As the sun comes out, so do people’s interest in getting active. The Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls offers countless opportunities for anyone to learn the basics of outdoor skills and activities.
“Our naturalists do an amazing job teaching and instructing hunting, fishing, and outdoor skill classes,” said Paige O’Farrell, volunteer coordinator.
Other courses taught include Outdoor Survival, Raising Monarchs, Archery, Outdoor Cooking/Campfire Cooking, BB Guns and Air Rifles, and more.
“I worked as a naturalist intern at the Outdoor Campus from 2016-2019,” said O’Farrell. “When I saw the volunteer coordinator position open in February 2021, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to apply and go back to my Outdoor Campus family.”
O’Farrell opens up and shares her love of everything adventure.
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR SUMMERS?
Outside of work you can usually find me outside. I love camping, hiking, traveling, and spending time with my friends and family. I usually try to take at least one camping trip out to the Black Hills in summer. There’s something special about drinking your coffee beside Grace Coolidge Creek in the quiet, cool mornings in Custer State Park, or a sunrise hike up Black Elk Peak. I’m also a sucker for days at the lake. I think I could sit on a tube at the beach forever!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO SPEND TIME OUTDOORS?
I think I would be happy doing just about anything outside. The bike trails and parks around Sioux Falls are fantastic. I always like walking around Good Earth State Park, the Outdoor Campus, or Arrowhead Park.
Times and Dates Vary
+ BB Guns & Air Rifles
+ Bird Watching
+ Catch it, Clean it, Cook it
+ Dutch Oven Cooking
+ Fly Fishing
+ Haiku Hike
+ Hatchet Throwing
+ Hunting (Rabbit, Deer, Turkey)
+ Kayak and Canoe Fishing
+ Outdoor Cooking
+ Outdoor Survival
+ Paddling – Canoes and Kayaks
+ Trapping 101
+ Wetland Ecology
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE AND WHY?
The Goonies never gets old. The movie always made me dream of going on my own adventures as a kid. Today, the film gives me a sense of nostalgia. In a way, the kids in the movie remind me of myself as a kid, always exploring and on the lookout for a new adventure.
WHAT OUTDOOR SKILL ARE YOU BEST AT?
My favorite classes to teach and assist with at the Outdoor Campus are Fishing and Paddling. I love seeing people’s faces light up when they catch their first fish or reel in a big bass. Paddling is also a great class to teach as it provides people the skills and knowledge to go explore our parks in a different way—by water.
WHAT’S A HOBBY YOU ENJOY?
I absolutely love snowboarding. I first stepped onto a snowboard as a 7-year-old at Great Bear Ski Valley and immediately fell in love. Snowboarding has allowed me to visit some amazing places and create hundreds of memories with my friends and family. There’s nothing like the sound of a snowboard cutting through the snow while you’re surrounded by tall pine trees and towering mountains.