New program will allow BYU students to study in the great outdoors

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    By MATTHEW PARRY

    Many students dream about studying in the great outdoors — that dream will become a reality for 20 students next fall semester.

    The Department of Recreational Management and Youth Leadership is sponsoring a new program, Conservation and Outdoor Leadership Training, said Patti Freeman, recreational management professor.

    Students involved in the C.O.L.T. program will attend a field school in Aspen Grove next fall semester to help them become outdoors leaders, Freeman said.

    “Part of Aspen Grove’s original mission was to be a field school,” Freeman said. “I don’t think it has been used for that purpose for decades.”

    The program costs $2,000 plus tuition. The $2,000 fee would cover the costs of living in Aspen Grove’s lodge, eating at the dining facility and using the classroom facility, Freeman said.

    Freeman, along with Doug Nelson, will teach 14 credits that fulfill recreational management electives.

    “Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be a traditional classroom setup,” Freeman said. “Thursday, Friday and Saturday we’ll be away from Aspen Grove where students will plan and lead safe and effective outdoor programs.”

    Students would visit federal and state parks to learn how to become outdoor leaders, Freeman said.

    “Some of the trips will be just to visit land managers who will teach them,” she said. “The students would do service projects for the agencies like trail work or sign construction.”

    Students will also be involved in various activities that include backpacking, mountain biking, rock climbing, canoeing and white water rafting, Freeman said.

    Recreational management majors are not the only ones who can get involved with the C.O.L.T. program.

    “Priority will go to rec. management majors, but is also open to anyone in wildlife management and range science,” Freeman said. “It could also be for students involved with counseling.”

    Thirty students have already inquired about the C.O.L.T. program, but Freeman said it will be limited to 20 students.

    Janell Bettinger, 23, a senior from Grants Pass, Ore., majoring in therapeutic recreation, expressed interest in the program.

    “I’m interested in it because I can have an outdoor experience, and learn how to create that for others like my family,” Bettinger said.

    In the past few years, outdoor emphasis has been dying and the recreational management department hopes C.O.L.T. will revitalize it, Freeman said.

    “C.O.L.T. is a great opportunity because there is no better place to learn than to learn it outdoors,” Freeman said.

    The deadline for the applications is March 15, and should be delivered to Patti Freeman at 273M in the RB.

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