University Recreation

UREC Adventure Wins AORE Program Excellence Award


In December 2015, Guy deBrun and Sasha Griffith graciously accepted the AORE (Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education) David J Webb Program Excellence Award on behalf of the JMU Adventure Program. Guy and Sasha want to recognize the years of dedicated work from those who came before them, our supportive administration at JMU, and all of the students who have Motivated Madison into Motion through working in the program through the years.

Adventure and TEAM Programs

The Adventure Program at James Madison University (JMU) was officially founded in 1996 with the opening of the student University Recreation Center (UREC). UREC’s mission is to promote and advance healthy lifestyles through educational programs, participation opportunities, and support services. The qualified staff is committed to excellence and responsive to the developmental needs of participants. The JMU Adventure Program embraces its role in the bigger picture of educating students within the campus recreation model through consistent utilization of Student Development Theory, Student Learning Outcomes and assessment practices.

Prior to 1996, there was a small, yet active, outdoor equipment checkout center in another building on campus. When UREC opened in 1996, equipment rentals moved to UREC and a trip program started. A climbing wall was built in 1997 and the first ropes course completed in 2001. As the university grew in the next 10 years, the program expanded rapidly and moved from 10 trips a semester to over 40. In 2013, UREC opened a new outdoor park for JMU featuring a high and low ropes course anchored by a custom Alpine Towers Odyssey Course that can put 100 people in the air at once. The other aspects of the program has have also continued to grow, and last year, UREC Adventure served over 6000 climbers, 1000 trip/workshop participants with over 700 days in the field, 3000 participants on the challenge course, and thousands of items being rented. The level of participation in the program has prompted construction of a second climbing wall, a bouldering gym, a cycle center, and a 3600 square foot rental center slated to open Summer 2016.

Learn more about AORE!

UREC Homepage / Facebook / Twitter 

Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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