Quest Outdoor Adventure and Leadership
Quest is an outdoor adventure and leadership program at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, sporting a fun focused community of student workers and professionals working in tandem to improve student wellness and provide unique and accessible experiences in the outdoors.
Quest offers truly unique and exciting, outdoor and educational experiences to Bloomsburg University. Adventure programming and team development is accessible to everyone, from those who have never set foot in the backcountry to the experienced campaigners. Enhance your life with Quest's multitude of adventures at your fingertips, people of all ages and backgrounds already take advantage of these amazing opportunities and so should you! Anyone can set up a team development session or adventure program experience with Quest, contact the Director of Quest to schedule yours today!
All of Quest's trips are self-funded. Any donations to our program would greatly benefit students participating in enriching experiences and would be graciously accepted.
What Quest Offers
Quest offers programs and services for everyone. Internal and external to Bloomsburg groups and even individuals may sign up or book us for the following programs and services. (See tabs below for more information on what we offer)
Adventure Summer Camps
Wilderness First Aid / Wilderness First Responder Courses through NOLS
Schedule of Events
All trips will cost $5 for Bloom students
You can sign up for trips by following and DMing our Instagram, quest_at_BU, payment can be made via cash or checks made out to "Quest at BU LLC" the day of the trip.
White Water Rafting - 9/2/23, 8am-5pm - Lehigh River - $5 for Bloom students, $60 all others Sign ups open from 8/21-9/1
Sunset Kayaking - 9/9/23, 5pm-9pm - Susquehanna River - $5 for Bloom students, $30 all others Sign ups open from 8/28-9/8
Rock Climbing - 9/16/23, 9am-4pm - Mocanaqua, PA - $5 for Bloom students, $60 all others Sign ups open from 9/4-9/15
Sunset Kayaking - 9/23/23, 5pm-9pm - Susquehanna River - $5 for Bloom students, $30 all others Sign ups open from 9/11-9/22
Rock Climbing - 9/30/23, 9am-4pm - West Nanticoke, PA - $5 for Bloom students, $60 all others Sign ups open from 9/18-9/29
White Water Rafting - 10/7/23, 8am-5pm - Lehigh River - $5 for Bloom students, $60 all others Sign ups open from 9/25-10/6
Fall Hike - 10/14/23, 9am-4pm - Worlds End State Park - $5 for Bloom students, $30 all others Sign ups open from 10/2-10/13
Day Kayaking - 10/21/23, 10am-4pm - Susquehanna River - $5 for Bloom students, $60 all others Sign ups open from 10/9-10/20
Fall Hike - 10/28/23, 9am-4pm - Hickory Run State Park - $5 for Bloom students, $30 all others Sign ups open from 10/16-10/27
Bloom Boulder Bash Climbing Competition - 10/29/23, 11am-4pm - Bloomsburg University Rec Center - $20 Bloom Students, $30 all others - Sign up day of at the rec center
Caving - 11/4/23, 9am-5pm - Henigh Cave - $5 for Bloom students, $50 all others Sign ups open from 10/23-11/3
Backpacking - 11/10/23-11/12/23, 5pm-5pm - Worlds End State Park - $5 for Bloom students, $50 all others Sign ups open from 10/30-11/23
Caving - 12/2/23, 9am-5pm - Carnegie Cave - $5 for Bloom students, $50 all others Sign ups open from 11/20-12/1
External to Commonwealth U Pricing
Internal to Commonwealth U Pricing
Anyone internal or external can reserve a fire pit through Quest. We have three pits available for reservation in the woods on upper campus. Each pit holds 12 people. Contact Nick McCormack to reserve yours now!
What's Included Pricing
Fire Pit $50 per pit per hour, each additional hour is $25 per pit
Benches A $50 overfill fee will be added if you contract for more than 36 people
Fire starting and management
Hybrid WFR, January 3-7
Adventure Summer Camps 2023
The most active, outdoor and adventure oriented summer camps in the region! Each week begins with team building on the first day (getting to know each other) with the remainder of the week to include days of: rafting, kayaking, hiking, rock wall climbing, high ropes, low ropes, zip lines as well as many other team development activities, field games, and crafts!
