Outdoor Program Earns Grant Promoting Boating Safety

In a region made up of fields and flat lands, it may be hard to believe that BGSU’s Recreation and Wellness Department is nationally recognized for excellence provided by the Outdoor Program.


After applying for the 2010 Boating Safety Education Grant sponsored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, The Outdoor Program was rewarded $12,000 to provide a canoeing safety program. The grant allows the program to purchase equipment including five brand new canoes, a trailer, life jackets, paddles and throw ropes.


“We will be holding three to four canoeing safety courses each year,” said Director of the Outdoor Program, Jerome Gabriel. “The courses are in collaboration with regular trips, so everyone participating will be taught canoeing safety.”


The grant was offered to candidates who demonstrated potential success of a program promoting boating safety.  Among those that qualified, RecWell’s Outdoor Program was 1 of 30 applicants that received the grant in Ohio.


Many adventure seekers often plan canoeing trips with minimal training. Their assumption that nothing will go wrong, and knowing what to do if something does go wrong, is a concern to the Outdoor Program.  “With the easy availability of canoeing in Ohio, it can be a very positive or negative first experience with the outdoors. With this program we hope to educate others on how to canoe safely and have a fun experience that will hopefully lead them towards taking more time to experience the outdoors,” said Gabriel.


BGSU is not located in an area known for outdoor exploration. The Outdoor Program works hard to provide opportunities that BGSU students and community members otherwise would not have.  The program takes participants on exciting adventures all over the state and the Midwest.


“The most important aspect of the Outdoor Program is providing students with an outdoor experience beyond Northwest Ohio,” said Gabriel.


The Outdoor program is doing just that by expanding their efforts to provide not only a thrilling and educational experience, but a safe experience for all who participate.


More information on The Outdoor Program and upcoming trips can be found on BGSU’s Recreation and Wellness Web Site.