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East Campus Looks to the Future By Chris Gregor

ImagIne the end of a spring semester with no Freshman Camp! That was almost the case. Now known as Outdoor Pursuits, this signature activity at

East Campus was in danger of cancellation as a result of the freak snowstorm that hammered the northeast in October 2011. Tree damage closed East Campus until May 2012. But thankfully, the cleanup and renovation required to make the area safe and usable was completed the morning of the day Outdoor Pursuits was scheduled to begin. According to John Mailhot, vice president of administra-

tion and finance, “There was about $1 million in tree damage. Hundreds of trees were lost, and nearly 2,000 trees had to be trimmed because of the danger of hanging branches” says Mailhot. The storm also took its toll on the East Campus Challenge Course, which had to be totally renovated.” No longer just utilized in warm weather months, East

Campus is a unique College and community resource throughout the calendar year. So, its seven-month closing seriously impacted the many activities and programs that take place there.

Academic classes that

utilize East Campus had to be relocated to other facili- ties and areas; the Outdoor Adventure class that takes place on the Challenge Course, for one. Student clubs and organizations that use East Campus throughout the year for retreats, functions and other programming also had to go elsewhere. The Leadership Training Conference (LTC) that typically kicks off with a fall training one weekend day at East Campus had to reserve several facilities off campus to conduct its business.

Students in the physician assistant program participate in team building at the new Pride Wall challenge course.


A Unique Academic Laboratory and Community Resource

The 57-acre East Campus, as most alumni know, is a special place. Everyone has a story about time spent there. But, East Campus might look and feel much different now than it did when those memories were made. It hosts about 2,500 college users a year and an additional 3,000 users from the community annually. Camp Massasoit, celebrating its 77th year, sees 700 campers in the summer, and an average of 190 students participate in Outdoor Pursuits each year. East Campus holds a unique place in the hearts of alumni, and a unique place in the community. And, it’s role as a resource continues to expand, providing a classroom without walls for our students. “More and more

of the programs that take place here, such as Outdoor Pursuits or Camp Massasoit, supplement class- room learning. Recreation majors participating in practical fieldwork here complement what they are learning in legal issues and risk management classes by putting event management lessons into practice. Programming students and natural resource management classes develop Challenge Course programs for middle school classes, or learn about erosion management after a heavy rain,” says Ben Taylor ’99, director of East Campus and outdoor programs. East Campus also serves as an academic laboratory

Young campers with their counselors at Camp Massasoit

through the work of Chuck Redington, this year’s Distinguished Springfield Professor of Humanics (story on page 17), which involves the planting or identification of trees on the Springfield campus from the 101 countries from where Springfield College students have come through the years. “One of the activities at Outdoor Pursuits is for students to learn to identify flora and fauna on East Campus. I hope to label some of the East Campus trees indicating the country of origin. The students can get a feeling of the inter-

TRIANGLE 3 Vol .Vol. 84 TRIANGLE 84, No.No. 1

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