You can look at most recreation centers schedules and almost always find a yoga class, an indoor cycling class and a Pilates class — these are classes that, regardless of location, can be implemented.
While having the standard classes are important, having unique options that no one else has positions your facility in a way that may be more attractive to people that are wanting to explore something new. And, what better way to do that than by being resourceful with your geographical location?
Whether you’re located next to the ocean, on a river, in the snowy mountains or in the desert, creating an outdoor program and facilitating classes or trips that reap the benefits of your location will make you stand out. Below are examples of a few facilities using their location to their advantage.
Boston University offers private sailing lessons along with beginning and intermediate sailing classes to let students sail the Charles River. The Boston University Fitness & Recreation Center gives students who want to sail frequently the opportunity to buy a Recreational Sailing Card to their very own sailing pavilion. The recreation center’s website states “spend some time sailing this summer season and experience the profound effect that spending time outdoors and on the water can have on your mind, body and soul.”
More information on the sailing program can be found at https://www.bu.edu/fitrec/recreation/sailing/.
Florida State University teaches students how to become a “safe and confident scuba diver” in a 9-week “Open Water Diver” course, where students are taught by instructors from the nation’s oldest national SCUBA certification agency. While most classes meet in the Leach Aquatic Center, the course schedule also makes time for weekend dives at a local spring, the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico. The class is $300 for students and $350 for faculty and staff.
More information on the SCUBA Certification course can be found at https://campusrec.fsu.edu/fitness/aquatics/scub.
Sitting right in the heart of the Rocky Mountains is Bozeman, Montana, and in Bozeman, lies Montana State University. Bozeman is a city known for its unique outdoor pursuits and is a vacation destination for ice climbers around the world.
Montana State University’s Recreation Center offers an Introduction to Ice Climbing course, covering the basics of the sport so students can get out and explore the Hyalite Canyon, which their recreation website defines as “one of the premiere ice climbing destinations in the United States, right here in our backyard.” You learn all the basics in just three days with this course.
More information on the Introduction to Ice Climbing Course can be found at http://www.montana.edu/outdoorrecreation/instruction.html.
Home of Garden of the Gods, Rocky Mountain National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Rifle Mountain Park and Castlewood Canyon State Park — Colorado is a premiere spot for rock climbing lovers. Colorado State University’s Campus Recreation Outdoor Program gives students the opportunity to take an Intro to Rock Climbing class for entry-level climbers looking to learn how to climb outdoors.
More information on the Rock Climbing Course can be found at https://csurec.colostate.edu/CampusRec/assets/File/Outdoor-Program/Trip-Info-Sheets/Introduction%20to%20Rock%20Climbing.pdf