Outdoor Adventure Program
With school beginning soon and all the students back to Houghton, it’s a great time of the year to take advantage of Michigan Tech’s Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP). The goal of OAP is to help connect your student to the outdoors through guided trips, leadership training, information sessions, and equipment rental and by working closely with student organizations to help advertise and run events.
OAP offers a huge list of items that can be rented at a low cost for Tech students. Is your student interested in going camping? For a one night camping trip your student can rent a:
30 Degree sleeping bag for $4.00
2 person tent from $8.00-10.00
Stove and Fuel $7.00
Large Cooler $ 2.00
Above is only a few of the options OAP offers to rent. They have a list of more things your student could rent to take with them such as: backpacks, kayaking packages, canoeing packages, snowshoes, Trek Mountain Bikes, and much more. OAP helps provide many great opportunities allowing students to explore the Keweenaw at a very low cost.
OAP offers an outdoor challenge course. The course is normally open from mid May until the end of October. This course consists of two main elements: Low Elements and High Elements.
Low Elements: The low elements course consists of 11 overall activities, however most groups focus on four to five elements. These elements/activities tend to involve a lot of team-building, leadership development, and improvement of communication skills. I have done this course and it really is a lot of fun!
High Elements: The high course, which was built in 2009, contains 5 elements. One of the 5 elements is a 250’ + zip line exit. This course is a dynamic course, which means the students only need to climb one time to be able to complete all activities. Although the high elements focus more on individual challenges, up to 10 people can participate at a time.
Activities in the Keweenaw
OAP offers information and trips focused on many great and fun things to do in the Keweenaw. If your student has any interest in biking, the Keweenaw has a lot of great trails! The Upper Peninsula is one of the more predominant places for biking in the Midwest. Some of the trails that your student could check out are: Black Creek, Maasto Hiihto/Churning Rapids, Tech Bike Trails, Swedetown, and Copper Harbor. Visit the OAP biking website to see the list of maps. Not only are there maps for the trails, Tech also has three student organizations that your student could join that are involved in biking. They are: Copper Country Cycling Club , Red Jacket Cycling, and the Keweenaw Trekkers.
Michigan Tech offers a Student Organization called Ridge Roamers which is a rock climbing organization. There is a rock wall at the Student Development Complex in the Multi-Purpose room and the Ridge Roamers meet there every Wednesday. To get some real outdoor experience, the Ridge Roamers maintain rock climbing routes up at the cliffs north of Mohawk.
OAP offers trips to go and view waterfalls in the local area. I recently was able to go on my first real waterfall experience here in the Keweenaw and it was amazing. The Hungarian Falls, pictured to the right, are the falls I was lucky enough to see and they truly were beautiful. Visit the Waterfall website to use an interactive map that allows you to pin point where many of the local falls are.
As a student at Michigan Tech, it is almost imperative to embrace the snow. In order to do this, it helps to be able to go outside and enjoy the snow. Some of the many things you can do are cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and snowshoeing.
One great thing about our University is that even if you don’t know how to ski, you can take a skiing course with a student instructor who can teach you! When I moved to Michigan Tech I knew how to cross country ski, but never had been downhill skiing. I did take the downhill skiing course and loved every second of it! It was great to spend time outside, learn something new, and take advantage of the awesome snow.
I hope this will help you provide some ideas to your student when they need a break from school. Encourage your child to stop in and meet the OAP staff, they are always looking to get more students involved with nature.
Please email if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions.