The College Connection: How The Campus Challenge Is Creating Outdoorists

Halfway through the school year, Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge is in full swing and making a big impact.

April 12, 2017

The Outdoor Foundation’s Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge is designed to engage college students in the outdoors and connect them with National Parks and an outdoor ethos. Each campus ambassador—an elite squad of dedicated outdooristsis tasked with getting as many classmates outside as possible and creating opportunities for outdoor recreation.  

Meet a few of last year’s Campus Ambassadors 

While our campus ambassadors led outings to national parks and gatherings at the local climbing gym, we scanned the mid-year report to see how the program is shaping up. By the looks of it, 2017 will be a banner year, and there’s still time for brands to get involved and tap into the highly engaged community. 

Download the mid-year report to meet the 2017 ambassadors

This year’s college ambassadors are: 

  • Inspiring fellow students to explore national parks and participate in outdoor recreation 
  • Highlighting the importance of exercise among college students through outdoor recreation 
  • Introducing peers to the equipment, gear and apparel necessary for safe and fun adventures 
  • Building connections between college communities, national parks and outdoor brands 
  • Giving a diverse group of students opportunities to explore the outdoors 


By the Numbers. So far in 2016–2017, Campus Ambassadors have: 

  • Hosted 20 campus-wide events that got thousands of students outside 
  • Led 20 group visits to national parks 
  • Celebrated National Public Lands Day with planned outings 
  • Crafted 29 social media campaigns that inspired outdoor adventure on campuses and in local communities 
  • Created 120 outdoor experiences that engage 4,000+ young adults 


Dedicated to Diversity 

Outdoor Foundation believes the outdoors should be inclusive of and accessible to everyone, so last year the the group hired Angelou Ezeilo from the Greening Youth Foundation to help recruit and engage diverse ambassadors for the Outdoor Nation program. Angelou advises each ambassador on creating inclusive outdoor experiences. With her help and the help of key National Park Service staff, this year’s ambassadors represent a diverse group of outdoorists, 23 of whom come from diverse backgrounds and represent three historically black colleges. 

 Download the mid-year report to meet this year’s ambassadors and see how they’re engaging other students in the outdoors.