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YHC Sports, Recreation, and Outdoor Studies Majors Raft at the Nantahala Outdoor Center 

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Young Harris College’s Department of Sports, Recreation, and Outdoor Studies has partnered with the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) to provide students with opportunities for experiential leadership, education, and practice.

Students enjoyed a guided whitewater rafting trip through the Nantahala Gorge from the NOC’s Bryson City, North Carolina location. While they navigated through Class II-III rapids and bouncy waves, students also had the chance to appreciate the mountain scenery with occasional calmer waters. The rafting experience took about two hours, with the students paddling back towards Nantahala Falls just in time for lunch. 

Dr. Thomas Clanton, Assistant Professor of Sport and Recreation Studies, organized this experience for his class Introduction to the Recreation and Tourism Industry. This course focuses on facilitating human connection through fun activities in outdoor spaces. It also teaches students how to generate and sustain engagement from a marketing and business perspective. 

With a legacy in adventure and instruction since 1972, the Nantahala Outdoor Center’s mission aligns with the Department’s aims to connect people through authentic interactions with each other and the natural world. Hands-on experiences with raft guides allowed students to learn the function of commercial outdoor guide services. This semester, professionals from the NOC have also met with students to discuss the importance of risk management, administration, and sales. 

“Partnering with the NOC provides our students with the opportunity to participate in relevant field experiences while receiving high quality instruction from industry leading professionals,” said Dr. Clanton. By learning from a premier rafting service and highly rated vacation and training destination, students majoring in Sports, Recreation, and Outdoor Studies become well prepared for future internships and careers.

The Department of Sports, Recreation, and Outdoor Studies cultivates the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes for effective leadership in the field, as well as broadens cultural perspectives. Built on a liberal arts core, the philosophical, theoretical, and practical aspects of these degrees allow students to translate and capitalize on their passions for sport, recreation, and human performance. 

About Young Harris College

Young Harris College is a private baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting institution located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires, and empowers students through an education that purposefully integrates the liberal arts and professional studies. The College has four academic divisions: Fine Arts; Humanities; Mathematics, Science, and Technology; and Professional Studies. Approximately 1,400 students are enrolled in its residential and Early College programs. The College is an active member of the NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. For more information, visit