Recreation, Park, Tourism, and Hospitality

Experiential Learning
RPTH Professional Development

Adapted Activities for All:
WIU Interdisciplinary Movement Program

The Adapted Activites for All: WIU Interdisciplinary Movement Program provides WIU students with hands-on experiences with students with disabilities. WIU students are grouped into multidisciplinary teams from RPTH and multiple majors across campus to work with 50-55 students from the West Central Illinois Special Education Cooperative (WCISEC) which consists of five counties surrounding Macomb. WCISEC students range in age from 4 to 21 years-old with various disabilities. WIU students have the opportunity to learn and implement strategies for programming and modifying activities to effectively set up a successful environment for children and youth with disabilities in both the pool and gym. The program is hosted eight times a semester.

The program occurs on Friday mornings from 10 am - 12 noon. For more information, please contact Dr. Cindy Piletic at

Camp Rocky

Camp Rocky provides WIU students enrolled in RPTA 340: Camp Leadership with hands-on experiences planning and coordinating a free camp for local youth in grades 1-8. The traditional classroom course is designed for maximum experiential learning, where students are able to learn skills relevant to the youth camp field, such as business planning, marketing initiatives and designing a program to address the needs and interests of youth. Through committees, students gain experience with fundraising, marketing, hospitality and programming that make them more marketable for careers in youth and camp leadership.

Camp Rocky traditionally takes place in April. For more information, please contact Dr. Megan Owens at

Foos for Families

Foos for Families provides WIU students enrolled in RPTA 467: Event Planning and Management with hands-on experiences planning and coordinating a human foosball tournament to benefit local families. The event features teams of six-eight people, over the age of 14, playing on enlarged foosball fields. Students gain practical experiences in coordinating community-level events through planning logistics, operations, marketing, and fundraising endeavors that prepare them for careers involving event planning and management.

Foos for Families takes place in March. For more information, please contact Dr. Jeremy Robinett at

Horn Field Campus

Horn Field Campus is located just one mile south of Macomb and has become the site of numerous campus events and activities over the years. The 92 acre field campus includes woodlands, prairie and several miles of nature trails.The Challenge Course includes events from ground level up to forty feet in the trees, among them a climbing and rappelling tower. Cooperation between WIU and local organizations allows people from throughout the area to utilize HFC. Through experiential learning opportunities at Horn Field Campus students can gain facilitation and interpretation skills that are vital for success in outdoor and resource management careers.

Horn Field Campus is open year round by appointment.

For more information about Horn Field Campus, please contact Ms. Mindy Pheiffer by email at or phone at 309-298-HORN (4676).

Knoblauch Cafe

Knoblauch Cafe provides WIU students enrolled in hospitality courses with hands-on experience planning and managing a student-run restaurant. Students in the course plan menus, coordinate purchasing, prepare food, and serve customers who choose to dine in or take out meals. Students are able to gain valuable experience through implementing culinary techniques, incorporating food safety, and practicing service skills that will benefit them as they enter the workforce. Knoblauch Cafe takes place during the spring semester.

For more information, please contact Ms. Jill Cassady at

Professional Development Conference

The Professional Development Conference provides students opportunities to engage with alumni, industry leaders and faculty to hone their professional competencies. Through engaging sessions and mentorship opportunities, the Professional Development Conference allows students to gain experience in professional networking and learn more about the realities of their chosen careers.

We have four goals for our conference:

  • to help our students hone their professional competencies;
  • to recruit students into our department;
  • to provide opportunities for alumni, friends, and students to engage; and,
  • to celebrate the successes of our alumni, friends, and current students.

The 2023 Professional Development Conference will take place on April 21, 2023. 

For more information, please contact Ms. Julie Eggleston at 

Summer Opportunities Fair

Photo of SOF The Summer Opportunities Fair is focused on all jobs occurring during the summer season. Students will engage with recruiters from Illinois and beyond representing the following industries: hospitality, park and recreation, natural resources, and summer camps.

Employers are seeking students interested in food service/concessions, lifeguards, camp counselors, sport coaches, golf course personnel, media relations/design, and office/administrative work. 

The Summer Opportunities Fair will take place on February 15, 2023.  

Click here for a list of the agencies partipating in this year's fair.

For more information, please contact Dr. Megan Owens at

Senior Olympics

The Senior Olympics allows students opportunities to provide athletic competition for older adults. Over 100 senior citizens regularly participate in the Senior Games and over 50 WIU students serve as volunteers to help coordinate the competition and fellowship. The Senior Olympics provides students opportunities to work with older adults as they learn more about recreational sport and tournament logistics. The Senior Olympics takes place in the spring semester.

For more information, please contact Dr. Mike Lukkarinen at

Senior Olympics website