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Outdoor Living Skills

By: Cole McMahon

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A three-credit class where most of your time is spent outside.

That is what you get from the Outdoor Living Skills class that Professor Scott Barnett teaches. With relatively no homework, this can be a perfect elective to take when you need to fill your schedule.

The many skills you get from this class include knot tying, building fires, chopping wood, building tents, cooking food on fire, packing gear for camping/backpacking, etc. For most of this class you will be outside learning these skills. When you are inside, Professor Barnett teaches you about choosing the right gear for outdoor activities, how to pack correctly, and how to determine different weather patterns. All the skills learned in the semester will prepare students for the big "project” in the class, which is a weekend camping trip where the skills will be used.

Mark Balleza, a student in the Outdoor Living Skills class as well as an Outdoor Leadership major, enjoys the class because of the “hands on” activities introduced in the course.

After going on the class camping trip Balleza said, “I thought this gave me a good idea of what I can do.”

This being Balleza’s first time on a camping trip in many years he believes he “can build off of it,” putting his experiences towards his major in the future.

However, Outdoor Living Skills is not just aimed at students in the Outdoor Leadership major, but for all students who want to try a new experience.

“Lots of students would benefit from time outdoors. One, because we have the beauty of God’s creation around us,” said Barnett.

If there is one thing that Outdoor Living Skills can teach students, it is to get out of their comfort zones by trying something new.

Barnett believes, “people need to get out of their comfort zone a little bit and experience things that are sometimes a little challenging and sometimes uncomfortable.”

With only six students enrolled for the class this Spring semester, Professor Barnett would not mind taking on more students willing to join the class and have these eye-opening experiences that happen in the course.

Students wanting a unique class experience, Barnett said, “For students who maybe need a break from things that are more specifically academic that want something that’s a little bit more hands on and active, rather than just sitting and listening to lectures [Outdoor Living Skills], then I think it’s a really good class for you.”

To contact Dr. Barnett about questions regarding the Outdoor Living Skills class, email him at

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