Recreation, Parks and Tourism 317

RCPT 317: Adventure Programming

Pre- or Corequisite: Major in RCPT or OURL minor

Credit Hours: (3)  

Focuses on the design, implementation and leadership of adventure activities and programs. The course involves weekly labs and some weekend field experiences in selected adventure activities.

Note(s): Field trips required.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

Students will cover the following topics related to selected adventure activities such as: caving, rock climbing, ropes coursing and canoeing: technical/ activity skills, environmental ethics and issues, individual and group safety, group dynamics, accessibility, and the philosophy, methodology, leadership, programming, and administration of adventure activities.

American Red Cross Basic River Canoeing Certification is available to students who qualify. Given student interest, kayak pool sessions and guided rafting trips are offered on a voluntary basis.


Detailed Description of the Conduct of the Course

An interdisciplinary and environmental approach to outdoor adventure education/leisure services has been incorporated into this course. This approach transcends the distinction between "hard skills" (i.e., technical skills) and "soft skills" (i.e., counseling, facilitation, processing skills). This approach also incorporates an environmental or ecological ethic, an ethic which teaches students both the knowledge of and appreciation for the various environments in which outdoor adventure activities occur.

In addition, the experiential learning cycle/model is integrated into the various aspects of the course. The major components of this model are individual and group goal-setting, the processing or debriefing of adventure experiences, personal growth contracting (the "full-value" contract), challenge by choice, and the "conscious use of metaphor." Lastly, in order to insure safety and graduated learning, a sequence of progressively challenging experiences is provided.

The methods utilized in this course include most, if not all, of the following: lectures, simulations, case studies, labs, clinics, readings, small-group activities and discussions, guest lecturers and trip leaders, slide-tape and video presentations, peer teaching, and field trips.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:


1. Describe the basic safety practices and techniques for selected activities such as:  caving, canoeing, ropes coursing and rock climbing.
2. Identify the problems and issues facing the managers of resource lands utilized for outdoor adventure education.
3. State the career opportunities within the field of outdoor adventure education.
4. Modify and adapt one adventure activity so that it is accessible to all populations.
5. Perform the basic technical skills necessary for novice canoeing, caving, and/or rock climbing.
6. Differentiate among the major philosophical schools within the field of experiential and adventure education.


Assessment Measures

Assessment is based upon grades for three exams, assigned homework, in-class writing assignments, quizzes, the demonstration of lab competencies, demonstration of the basic activity skills of rock climbing, caving, and/or canoeing.


Other Course Information

General Policies and Considerations


1. The safety standards and guidelines for the adventure practices utilized in this course have been formulated through consideration of those provided by the Association for Experiential Education, the Virginia Council for Outdoor Adventure Education, the American Canoe Association, the American Whitewater Affiliation, and the National Speleological Society.
2. All Radford University rules and policies apply to ALL adventure field trips.
3. NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES PERMITTED during adventure field trips.
4. Specific policies/procedures appropriate to each trip will be provided. It is essential to the safety and quality of these adventure experiences that all policies/procedures/rules discussed prior to and/or during the adventure activity be adhered to by all participants.


Review and Approval

February 2005 Reviewed Edward Udd, Chair

June 20, 2015