Outdoor Recreation

Outdoor Recreation

Delta State University is home to the state’s first outdoor education program.  The Outdoor Recreation Education Program (OREP) is an academic/experiential learning program for outdoor recreation adventure activities.  Expeditions in canoeing, sea-kayaking, rock climbing, white water rafting, mountain biking, snowboarding/skiing, backpacking, and workshops/clinics are offered at DSU.  A variety of courses are offered every fall and spring semester with a limit of 10 students in each course.  Hands-on learning happen in the Dave Heflin Outdoor Recreation Education Laboratory and expeditions happen on weekends or extended breaks, depending on what course you sign up for.  For more information about OREP contact 662.846.4567 or 662.846.4570.


In addition to outdoor courses, the Outdoor Recreation Education Program offers a 2-week youth camp (OKRA Day Camp), a 1-mile mud/obstacle run, (Delta Down & Dirty), and weekly/monthly events and activities promoting outdoor recreation and education.  Use the ‘TABS’ below to navigate our page through the various programs.  Contact us with any questions regarding programs.


The Outdoor Recreation Education Program is a multifaceted and comprehensive education program offering outdoor adventure courses to all DSU students for credit.  The outdoor adventure courses are found in the DSU Catalog under PER 190-198.  Each semester, a variety of outdoor education courses are offered.


2019 O.K.R.A. Summer Recreation Day Camp

6-8 year olds | June 3-7 | 8AM-4PM M-Th & 8AM-1PM Fri
9-11 year olds | JUNE 10-14  | 8AM-4PM M-Th & 8AM-1PM Fri

Registration opens Tuesday, April 10, 2019 | 8 a.m.  |  $100


FOREST E. WYATT CENTER FOR Health, Physical Education, and Recreation at DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY.




Mission:  Our mission is to provide an active, positive, and exciting environment  for youth to participate in a variety of recreational opportunities. What is O.K.R.A.?  O.K.R.A. is a summer day camp providing youth ages 6-8 and 9-11 a week-long opportunity to participate in structured indoor and outdoor recreation activities.  The camp provides age and developmentally appropriate, engaging instruction promoting and fostering  active participation.  Activities include: kayaking, canoeing, fishing, disc golf, swimming, floor hockey, interactive and team-building games, non-competitive team sports, and numerous other recreational activities.

Location:  O.K.R.A. Day Camp is hosted on the Delta State University campus at the Forest E. Wyatt Center for HPER.  The camp utilizes many facilities and fields on the DSU campus including the Aquatic Center, Intramural Sports Fields, QUAD, and Outdoor Recreation Lab.  Each camper is required to bring towels, swimming suits, sunscreen, water bottles, and a healthy snack & lunch.

Staff:  O.K.R.A. Day Camp is directed and supervised by recreation professionals.  Each recreation leader is first-aid, CPR, and Red Cross Lifeguard certified.

Enrollment:  The O.K.R.A. Day Camp is limited to 180 participants on a first come, first served basis, due to staffing and facility use policies.  In order to fully enroll a child, you must fill out the registration forms and submit to the Division of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation on the campus of Delta State University.



OKRA CAMP MENTOR PROGRAM:  The OKRA Camp Mentor Program is a volunteer opportunity for those youth who have aged out of OKRA Camp but still want to participate and assist our recreation leaders with week 1 (6-8 yr-olds) campers.  The thought behind the mentor program is that some of these youth have been to OKRA Camp for 6+ years and have valuable insight, skills, and abilities to help our week 1 participants learn about and be helpful assets to OKRA Camp operations.   Mentors apply for 18 available positions.  Mentors are placed in areas of need and skillset. Not all mentors who apply are selected. Mentors will be removed from camp as needed based on poor performance or behavior.  To apply, click the below icon:

The Delta Down & Dirty is Mississippi’s Largest Youth Mud and Obstacle Run. The 1-mile course allows youth ages 6-16 years old to run through challenging mud pits, tackle grueling obstacles, and earn the right to call themselves a Delta Down & Dirty Finisher.

Registration is $20. Youth will receive a Finisher t-shirt and a medal.

Registration options:

1) General:  a non-competitive run with co-ed age groups with 15 participants at a time starting with 6-year-olds. Finishers receive a t-shirt and medal.

2) Elite: a competitive age & gender group, mass start with all competitive participants. Awards will be given to top 3 finishers in each age and gender group. (example, first, second, and third for 6-year-old boys and girls). 1st time finishers receive a finisher t-shirt and medal. Girls run against girls, and boys against boys in their respective age groups.

Registration & Schedule

Pre-Register at DSU HPER building by filling out the registration form HERE:

(or) go to Races Online to register:


– R A C E   D A Y   T I M E L I N E –

Runner Packet Pick Up: Friday, April 26: 4-6pm & Saturday, April 27: 9am

RACE DAY | Saturday, April 27, 2019


9:50 am: Youth/Parent SAFETY Meeting (Optional)

10 am: 12+-Year Old {ELITE} Start -MASS START

10:05 am: 12-Year Old Age group waves of 15 leave every 5 Min.

