Attention NIRSA students! Do you love outdoor recreation? Have you ever had a brilliant idea for an outdoor product or service? If so, you’ll want to hear about Weber State University and what they’re up to—you could win $30,000 for your innovative concept!

For the NIRSA professionals out there, you’ll also want to stick around because this unique opportunity is open for the first time to all college students across the United States—so you’ll want to tell your students about this unique opportunity.

The 2018 Outdoor Weber Idea Competition

Weber State University’s Hall Global Entrepreneurship Center, the Outdoor Community & Recreation Education Program, the Campus Recreation Outdoor Program, and Camping World Holdings® will combine forces this coming spring to bring the Outdoor Weber Idea Competition to students nationwide. The prize purse is $30,000! The goal is to bring our love for outdoor recreation, small business development, and immersive education to a whole new elevation. We hope to stimulate new ideas and take unrefined concepts and turn them into promising business opportunities by the end of the competition.

College students from across the U.S. may submit a 90-second video between January 5 and January 26, 2018 explaining their outdoor recreation concept. Full details about the contest, eligibility requirements, and submission requirements are available online at

The top 25 videos with the most votes will move on to round two. From the top 25, judges will select the top ten who will be announced on February 21, 2018, and invited to the three-day on-site competition. These finalists will be personally mentored by some of the outdoor industries’ most creative minds, will have all access to exclusive networking events, front row seats to see Marcus Lemonis— entrepreneurial genius and star of “The Profit”—speak on March 23, VIP treatment at event receptions, lift tickets to local ski resorts, equipment provided by the Outdoor Program as well as skiing or snowboarding lessons, and a traditional Dutch oven send off.

About Weber State University

Weber State University is a beautiful campus uniquely nestled at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in northern Utah. It offers outdoor recreation enthusiasts a veritable outdoor playground offering thousands of recreational activities within minutes of campus. The Wasatch range averages 450 inches of powdery goodness each year and is home to 11 ski resorts, including three within a 15-minute drive of campus.

In addition to the phenomenal skiing, students are a stones-throw away from rivers, lakes, and dams teeming with trout, bass, and Tiger Muskie; bouldering fields, canyons, dozens of trails leading to peaks and waterfalls, campgrounds, ATV trails, and golf courses. In a good snow year, we can ski in the morning, golf in the afternoon, and ride along the hundreds of miles of bike trails—both paved and natural—in the evening.

For a university, this vast outdoor playground offers not just incredible recreation, but the ability to integrate immersive education on a whole new level. Our vision at Weber State Campus Recreation is to inspire and lead a recreation legacy that enhances experiential learning, the development of leaders, and the wellbeing of our campus community.

WSU’s Adventure Program

Our motto at WSU Campus Recreation is “Taking education to a new elevation.” To achieve this, Weber State University’s Campus Recreation Outdoor Program has developed an Adventure Program where students and community can experience fully-guided and outfitted expeditions—with transportation, equipment, and food included—at incredibly reasonable prices. Past trips have included a backcountry yurt adventure, snowshoeing, desert backpacking, canyoneering, desert rock climbing, ice climbing, mountain biking, and more. These adventures teach students leadership, cooperation, organization, and other life skills.

Because of its unique location, the university benefits from other leading programs that also have a focus on the outdoor and recreation aspect of education as well, including the Hall Global Entrepreneurship Center and the Outdoor & Community Recreation Education academic degree program. The Outdoor & Community Recreation Education degree offers students an education in outdoor and community recreation preparing them for a career in state and national parks, outdoor adventure programs, and other outdoor professions. The Hall Global Entrepreneurship Center and entrepreneurship minor teach students to identify opportunities in the marketplace and launch their own business even before graduation.

Photos courtesy of Weber State University.

  • For more information about this unique opportunity, visit or contact Brandon Stoddard, Director of the Hall Global Entrepreneurship Center, Weber State University.
  • If you are interested in highlighting your campus or a NIRSA member’s achievements on your campus, pitch us your ideas.

Teri Bladen is the Director of Campus Recreation at Weber State University. She can be reached at