$275 for each during the 2023 summer camp season, per camper
Fill out the 4 linked forms below and send them as well as payment to:
400 East Second Street
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
Payment can be made by cash or check made out to "Quest at BU LLC"
Forms and payment can be dropped off at the Quest Building on upper campus as well between 9-3 M-F, there is a mailbox on the front of the building to place your documents and payment in.
Please fill out Release Form with regards to your child, we want to have their pertinent medical history on hand for preventative measures, we do not need the medical information of the parents.
Refund Policy: Registration is complete when required fee is paid. Cancellation of your registration 3 weeks prior to the start date of your course will guarantee you a refund of your fee minus 20% of the course price. If you fail to cancel by that time, you must either supply us with a paying substitute or forfeit your fee.
You will receive a confirmation email once payment and appropriate documentation is received. Please check available spots in the chart under Camp Information before sending in your application and payment, the chart is up to date.
Registration will only be considered complete once payment is complete. Spots cannot be held without payment. All applications are processed in the order received and spots are awarded on a first come first serve basis.
Monday: Team Development, Low Ropes
Location-Quest Office, Quest Low Ropes
Tuesday: Field Games, Team Development, Crafts
Location-Quest Office, Intramural Fields
Wednesday: Rock Climbing, High Ropes/Hiking
Location: Quest High Ropes/Ricketts Glen
Thursday: Rock Climbing, High Ropes/Hiking
Location: Quest High Ropes/Ricketts Glen
Friday: River Day
There are 20 spots total available each week. Spots can not be reserved without payment and will be processed on a first come, first serve basis in the order received.
Week 1 June 4-6 Everest
Spots available ⇒ 0
Week 4 Rainier June 26-30
Spots available ⇒ 0
Week 6 Orizaba July 17-21
Spots available ⇒ 0
Week 2 Denali June 12-16
Spots available ⇒ 0
No camp this week Happy 4th of July!
Week 7 Fitz Roy July 24-28
Spots available ⇒ 0
Week 3 Fuji June 19-23
Spots available ⇒ 0
Week 5 Washington July 10-14
Spots available ⇒ 0
Week 8 Lhotse July 31-August 4
Spots available ⇒ 0
Daily Camp Times
Each session will run from 9:00 am through 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Please drop off your child no earlier than 8:50 am and pick up between 3:50-4:00.
The Quest Adventure camp philosophy is to serve youth, ages 8-13 years old, and provide hands-on, engaging, adventure-filled programming. Our activities are designed to help each camper become more independent, enhance self-confidence, develop self-awareness and develop both mind and body in a fun and safe learning environment.
- Emphasize the teaching and learning of skills and activities
- Teach and instill the concept of teamwork through planned activities
- Create mutual respect for other people and their ideas, thoughts and actions
- Introduce campers to new activities
- Teach campers the proper way to act during activities, i.e., good sportsmanship
- Maintain a safe and respectful learning environment
- De-emphasize competition and emphasize fun in activities
- Provide positive role models for the children
Some highlights include:
- Each week will have some unique aspects allowing for multiple weeks for the same child. Some activities also repeat such as our climbing wall and high ropes programs.
- Each week a child comes to camp they will get a free camp t-shirt.
- 20 camp spots available each week. The campers will be divided into two groups.
- The groups will do many activities separately but will combine for some such as field games.
- Camper to staff ratio, 5:1 is our goal.
- Our goal is to keep camp sizes small and maximize instructor/student interactions.
- Activities such as rafting/kayaking, high ropes course, low ropes course, zip lines, climbing wall, nature hikes, team development, field games, tie dyeing, crafts and more!*
If your child tests positive for the Covid-19 Virus, they will not be allowed to attend the Quest Summer Adventure Camps 2022 within 5 days of testing positive. No refunds are processed for illness.
*Not all activities are guaranteed each week as a result of weather, staffing, and drivers.
