Outdoor adventure cater to student needs

For the sports enthusiast at Missouri Southern, several opportunities have opened up this semester as far as outdoor recreation is concerned.

Austin Lohkamp, sophomore criminal justice major and outdoor adventures coordinator, said the program is starting well.

The semester began with more than 20 people playing a day at Underground Paintball.

“Shawn Dodson (the owner) has basically given us free reign of Underground Paintball,” Lohkamp said. “We got to play when we want, where we want.”

Lohkamp said the majority of students that participate live in the residence halls, but he was really pleased with the mix of people on and off campus.

“I met a lot of cool people and had a lot of fun so I guess it lived up to my expectations,” said Joey Hoofard, sophomore criminal justice major.

It was Hoofard’s first time playing.

“Everybody I talked to had a great time,” Lohkamp said.

He said it was a “resounding yes” to schedule to do it again.

The next Underground Paintball trip is scheduled for 4 p.m. Nov. 30. The cost is $18 per day, which includes rental equipment, air, 400 paintballs and unlimited playing time. Extra paint is available for a fee.

Next on schedule is a hunter education class on Oct. 9-11. Registration ends Saturday.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is providing the class free of charge in the Billingsly Student Center. Students will learn about firearm safety, hunting ethics and etiquette, why there are seasons and limits and how to choose the right firearms for the game one hunts.

Later there will be a hunting seminar at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9. in the BSC. Registration ends Nov. 4.

Tad Brown, a hunting and outdoor specialist from Joplin Outdoors, Inc. will be giving the seminar.

“He’s fairly well-known,” said Eric Norris, student intramural coordinator. “It’s a privilege to have him.”

Lohkamp said the hunting seminar is for students wanting to “tap into his [Brown’s] knowledge for a couple of hours.”

“He’s very well-rounded when it comes to hunting,” Lohkamp said.

Also on the slate for this semester’s events is a Discover Scuba Diving seminar to be held in the Southern Swimming Pool. It will be done by Calypso Scuba and Ski.

Lohkamp said the course is designed for those who are interested in SCUBA diving but don’t want to pay a lot of money to try it out. The free course includes an on-land orientation to scuba diving, safety lecture, and an in-pool practical session. Equipment is provided. The seminar takes place at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25. Registration deadline is Oct. 21.

An Introduction to Search and Rescue course is scheduled for Dec. 3 and 4. The seminar will be put on by the National Association of Search and Rescue in the BSC. Two men from the Joplin area will be teaching the course.

“They’re adamant and they know their stuff,” Lohkamp said.

The ISAR course will provide knowledge of the responsibilities, skills, abilities and the equipment needed by the people who would be participating in a search and rescue mission. While based on wilderness environments, the material is recommended as a base of knowledge for all search and rescue environments. The cost is $120 for Southern students and $130 for other participants. Registration ends Nov. 21. Also outdoor equipment can rented at the Outdoor Adventures Center located in the bottom of Stegge Hall. Office hours are 2-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“If students are going on a weekend trip and they need a couple of things but don’t want to go buy them, they can come rent them,” Lohkamp said.

The office phone number is 625-4463. The Campus Recreation office is 625-9392.

Lohkamp also said if students are interested in an activity that isn’t offered, to let him know because he may not have thought about it.

“We’re trying to get students involved in not only the programs themselves but also the planning of the programs,” he said.