Ramble Outdoors grew out of a deep desire and hunger from students to engage in wilderness activities while still living and studying in the urban metropolis of Chicago. In 2006, two undergraduate students started the Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC), which organized weekend and spring break trips to wilderness areas. The club also coordinated day outings, including climbing in local gyms, participating in adventure races, and kayaking on Lake Michigan.
In 2009, President Fr. Garanzini called for proposals to establish an office for outdoor education that would reflect students’ interest in wilderness activities. OAC student leaders held a focus group with Student Development administrators to hear students' visions and hopes for the new office. S tudents desired a program that would be a model for other universities on how to engage both learners and leaders in the outdoors.
With the support of the President and Vice President of Student Development, the new Ramble Outdoors was formalized in the Spring of 2010 with the hiring of a graduate assistant and program director. During the past five years, the program has designed and built the LUREC Challenge course, developed a team of student facilitators, and opened an on-campus indoor climbing facility. The program serves about 7000 particpants each year and continues to develop programs and services for a broader audience. We are excited about deeping our service to the Loyola community in the coming years.