Download the linked document below to read our Summer Camp Handbook:
Enrich your summer by working as a counselor at the Quest summer camps. We emphasize camper and counselor interaction giving you the unique opportunity to learn and work closely with kids. A great experience in learning how to work with kids as well as a great resume booster! Must be 18 or older to apply.
See the Join Our Team section below for more info.
We are pleased to offer the Leader in Training Program (LIT). This will focus on leadership development, a critical skill for teens to grow in to. Our main avenue for this will be their involvement in a leadership capacity in our programs with younger kids, the Quest Summer Adventure Camps 2023. They will serve in assistant roles in our camp staff as volunteers. This training is beneficial for the growth and development of teens in learning how to lead and taking on responsibility. The LIT candidates will always be overseen by our camp staff. Training weekend will take place June 4rd and 4th.
Quest has 10 leadership principles that we strive to focus on in all of our programs. As a leadership development program these are the principles that define what we think is effective leadership. All of our programming is meant to educate on and reinforce these principles. Everyone will have strengths and weaknesses within this list. The goal of the Quest leadership model is to fine tune and expand the strengths and improve the challenge areas specific to each person.
1. Be Passionate
2. Have a Servant Mentality
3. Have a Big Picture Mentality
4. Strive for Sound Judgment and Decision Making
5. Be willing to question and be questioned
6. Inspire Others to Act
7. Have Solid Skills and Be Able to Teach Those Skills
8. Act as a Facilitator of Knowledge
9. Be a Mentor to Others
10. Be a Model of Excellence
This program will be an application-based process and will be open to a very limited number of people.
|LIT Positions available⇒8|
Ages 14-17 can apply. Check out the application below for more details. Applications, Release Forms and Medical Information Sheets can be submitted to Nick McCormack, Director of Quest via email at email@example.com
Checks must be made out to "CGA-Husky Fund"
Bloom Boulder Bash
The Bloom Boulder Bash is a bouldering competition being held at Bloomsburg Universities Recreation Center.
All are welcome to come out and project some rad routes with other from the climbing community! There will be over $600 worth of prizes to pick from for the winners of each climbing division!
Come dressed in your best costume! Best costume will get a prize at the end!
When and where:
check in is from 11-12 / climbing is from 12-4 / prizes will be handed out from 4:15-4:30
Bloomsburg University Recreation Center (navigate there via google maps)
$30 in either cash or checks made out to "CGA-Husky Fund" at the door. $20 for Bloom students with a student ID.
There will be 4 climbing divisions to compete in; Beginner (V0-V2), Intermediate (V3-4), Advanced (V5-6), Open (V7+). The male and female winners of each division will be able to pick a prize from the prize table.
Each route will be assigned a grade, your top 5 climbs contribute to your score. You are allowed one route outside of your division without being bumped up.
Bouldering Competition shirts will be available for purchase for $10 at the door. Check out the design below!
Registration is complete when required fee is paid. Cancellation of your registration two weeks prior to the date of your course will guarantee you a refund of your fee minus 20% of the course price. If you fail to cancel by that time, you must either supply us with a paying substitute or forfeit your fee.
Registration is complete when required fee is paid. Cancellation of your registration 3 weeks prior to the date of your course will guarantee you a refund of your fee minus 20% of the course price. If you fail to cancel by that time, you must either supply us with a paying substitute or forfeit your fee.
- All Extended Trips have a non-refundable deposit to reserve your place on the trip. If for any reason Quest has to cancel the trip, this will be fully refunded.
- If you notify the Quest office of your cancellation after the full payment has been received you will be refunded as follows:
- If cancellation notice is received five weeks prior to the trip departure date, you will receive 75% of the balance due after the deposit.
- If cancellation notice is received four weeks prior to the trip departure date, you will receive 50% of the balance due after the deposit.
- For cancellations received less than four weeks prior to the trip, there can be no refund.
Join our Team
Contact Quest Director Nick McCormack at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about these positions!
