-space, two-year program.
Faculty and staff of the Outdoor Adventure LLC include Dr. Dale Connally, associate professor in HHPR; Kelli McMahan, assistant director of campus recreation; and Matthew Bates, OA-LLC program director.
The OA-LLC partnership extends beyond the Baylor campus to include working with the Waco Parks and Recreation Department, other universities' outdoor adventure programs, and many professional recreation organizations.