Adams State named Top Adventure School


adventure program camping on mountain top

Photo by Brian Puccerella
Five students and three instructors participated in the Adams State Adventure Leadership Expedition Program in the Colorado South San Juan Wilderness, in July.

Adams State University was named the Top Adventure School by the online magazine, Elevation Outdoors. Brian Puccerella, coordinator of Adventure Leadership and Programs, said appreciated the support through social media. "The Adams State community really came together to show the rest of the country what we already knew, that ASU is an incredible place to go to school and the opportunity for adventures are second to none."

This summer, Elevation Outdoors created a contest for the best outdoor school in the Rockies and Southwest. Colleges and universities within that region were encouraged to motivate their students, alumni, and supporters to vote electronically for Adams State. The magazine announced Adams State as the winner in early August. The University of Utah was the runner up.

"Adams State Adventure Programs has played a large role in introducing people to the outdoors in the San Luis Valley and it feels like our hard work is finally paying off," Puccerella said. "Every year we have an opportunity to work with thousands of people from all over Colorado and New Mexico and our impact stretches beyond that I am sure."

Soon after Adams State was established, Luther Bean, one of the first faculty members, created the Outdoor Club which developed into the Adventure Program, a co-curricular leadership development program that works together with the Adventure Leadership and Programming minor and the Adventure Sports program.

Travis Fraker, a wildlife biology major sophomore, minors in adventure leadership and programming. He has backpacked, hiked, rock climbed, kayaked, mountain biked, and helped facilitate the rope course. "What I really love is that ASAP is based on building ourselves to become better people."

"While outdoor skills are learned and practiced in ASAP, the true emphasis is to develop the essential skills that lead to responsible and effective human beings," Puccerella adds. "We believe that the self-awareness, personal responsibility, and judgment fostered through the program produces a person ready to be a leader in any profession, and in their personal life."

Fraker appreciates the programs' mentors, who encourage students to "not take the path of least resistance." Without the outdoor program and leadership development in his life, Fraker would "be on the path of least resistance and not building myself to achieve my farthest dreams and passions."

Puccerella has guided across the southern United States and Alaska. He teaches mountain biking, challenge course facilitation, and rock climbing. "We have big plans for the future of ASAP moving forward and I hope winning Top Adventure School will help bring recognition to ASU and aid in recruiting students looking for an adventure."

The contest was sponsored, in part, by Enopiá, a hammock and outdoor gear supply company.