The Outdoor Recreation and Creation Care Floor is an intentional living learning community, rooted in the mission of Calvin residence life, that is committed to growing intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally through wilderness based experiences, engaging conversation about environmental issues, and actively participating in environmental stewardship and sustainable living.

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  • Goals
    1. To foster genuine community, where Christ’s love and compassion is shown toward one another in all aspects of life, whether in the wilderness or in everyday living on the floor.
    2. Develop both outdoor recreation hard skills and wilderness based soft skills that can be applied throughout many aspects of life.
    3. Develop a better understanding of local, national, and global environmental issues and how to think and dialogue about them from a Christian perspective.
    4. Discover new sustainable practices as an intentional community that increases our care for God’s creation in our immediate living situation.
  • Outcomes

    Students Will Be Able To Demonstrate

    COMPASSIONATE COMMUNITY: Floor members will develop strong relationships with floor mates and leadership that encourages spiritual growth, Christian disciplines, and personal development. For further explanation please see the residence life learning outcomes that can be found here: http://www.calvin.edu/housing/about/

    WILDERNESS SKILLS: Floor members will gain the necessary proficiencies to become competent in executing wilderness and outdoor recreation based trips.

    LEADERSHIP: Floor members will develop leadership skills through opportunities to lead and co-lead outdoor recreation based trips; floor, residence hall and campus-wide leadership opportunities, and local service learning experiences. Students are expected to teach and learn with one another through critical thinking, reflection, and group discussion concerning environmental issues and sustainable practices through small group meetings.

    SUSTAINABLE LIVING: Floor members will discover the impact and benefits of intentional sustainable living, healthy habits, and enriching group discussion.

  • Expectations
    Note: Please consider your commitments outside the floor before applying. When committed to varsity sports and other high-level commitments students have struggled to meet floor obligations and this has led to a diminished experience for both the student and the community. Please keep this mind when applying.
    • Enroll in the floor class: PER 138: Wilderness Pursuits for 7 weeks semester (Tuesdays 3-5pm)—Students are automatically enrolled in the course in August.
    • Participate in floor class trip in September
    • Participate in at least 1 service project a semester
    • Participate in at least 1-2 outdoor recreation trip a semester
    • Participate in the Maple Syrup production during the spring; commit to 2 hrs a week for 3 weeks for the boiling of sap
    • Attend bi-weekly floor meetings and engage discussions
    • Actively participate in the making and cleaning up of floor dinners
    • Be present within the community (e.g. Attending floor dinners, etc.).
  • The Class

    Wilderness Pursuits (PER-138) offers an introduction to minimum impact camping and wilderness skills essential for carrying out safe trips and expeditions to backcountry and wilderness areas. The course will introduce wilderness topics that include equipment, dress, navigation, shelter, backcountry kitchen, weather, emergency procedures, sanitation, travel technique, and trip planning and preparation. Along with the backcountry living and travel skills content, this class will also feature an introduction to river canoeing and rock climbing. The class will require an overnight trip to the Manistee National Forest and other off-campus trips. There will be a course fee of $75.

  • Meetings

    Meetings will occur every other Sunday and focus on communal eating, learning about sustainability and community life. The idea is to grow individually and to grow closer as a community.

  • Resources
1st van Reken activities
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