Now accepting applications for the following:
Take a leading role around campus and learn fun and engaging skills that allow you to lead your peers into the backcountry on adventures of a lifetime. Join a warm community of people who love to enjoy the outdoors, a community full of fun and exciting adventures and friendships that will last a lifetime. Grow as a leader when guiding groups through our adventure programming and unlock the leading potential inside yourself. Take advantage of the best job on campus, get paid to take people hiking, kayaking, rafting and so much more! Working for Quest allows you the flexibility of a work study job without having to give up your current work study job on campus, if you have one, because Quest payroll isn't part of the work study program so you can be paid both by your work study and Quest at the same time!
Working for the Quest Summer Camps is a truly rewarding experience. Spend your Summer days outside and experience the joys of taking kids out into nature, on the water and in our high ropes courses! Grow as a leader, learn to work with kids and have fun doing it, this is an opportunity you don't want to miss! We are looking for those excited to work with kids and willing to give them the best Summer camp experience we can offer. No experience with high ropes or in the backcountry is necessary as we will have ample opportunity to teach you the skills you need before the camps start. Must be 18 or older to apply.
In order to apply for the position of Quest Summer Camp Counselor follow the steps below:
1. Complete the Summer Camp application and return
2. Set up and interview with the Quest Director via email: email@example.com
⇒It is your responsibility to reach out to the Director to schedule
3.If you are hired you will need to complete the following clearances and return
Expand your skillset
- Observer - An observer's role is to attend trips to observe and learn from the leadership techniques used by the current Instructors and Assistant Instructors. They are to learn as much as possible to further their experience towards becoming an AI
- Assistant Instructor - An assistant Instructor is an intermediate step between Observer and Instructor. They will aid Instructors in leading and teaching on trips but will not be responsible for participants without an Instructor or higher present. They will focus on the intricacies of leading people and the technical skills needed to lead in the outdoors.
- Instructor - An Instructor’s role is to teach others, including participants and new staff, skills needed to function and lead in the backcountry. They are leaders in the outdoors and within Quest and so will be planning and executing Quest’s regularly scheduled Outdoor Adventure Programs.
- Course Coordinator -This is the final step after Instructor. A Course Coordinator assumes total responsibility for every aspect of any course with regards to the office, paperwork, emergency situations, and logistics. Once this level is achieved, they will make all final decisions on course. Course coordinators will embody to the fullest the 10 Quest Leadership Principles and perfectly represent Quest, its missions, goals, and policies.
- Summer Camp Counselor
- Summer Camp Manager
- Team Development Facilitator
The history of the evolution of Quest is really a history of ideas and the people who had the conviction and energy to bring those ideas to reality.
- To teach outdoor skills as a means to promote lifelong fitness, personal challenge, and recreation.
- To empower individuals to move beyond self imposed limitations.
- To teach self-reliance, an independent spirit, an unquenchable curiosity, and above all, compassion for all others and all living things.
- To develop team building, leadership, and effective interaction skills.
As a leadership development program these are the principles that define what we think is effective leadership. All of our programming is meant to educate on and reinforce these principles. Everyone will have strengths and weaknesses within this list. The goal of the Quest leadership model is to fine tune and expand the strengths and improve the challenge areas specific to each person.
- Be Passionate
- Have a Servant Mentality
- Have a Big Picture Mentality
- Strive for Sound Judgment and Decision Making
- Be willing to question and be questioned
- Inspire Others to Act
- Have Solid Skills and Be Able to Teach Those Skills
- Act as a Facilitator of Knowledge
- Be a Mentor to Others
- Be a Model of Excellence
Based on ideas and principles from Outward Bound, Quest Staff and Kouzes & Posner (2007)
The International Outward Bound Program, with its emphasis on teamwork, leadership and the development of human potential through challenging outdoor activities, attracted the interest of several BU administrators and faculty in the early 1970’s.
