New recreation program will train faculty, staff to hike Grand Canyon

Rice’s Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center has created a new program for Rice faculty and staff who want to live fully and push personal boundaries and limitations.

The Grand Canyon (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

The Grand Canyon (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

“(Re)Discover Your Wild Side” is an innovative program designed to help interested Rice faculty and staff build the foundation of energy, health and balance necessary to accomplish physically and mentally challenging goals. It will begin with a comprehensive training program intended to prepare an individual’s body, mind and soul and will culminate with a fully guided expedition to a “bucket list” travel site.

“We are really excited about this new program and hope it is the start of a growing division for us,” said Elizabeth Slator, associate director of the Rec Center. “There are so many individuals out there who crave travel and adventure but don’t feel comfortable striking out on their own. The goal of this program is to address some of the primary fears and concerns that can hold people back and foster a sense of confidence that we are all quite capable of leading the lives that we want.”

Training will be from March 8 through May 17, and an expedition to Grand Canyon is scheduled for May 19 through 23. Spaces for the 2016 “(Re)Discover Your Wild Side” are limited, and the cost is $700 per person. Pricing includes a three-month training plan, all gear, meals, lodging and transportation at the Grand Canyon, but not airfare. Additional training options, such as dietary or nutritional counseling and wellness coaching, are available for an extra fee.

“Ultimately, the goal of the Recreation Center is to help the members of this community thrive,” Slator said. “From functional-movement classes like the Alexander Technique to free guided meditation sessions, our offerings include affordable programs and services that meet the health and wellness needs of our student and nonstudent populations. We love creating new offerings and are thrilled to add ‘(Re)Discover Your Wild Side’ to our schedule.”

For more information about this program — including details about the training plan — and other activities at the recreation center, visit

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.