Base Camp Cullowhee

Sometimes it seems difficult to maintain an active lifestyle while in college. Luckily at Western there is never a shortage of active things to do outdoors. Organizations like Base Camp Cullowhee (BCC) are devoted to providing a true source of outdoor entertainment that doesn’t come from the television or the internet.

BCC strives to get students involved in outdoor activities while at the same time keeping it safe and simple. One of the best features is that it is all student-led. BCC’s mission statement reads, “We feel the student-led aspect of our programs is critical to developing skill, leadership and judgment.”

BCC is located on the first floor of the University Center, across from the food court. Many students pass by everyday and don’t think twice about it, but a quick stop inside is definitely worthwhile. Almost any type of outdoor equipment is available for rent. From kayaks, canoes, oars and safety equipment, to tents and backpacks, sleeping bags and cooking equipment. They also provide brochures and safety guides on just about every outdoor activity along with maps of local trails.

Also inside the BCC is a place where students can come in and hang out and eat lunch. They have numerous kayaking and climbing videos for students to watch while relaxing.

“We are looking for freshmen who want to get involved,” says Leigh Jackson, Outdoor Recreation Coordinator, “whether it be through volunteering their time to help out or just signing up for events. We want the students to know that we are Western’s natural resource.”

At the beginning of this semester BCC had many inquiries about jobs and they are still looking for several dedicated students who are willing to be trained guides for rafting and climbing trips.

BCC co-sponsors events and shares resources with LMP, the Parks and Recreation Club at Western, and the Whitewater Club. “Western has always had a strong water-base community,” says Jackson. In fact, Western is home to several current national kayaking champions, such as Sam Davis. Chris Churchill, WCU student and employee of BCC says, “I have been working for Base Camp for a while now and I love it.” Churchill is a Parks and Recreation major and part of a class project they will be showcasing the variety of outdoor sports available to Western students. The exact date and time are TBA.

BCC is a strong community of devoted outdoor enthusiasts and students who are committed and adventurous and who just want to enjoy the outdoors with others. This semester alone, there are over a dozen trips planned. This includes beginner to intermediate kayaking clinics, overnight and day hiking and climbing trips, and several ski trips including a Christmas break ski outing to Steamboat, Colorado. And also, in May of 2004, BCC is planning a trip of a lifetime to Alaska. All trips are available for students and their immediate families. For more information about the BCC, call 3633 or 7206 or visit their web site at