John Walker, as Assistant to the President, Steve Breset, Physical Education faculty, and Louis Mingrone, biology faculty, were instrumental in the mid 1970’s in providing that vital initial impetus that led to the establishment of the Quest Program. Together they attended the Association for Experiential Education Conference where other like minded professionals gathered to discuss the educational opportunities afforded by experiential education. The educational rational and philosophical underpinning of experiential education was embraced by this team. All they had to do now was persuade the college elders, Provost, deans and faculty chairpersons. Undoubtedly, without the continuing support of John Walker – who was able to convince President McCormick of the value of this new idea – the early efforts would most likely have foundered. It was John who came up with the name, Quest. He explained, It seemed to capture those value forming experiences that are beneficial to a student’s life at the University.
Steve Breset headed the program and steered it through 1981 when a full-time director was appointed and the program was given a permanent home in Student Life. The next important character to emerge on the scene of this fledging program was Bill Proudman who took over the reins in 1981 after Steve Breset. He was instrumental in forging a program curriculum that exemplified all the early aspirations of its founders. Bill was the right person at the right time a fortuitous event that allowed the program to grow and have an impact on the University community. Bill and students, presumably without the knowledge of some higher authorities, built office space out of what had formerly been the locker room for the University’s football team on the ground floor of Walter Simon Hall. Bill’s surreptitious creation of the office space is an example and a major point in Secretary Colin Powell’s list of leadership skills of what it sometimes takes to take on a traditional institution and create change; get it done and ask permission later.
Backing up a bit. In 1967 a small liberal arts college (Prescott College) in Arizona integrated the concepts of Outward Bound into an innovative program that replaced the traditional physical education program. The focus of the program was to develop leadership, self reliance and teamwork skills. The program, the first of its kind in the nation, received national attention from Time Magazine, CBS, NBC and ABC, and garnered the support of Dewitt Wallace, owner and founder of Readers Digest, who gave the college a large grant to further develop the program. (The founder of this program, Roy Smith, later became director of the Quest Program). This publicity attracted the attention of colleges and universities from around the country who were in interested in starting a similar program. Bloomsburg University, along with Princeton and Cornell, was one of those schools. In 1973, Roy Smith received a letter from John Walker asking if him if he would share his experiences in running the Prescott program. What is interesting about this historical morsel is that 15 years later, in 1988, Roy Smith, left Colorado and assumed directorship of the Quest Program.
By the time Roy arrived in Bloomsburg, his predecessors, the director and associate director had both moved on to other jobs and it was given to Signe Klinger – who had first participated in a Quest course two years earlier to hand over the keys and acquaint Roy with the program, its history, and the areas around Bloomsburg where courses were conducted. Signe was an invaluable link in a broken chain and was immediately promoted to Associate Director, a position she held until the birth of her first child in 1991.
In 1989, with a $10,000 start up grant from the Bloomsburg University Foundation, Roy Smith created the Corporate Institute as an adjunct to Quest and as a major revenue generating source that became the principal underlying financial support for the Quest Program. This revenue source allowed the Quest Program to improve its equipment inventory, expand its student leadership training capabilities and undertake more ambitious international experiences. The housing of the Quest Program and the Corporate Institute under one roof was a mutually beneficial undertaking. It allowed the Corporate Institute to have immediate access to a wide range of training facilities, and for the Quest program to benefit from increased revenue and a ready access to leadership and team development ideas taking place in the corporate world
The Quest program today has grown considerably in size and in the range of courses, and extended trips abroad, that we now offer not only to students at Bloomsburg University but to an extensive list of clientele from other colleges in the region, and community organizations from around the State. Much of this growth can be attributed to the outstanding work of the associate directors, who over the years, have done sterling work in training staff and coordinating a schedule of contract courses.
Nick McCormack - 2021 - Present
Brianne Oehmke - 2015 - 2021
Brett Simpson - 2009 – 2015
Roy Smith - 1988 - 2009
Chuck Connelly - 1987-1988
William Proudman - 1981-1987
Stephen Breset - 1973-1981
Brett Simpson 2001 – 2009
Tony Draus 1997 -2001
Mark Wasakoski 1996-1997
Tom Burkiewicz 1992-96
Karen Michaelson 1991-92
Signe Klinger 1989 -91
Barbara Lake 1987-8
Heidi Hammel 1986-7