Inspiring Lifelong Adventure


To empower and inspire the GVSU community through outdoor and adventure-based opportunities. 


With OA you will try new activities in a welcoming and fun environment, find a community of similar outdoor interests to spend your time with, learn the skills to give you the confidence for exploration and resources for creating your own adventures with friends.

Bike Maintenance - Resources for keeping your bike in tip-top shape!
Indoor Rock Climbing - A great workout in a fun and social setting. Open climb, private groups, academic classes, events, recreational club.
Outdoor Gear Rentals - All the essentials for your own backpacking/ camping trips.

Climbing Center - The home of the rock wall and headquarters for climbing related programs and services. 
Ravines Center - Home of the outdoor rental gear and bike maintenance area. Non-climbing related programs often happen here.
OAC - The Facebook community for outdoorsy students to stay connected.

Employment - Our programs don't run themselves...From Outdoor Adventure Leaders, to Climbing Center Staff
Programs & Events - Educational workshops, recreational events, competitions and outdoor trips!
Recreation & Wellness - OA's parental figure. The umbrella under which you'll also find Sports (Clubs & Intramurals), Fitness, & Wellness.




“The action of traveling in or through an unfamiliar area in order to learn about it”*         

We believe that the exploration of self and the unknown is invaluable to life. Exploration is where one’s self-awareness, curiosity, and courage thrive together.  OA strives to instill an attitude of adventure in all its participants, where participants are encouraged to push the boundaries of their preconceived perceptions. We practice exploration in the design of innovative and novel programs, by encouraging students to explore Michigan and the country through provided trips and rental programs, and to offer opportunities for students to reflect and explore their own personal beliefs and values.

OA Trip


“The serving and equipping of others for the betterment of whatever environment one is in"**

OA believes that leadership is much more than leading a group. It is leading by example by developing one’s character: integrity, preparedness, and perseverance. Furthermore, it is using whatever talents one possesses to serve people and better society. OA fosters leadership skills, through physical and emotional challenge, peer-to-peer leadership, and self-exploration, which transfer to leadership in any context.

Climbing Center Staff Assistance


“A group of people who share a place and belief system” - “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals”***

Here in OA, we believe community is both a people and a feeling. It is a people that we feel safe, included, and encouraged in. To form community OA values comradery, collaboration, inclusion, and service. Community means forming a culture that reflects the values that OA holds. The OA value of community can be seen in the climbing center in people cheering on a fellow climber getting to the top for the first time, or the feeling of a student when they receive help repairing their bike from an OAL.

OA Trip Group Photo


“Protection and prevention from harm or damage”

OA recognizes the inherent dangers of outdoor and adventure pursuits as well the impact placed on wilderness environments during these activities. However, we value proper preparation and integrity to manage these inherent risks and environmental detriments. In all things OA strives to protect and prevent harm or damage of its participants and the environment. We believe that although we cannot rid danger, we can mitigate its risk with effective leadership, communication, and education trained rigorously in all OALs.

Bike Tune Ups


“The activity or process of gaining knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught, or experiencing something"****

We believe learning takes many forms and that some of the best learning happens when facing challenges that require quick judgement and problem-solving in a changing environment then reflecting on the outcome. This is where OA flourishes. We offer opportunities and resources for people to harness this experiential learning to develop themselves personally and professionally. We believe learning to purify water or cook a meal over a tiny backcountry stove breathes confidence into a student even after they leave the backcountry. Furthermore, that the student who learns to overcome a mountain by climbing and rappelling an 80ft. pitch is better prepared to tackle the endeavor of taking MCAT or CPA exam. Through OA’s many programs we hope to empower and enable people through learning, and that the skills and confidence they gain transfer to all areas of their lives.

Climbing Center Training

Recreation & Wellness is a department in the Division of Student Affairs at Grand Valley State University.

Page last modified May 23, 2024