October, 2008: SMDI Students Plan "Haunted Paddle" Night Halloween Kayaking Experience for Miami Community at Oleta State River State Park in Sunny Isles, Florida.
It was scary how enthusiastic the Barry University's Sport Management – Diving Industry students were about creating and running the aquatic equivalent of a haunted hayride. An integral portion of the SES 351: Diving Leadership course at Barry is a "Leadership Project" challenging the student to plan and conduct an activity for their peers or the community in order to give the student experience in planning, logistics, organization and execution of an event. Filling a need to give the local community a safe and fun alternative on Halloween night, Oleta River State Park opened up their waterways in a collaborative effort with SMDI student Daniel Hughes to allow 12 SMDI Majors and Minors the opportunity to haunt the mangrove swamp so the community would be able to participate in guided kayaking tours.
The turnout for the event was excellent as Barry Students gained valuable hands-on experiences in the areas of leadership, risk management, public relations and program planning/management. The event has already been scheduled to take place in October of 2009 and will become an annual event.