Student Affairs

Meet the Expert: Robert Taylor, Campus Recreation


With a true passion for outdoor recreation and 20+ years of experience in the field, Robert Taylor leads a team of professional staff who create invaluable experiences for Clemson students through a wide variety of recreational programs.

We sat down with Robert to learn more about his role in Campus Recreation and how his work positively impacts student well-being.

What is your role as director of programs and assessment for Campus Recreation?

In my role, I oversee Campus Recreation’s different program areas, working with the full-time staff who lead and guide the direction of each of those individual programs.

One program area is intramural sports. This includes traditional sports, such as our big ones like flag football, soccer and basketball, depending on the season.

Another program area is fitness. This includes the many fitness programs offered at Fike Recreation Center and Douthit Hills Fitness Center. We occasionally have a few classes at the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness Complex (Snow Complex) and Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center (Andy’s).

Our last area is Clemson Outdoor Recreation and Education (CORE). The CORE program is one that is near and dear to my heart because my time as a student through the majority of my professional career has been in outdoor recreation in some form or fashion.

What particular programs are offered through Campus Rec to students?

Our traditional intramural sports are the more competitive ones, which is how many people initially think about intramurals. In the past year or so we’ve been trying to offer more non-competitive leagues for students who might not be as familiar with a particular sport and just want to try it out and have fun. For instance, I created a volleyball team last fall. Our team played grass volleyball together once a week, and while I’m definitely not an expert volleyball player, it was a lot of fun. Students don’t need to be at the top of their game in any activity to participate and have a good time.

We offer a lot of different fitness opportunities, mainly in Fike and Douthit. We have a new outdoor fitness trailer stationed near the front entrance of Fike where we will be offering more functional-based training classes, which will be a unique experience for students. We’ve started out doing short challenges outside the trailer while students are walking by, such as pull-up and push-up challenges. We’ve received a lot of student interest, so we’re looking forward to starting those classes.  

canoes, paddleboards, and kayaks stored at the Andy Quattlebaum Center at the Snow Complex
Campus Rec offers equipment rentals at the Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center.

Our other program area, CORE, consists of two components – outdoor adventure trips and equipment rentals. Our adventure trips program includes skill clinics locally at Andy’s and extended trips over breaks. Any student can sign up to go on these trips and attend these events. Some of our spring skills-based clinics at Andy’s include art nights and outdoor cooking classes. There’s also a SWU bike ride coming up in April, and we’re offering a new Paddle and Pies program where we’ll paddleboard from the Snow Complex to the dock outside the new Your Pie on the lake. During Spring Break, we have two extended trips planned, and we’ll be taking our annual international adventure and service trip to Dominica in May. While these spring extended trips are full, we typically have fall and winter break trips, so be sure to check out signups for these trips next semester! 

The other component of CORE is equipment rentals. At Andy’s, students can rent a number of items, including paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, backpacks, sleeping bags, stoves, tents, fishing equipment, mountain bikes, etc. The CORE rental office at Andy’s is open seven days a week from noon-8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekends.

With warmer weather upon us, are there any other outdoor experiences offered to students through Campus Rec this spring and summer?

In addition to the experiences I mentioned, we have another fun trip coming up called SUPs and S’mores where we’ll spend the afternoon paddleboarding and end the night with s’mores around a bonfire.

With the weather beginning to warm up, students can enjoy spending time outside by the lake at the Snow Complex – come relax, study or spend time with friends on the patios, back decks, fire pit, beach or grassy area. There’s also a volleyball court on the beach. The Snow Complex is a great place to hang out, and it’s easy to get to; you don’t have to drive a great distance to get to a really nice recreation area.

We also have a resource center in Andy’s that includes maps, guidebooks and other resources for the local area. These are great to check out if you want to explore past campus – go on a hike, see the beautiful waterfalls or go camping at a state park.

Two students sit in chairs by the fire pit at the Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center. They are laughing and conversing.
Students enjoy spending time outdoors at the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness Complex.

How do Campus Rec programs enhance the well-being of students?

The first thing that usually comes to mind when people think about Campus Rec is the physical dimension of well-being. While we do offer the obvious physical well-being experiences, we also impact students’ social well-being. When you think about intramurals, you’re scheduled weekly, in-person, with a group of people, playing a sport/participating in an activity. That comes into play in our group fitness classes, too. F45 is a popular group fitness class, and it’s just as much of a social connection for some people as it is a physical workout.

Our outdoor programs also influence social well-being. Our trips typically consist of small groups of about 10-12 students. When some people sign up, they don’t know anyone else going the trip, so it’s a great way to make new connections and meet new friends with similar interests.

Even just sitting outside at Andy’s – by the lake, just being in nature – really impacts our overall mental health and well-being.

Learn more about Campus Recreation.