Have you ever found yourself saying: “Outdoors? No, that’s not for me.” I was one of those people until last year when I joined the ALP (Adventure Leadership and Programming) minor, and drastically changed my opinion. Thanks to this awesome program I’ve moved on from girly couch potato to adventurous outdoor newb in no time!
I don’t know what drove me to the ASAP rental shop that first week of classes my freshman year, but I’m glad I stopped by. I remember this scruffy looking guy, who was our intern last year, telling me why I should join the minor, and I just kept thinking how scruffy looking he was. Anyhow, I decided to give the outdoors a try. So, I went on a couple trips with ASAP and fell in love with nature. I interviewed with them my second semester, and even though I had no outdoor experience whatsoever, I got in. I started working for ASAP and went on my first backpacking trip the upcoming summer. During the backpacking expedition I discovered a lot about myself and the backcountry.
It’s amazing how being outside, whether it’s a canyon, the beach, the woods, or a frozen waterfall changes your perspective in life. I was born and raised in Mexico, and I never thought of summiting a mountain that’s a little less than 14,000 ft. tall or going rock climbing for fun on a random weekend. Where I’m from women aren’t supposed to immerge in adventure activities because they’re too dangerous and un-lady like. However, once I started practicing adventure based sports I couldn’t stop. It is not like I became an adrenaline junkie, but by being able to lead myself and others in the backcountry I felt capable and empowered to better myself and share all these amazing experiences with other people.
So, enough with my clichéd story, here’s what my awesome co-workers and ALP minor students have to say about this incredible program:
My University experience wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t for the ALP Minor. It provided me with the technical skills to be able to go out and explore the amazing state we live in. The Minor also made me more invested in Adams State University because I was with a group of people with similar interests and reasons for coming to school in Colorado. I would totally recommend the ALP Minor to anyone who loves the outdoors and is looking to gain one-of-a-kind leadership skills!
The Adams State Adventure Program and the ALP have given me so many great opportunities over the past few years. Thanks to these I’ve learned the skills to be competent in the backcountry and I’ve also learned how to be a better leader. Coming to college, I would have never thought I’d be leading people in the back country nor have the opportunity to! Yet, ASAP was the launch pad that made it happen. The Adventure Program has given me more than what I hoped for.
The ALP minor at ASU is one of the best programs I’ve had the benefit of being a part of. Not only did it give me the opportunity to learn new outdoor skills and put them into practice, it also helped me to learn more about myself and grow as a person. I’ve got to see beautiful places that took my breath away and got to do what I am really passionate about. From backpacking to rock climbing there’s been tons of stuff to do and experience. I thought I knew a lot about myself and considered myself to be an excellent leader. However, through this program I’ve come to realize how little I knew, and now I realize that I will never stop learning new skills and techniques. I am very grateful for this program; it allowed me to realize what my true passions are, and to develop better as a leader and a friend. Thank you Adams State Adventure Program for this opportunity!
Self-empowerment is the biggest reason for my dedication towards ASAP and the ALP minor. Being able to explore the mountains with just you and your friends and no one for miles is one of the coolest feelings imaginable. People always say you’ll regret what you didn’t do in life, but you can tell them: “I lived out of my backpack, climbed mountains, and learned how to live in the wilderness that no one else dares to go!”
Who wouldn’t want to spend their time in the outdoors for college credit?—Ryan Raguindin
The ALP Minor at ASU has had an extremely positive impact on my life. I’ve had a remarkable time transitioning from training to training. Not only have these experiences opened doors to many unknown possibilities, they have also pushed me to expand outside of my comfort zone and limitations. Inevitable was to experience the most difficult and rewarding times of my life. Without hesitation I recall the most simple of times, which at the time meant the world to me. During the two week backpacking expedition, rain seemed more like a commonality than desired; however, despite the constant feeling of wet shoes and socks, comfort was found each night within my tent. It was neither the tent nor the sleeping bag that led me to feel comfort; it was the endless conversations with my tent mate. Within the wilderness, something as simple as a friendly conversation was all that I needed. The frills of daily life were left behind and the company of a good friend was found. These conversations were endless and often times ridiculous; still, it made everything better at the end of a wet day of hiking through the South San Juan Mountain Range. I continually find it amazing and enjoyed that once away from “it all” happiness can be found in the simplest of events.
You’ve heard enough! Now grab a backpack, the proper amount of gear, the necessary supplies and get outside!
Monica Ramos Otsuka