ONCE 12-Year Old Age group, then 11-Yr Olds, then 10-Year Olds, and so on.  Waves of runners will start every 5 minutes.

A complete SCHEDULE of the 2018 RUN will be posted on FACEBOOK and ONLINE HERE the WEEK of the event.

Must be 6 years old on day of event.


If race day weather conditions warrant changes, announcements will be made indicating the day or time change.

Finisher t-shirts & medals will be given to youth who complete all obstacles and race.

        • Online registration and payment HERE – https://racesonline.com/events/delta-down-dirty
        • Race time assignments will be EMAILED one week prior to race if pre-registered.
        • Registration is now OPEN and registration forms can be printed by clicking above link.
        • If you need pre-printed registration forms, they can be picked up in the HPER Division Office or downloaded HERE.
        • For more information, call 662.846.4555.

S P O N S O R S H I P    O P P O R T U N I T I E S    H E R E  

To SPONSOR an obstacle or area, or to volunteer, click HERE.


MISSISSIPPITOPIA is the largest outdoor recreation education workshop/symposium in the State of Mississippi and a ‘First for Mississippi.’ The 3-Day weekend workshop/conference-style event is scheduled for April 20-22 2018, at Choctaw Lake  Recreation Area in Ackerman, Mississippi.The goal is to EducateAdvocate, and Connect students, professionals, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts with others in the State of Mississippi who value and support outdoor recreation opportunities and education.

Our goal is to: (1) support and develop outreach and educational programs to promote outdoor recreation opportunities within all educational landscapes (K-12 education, parks & recreation, health & wellness agencies, campus recreation and student life divisions, and educational divisions at colleges/universities). (2) positively impact the youth obesity and the physical inactivity epidemic plaguing our state through numerous hands-on skill building activities and workshops that enhance outdoor recreation/education knowledge to connect education with recreational pursuits available in Mississippi.  (3) connect educators and recreation leaders from across the State of Mississippi to learn about the opportunities and needs in Mississippi and build relationships with key professionals in the fields of recreation, education, parks, environmental science, and other stakeholders in outdoor recreation education.  FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE


In 2008, the Heflin-Ockerbloom family provided the means to establish the ‘Dave Heflin Professorship’, with the intent of ensuring that there would always be someone at DSU to organize outdoor recreation courses such as rafting, canoeing, rock climbing, and kayaking. Dr. Todd Davis has fulfilled this vision through his role the past three years as Recreation Leadership Program Director. Nothing pays tribute to Dave Heflin more than to know that this professorship will continue to grow and provide the means for students to continue to partake in outdoor recreation course and take outdoor recreation education field trips.

In the spirit of growth, the professorship now has a new ‘home.’ The Dave Heflin Outdoor Recreation Laboratory was established in 2017 to house the Outdoor Recreation Education Program on the campus of Delta State University. This 1,600 square foot area will serve as the official education and outfitter facility for the program and allow students the opportunity to receive high-quality outdoor education, as well as train and experiment with outdoor gear and equipment. The laboratory is a repurposed locker room which was not used for some time in the Forest E. Wyatt Center for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. The vision for the lab was developed by Todd Davis, Director of Recreation Leadership and Outdoor Education. The space is vivid and bright with numerous photos illustrating the past and present with room for packing and training, has movable lab tables, gear stowage, a wash/workroom, and a storage center.

For an article about the lab written in the Clarion Ledger by Mark Stowers: CLICK HERE
View a video with President LaForge about the lab’ CLICK HERE
Visit the Dave Heflin Outdoor Recreation Education Lab page HERE

Information Coming

Outdoor Recreation Education Staff & Contacts

Dr. Todd M. Davis, CPRP
Dave Heflin Professorship
Asst. Professor & Director, Recreation Administration & Outdoor Recreation Education
662.856.4570 | tdavis@deltastate.edu

Campus Office Hours:
T & W 10-12 & 2-4 | Th 10-12 | WY113

BSEd Physical Education / Health | University of Idaho
MS Sport & Recreation Administration | University of Idaho
EdD Higher Education Administration | Delta State University

Spotlight Article HERE  |  Resume/CV HERE | Teaching Philosophy HERE

Taylor Byrum, Grad Assistant
Coordinator for Trips/Programs & Asst. Guide
662.856.4567 | getoutdoorsy@deltastate.edu

Campus Office Hours:
T & W 10-12 & 2-4 | Th 10-12 | WY119

BS Social Justice & Criminology  | Delta State University
MS Program: Social Justice & Criminology | Delta State University (May 2021)


Class Size Limited to 10 participants.