At first glance many students wouldn’t even notice that hidden just under the BYU–Idaho stadium is the ORC, also known as the Outdoor Resource Center.
The ORC has many different types of equipment that can either be rented out or sold to students and locals ranging from canoes and kayaks to camping gear.
Junior Renee Ann Lemire, an employee for the ORC, said there is always something to do at work and that she is always learning something new.
“Something that seems to be confusing is that the ORC is separate from BYU-I. We are our own income and do not depend on BYUI-I funds whatsoever,” said Lemire. “The ORC’s responsibility is renting out stuff the outdoors activities need.”
Junior Drew Clements has been working for the ORC for almost two years.
“In a large part we are the information source for people who come in. Mostly it’s about equipment use and seeking information about places to go. Although we don’t make recommendations, we can talk about the area. If someone wants something we don’t carry, we can usually order it,” Clements said.
Employees at the ORC receive a discount when renting equipment at the ORC. Clements said the discount is for training purposes, so they can try out the equipment and become familiar with it so they can help customers better.
Scott Hurst, faculty advisor for outdoor activities, has been working for the ORC for seven years.
Hurst said the ORC is a business that doesn’t depend on profit but more on the fact that customers come first.
“It’s a fun crowd to serve. Most of the people are involved in the industry whether through course work or hobbies. There’s a connection there,” Clements said.
When considering whether to rent or buy equipment; Clements advises customers to take into account just how much they’re going to use the equipment.
“If you’re the type of person that wants to ski once or twice a year, renting is the best. If you ski every weekend buying equipment is the best way to go,” Clements said.
When purchasing or renting equipment like a raft, students could pay $80 opposed to the basic $200 which would be the cost in most outdoor stores.
The ORC also resells most of their equipment as long as it’s still in useful condition. They try to sell it at open table sales such as garage sales and flea markets. They also sell the equipment online through the school’s surplus system.
Sophomore Chaun Earl has been working for the ORC for two semesters. Earl said his knowledge of winter sports was broadened through working for the ORC.
“Last semester we took care of a lot of skis and snowboards. I had no knowledge of those sports at all at first. I learned how to tune the boards. In some things I am an expert, but there is still a lot to learn,” Earl said.
Earl has worked with other forms of equipment such as GPS systems for hiking and even kites.
Lemire said the ORC welcomes anybody who wants to volunteer and learn about the shop and the equipment.
“It’s an extremely fun environment at the ORC and such a fun job,” Lemire said.