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CCU competes in AORE Campus Challenge to promote healthy habits

September 27, 2019
CCU students, faculty, staff, and community members can log outdoor activity, such as kayaking, in the AORE Campus Challenge app.Even outdoor activities like hammocking count in the AORE Campus Challenge.Coastal Carolina University is participating in the Mother-Nature-meets-March-Madness AORE Campus Challenge.

Coastal Carolina University is participating in the Mother-Nature-meets-March-Madness AORE Campus Challenge. AORE stands for the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, and is making its inaugural debut at CCU this year.

Coastal Carolina is competing against 97 other schools across the country to see who is the most “outdoorsy,” and University Recreation is hoping all campus community members will engage with the challenge.

To participate, download the free AORE Campus Challenge app and choose Coastal Carolina University on the sign-up page. Then, users can log up to five different outdoor activities per day to earn points for CCU’s status.

Beth Javener, the Outdoor Recreation coordinator at CCU, is thrilled to be a part of this four-week challenge that began on Sept. 14 and will run until Oct. 13. Not only are students encouraged to get involved, but the challenge is open to anyone affiliated with CCU, such as faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and supporters.

“University Recreation had to submit an application saying why Coastal deserves to be a part of this challenge,” said Javener. “I put in the application for CCU more than a year ago. It was a big process.”

By downloading the AORE app and logging activity during the challenge, participants have a chance to earn bragging rights and win prizes.

“Each day of the challenge, AORE is giving away an Osprey backpack,” said Javener. “Additionally at Coastal, we are doing weekly giveaways. Last week, we gave away an Osprey backpack to one of the random people who logged an activity. This week, we are giving away a bike helmet, and next week, a hammock.”

AORE and CCU University Recreation encourage everyone to get outside and be active for a number of health benefits. According to AORE, one of every three young adults are obese or overweight in the U.S., and the average person spends eight hours a day in front of a screen and only minutes outdoors.

“We have had so many increases in illnesses and unhealthy patterns in young adults,” said Javener. “AORE is trying to change that and make incentives for being outdoors, and I think University Recreation’s mission is right there also.”

According to Javener, University Recreation’s mission is to help CCU be a healthy and happy place. She says a great way to accomplish this mission is to get the campus community outdoors, which goes hand-in-hand with the challenge. Research shows outdoor activities like running, biking, and yoga boost serotonin levels, which naturally improves one’s mood.

There is a plethora of activities that can be logged within this challenge, and the number of points earned for each school are weighed differently depending on the activity. For example, activities like fishing and running are worth 10 points; walking and skateboarding are worth five points; and gardening and laying in a hammock are worth two points. There are also five bonus points awarded to group activities, overnight activities, and school-organized activities.

“This is our first year competing in this challenge, but I do not want us to be counted out,” said Javener. “I want it to be our motivator. We are small and mighty. It is like our motto here at Coastal.”

AORE placed Coastal Carolina in the Division 2 category of the competition, where the University is currently in seventh place. Additionally, CCU is in fifth place in the southeast region division. University Recreation encourages more CCU-affiliated people to sign up and join to fight to be the national champion.

For more information on the AORE Campus Challenge, visit oncampuschallenge.org/about or coastal.edu/recreation/outdoors/campuschallenge.

To download the AORE Campus Challenge app, go to dev.aorecampuschallenge.org/download or visit Apple’s app store or Google Play.