By Ariel C. Emberton, student news writer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Cody Jones, a senior at Campbellsville University from Glasgow, Ky., was recently named an Outdoor Nation Ambassador for Campbellsville University during the 2018 spring semester.
Outdoor Nation became active at Campbellsville University in the fall of 2017. It is working with the CU Outdoors organization, which has been active for four years.
The goal of Outdoor Nation, a sub-category of the National Park Service, is to bring more people into recreational activities around the area and to broaden their interest in National Parks.
Trent Creason, director of student activities at Campbellsville University, is wanting to bring in youngsters and young adults to participate in these outdoor events and get them interested.
“The average person who visits a national park is a 65-year-old white male,” Jones said.
Jones spent the fall 2017 semester participating in the campus challenges hosted by Outdoor Nation. He was emailed by the Outdoor Nation organization asking him if he would consider applying to be an ambassador.
Jones had to develop trips, ideas and an outdoor activity that would be suitable for those who are at the beginner level of recreation. He also had to attend a training given by the Sierra Club and Outdoor Nation Jan. 10-12 in Washington, D.C.
While at the training, Jones was able to meet 17 other ambassadors from around the country including California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Colorado. From the training, he gained a one-year membership to the Sierra Club and a two-year first-aid certification.
There is only one ambassador for each institution, but when Jones’ time as an ambassador is over he will be able to choose his successor. New universities are looking to be added each year in order to slowly grow the program.
One of the advantages to being an ambassador for the spring semester is that “I get to continue this in the fall,” Jones said.
He has been given many opportunities because of his ambassadorship. One opportunity which will benefit Campbellsville University the most is a grant of $1,000 that the school will receive. The grant is going to allow for more trips and consistency within the organization.
Creason is looking forward to what the next few months will hold for CU outdoors and Outdoor Nation on Campbellsville’s campus. “It’s helpful to have more student leadership, and I think this will increase student knowledge,” Creason said.
Creason and Jones both agreed that this is a good way to help students who don’t know a lot about the outdoors to learn something; there will also be ways to challenge those who are more experienced.
As of now Jones has two events planned for the next couple of months. On Feb. 24, there will be a trip to Mammoth Cave National Park. Following the park visit, the students will travel to Bowling Green to go indoor rock climbing. This trip will be first-come, first-serve basis with limited spots available.
On April 27, students will be given the opportunity to take an overnight trip to the Red River Gorge returning the next day. This event will be concluding the Earth Week celebration on campus, and there will be activities organized by CU Outdoors.
Jones is in the process of planning a beginners hike at Green River Lake. The day will consist of a one to one-and-a-half-mile hike into the woods. Students will then practice tent placement and building fires before they hike back.
Jones is the son of Scott and Melody Jones of Glasgow and is a 2015 graduate of Glasgow High School.
Outdoor Nation is going to allow CU outdoors to grow and utilize the area surrounding Campbellsville University, Creason said. Jones recently completed a survey for Outdoor Nation that will allow him to plan events that are of interest to the students. Campus Challenge, an outdoor national event where students, faculty, staff and alumni log their outdoor activity in a four-week nation-wide contest, is one event that will return in the fall.
CU Outdoors has a committee that helps to plan their events and will be collaborating with Outdoor Nation. If anyone has any idea that they would like the committee to consider or if you are interested in participating in any of these events contact Trent Creason at email@example.com, Elijah Coffey at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cody Jones at email@example.com.