Depending on the workshop and needs and skill level of the group, it could take a few hours or up to an entire day to complete. Workshops can be scheduled during the week or weekend and location is also up for discussion, within reason.
“It depends on what skills they want to learn,” said Emma Erickson, Outdoor Recreation Center employee. “Workshops aren’t planned ahead of time, it’s a need based thing. If a group comes to us, we cater to them.”
Usually, a group will meet at the Outdoor Resource Center, in the basement of the USF Campus Recreation Center, and go from there.
Those participating in the Kayak Safety & Rescues workshop will normally learn safety skills in a pool on campus. If the group wishes to, they will move on to the USF Riverfront Park to learn kayaking paddling basics on the Hillsborough River. If the group is already experienced, they can arrange a workshop to hone techniques and skip the basics.
“We could arrange canoeing, too,” said Erickson.
For Backcountry Cooking, WhisperLite stoves are used to prepare meals. Outdoor Recreation has about a dozen recipes on hand they make while on Adventure Trips, the same recipes they use for workshops. Food is provided, but any preferences and dietary restrictions can also be met.
Workshops appear to be affordable, customizable and fun alternatives to the Outdoor Recreation courses for credit or the scheduled-in-advanced Adventure Trips. However, very few students take advantage of the workshops.
Erickson has been an Outdoor Recreation Center employee for two years. She can only recall one occasion where she arranged a workshop.
“We don’t really do them that often,” Erickson said. “Usually what happens is, if a club or organization wants to do an activity, they do an Adventure Trip.”