• Community Spotlight: WVU’s National Youth Sports Program & Why It’s So Important

    Tucked behind the Coliseum is the WVU Shell Building, one of the East Coast’s finest indoor facilities for track, field & athletic training. A bustling mecca of activity during the fall & spring semesters, it is relatively quiet in the summer months—with the exception of June 20th-July 20th, when it’s overtaken by over 100 local kids, aged 8-15. An annual summer camp now in its 30th year, the NYSP (National Youth Sports Program) is one of our areas most impactful youth programs, inviting kids from diverse backgrounds to experience a summer sports camp at a minimal and non-prohibitive cost.

    While it was once a large, nationwide program, the NYSP is now only available in around 15 locations, mostly due to tightening state budgets. As one of the few remaining NYSP’s in the country, the WVU chapter prides itself in getting kids off the street, keeping them away from television and computer screens, and ensuring they are active and outdoors during the summer months.

    From the hours of 9am-12:45pm, campers split their time between 3 different activities—ranging from basketball and flag football, to ultimate Frisbee and bowling. Campers also get the benefit of cooling off during swimming lessons, and get to grab a complimentary, healthy lunch before boarding the bus back home each day. WVU’s NYSP also incorporates field trips in their curriculum, taking campers on outings to the WVU Art Museum, the West Virginia Black Bears Baseball Stadium, and Raptor Rehab, an orphaned bird rehabilitation center. NYSP also welcomes special needs campers, providing individual mentors when necessary.

    We sat down with Russell Orlikoff, the WVU NYSP Activities Director, to talk more about the lasting impact the program has had in the community. Orlikoff states: “We get a lot of positive feedback from the community; whole families have gone to NYSP... I think we create a positive outlet here, it’s more than keeping kids busy, its providing them with the tools they need to be successful in other aspects of their lives. We teach them about the importance of exercise and eating right (junk food is strictly forbidden), along with sports and leadership skills. The kids here are held to pretty high behavior standards, NYSP provides a good structure for them.”

    Walking around the camp it’s easy to notice the big numbers of staff and volunteers- many of whom are NYSP alumni, all of whom find enjoyment in their daily interactions with the campers. With all the great work being done at WVU’s NYSP, it should come as no surprise that it just received a proclamation from the City Council for the success the program has had in our community.

    A long-time advocate of the NYSP, the Book Exchange is proud to be a sponsor of our WVU chapter. For more information on the WVU chapter of the NYSP and to figure out how you can help support the program, visit: http://nysp.wvu.edu/.

  • 4th of July Mountaineer Essentials

    With Independence Day a week away, everyone is busy making plans to figure out how to spend the holiday. There are certainly no shortage of activities to keep you busy this 4th- the question is simply who you want to spend your holiday with and where. Whether you are looking to host a big backyard BBQ, catch some rays out on the lake or just watch some good ol’ fashioned fireworks- we got you covered with your WVU essentials. Below are just a few of the many ways you can show your love for the Mountaineers this July 4th:

    WV Backyard BBQ Essentials

    WVU Mini Ceramic Tray- You spent so much time working on those ribs for the big party- show them off in style with this bright tray!

    WVU Silicone Oven Mitt/Grilling Glove- Handle anything on the grill in Mountaineer fashion with this unique oven mitt. Its dishwasher safe too so no need to worry about cleanup.

    Men’s: WVU New Era 15 Stars Performance Cap- What better way to show some patriotism than with our star-spangled cap? The perfect complement to your 4th of July ensemble that can be worn year-round.

    Girls: WVU Gigi Gingham Check Dress- Have a little one joining you at the party? Keep her comfortable in this 100% cotton lightweight dress while she shows off her Mountaineer pride. Also available in infant sizes.

    WV Logo WVU Moscow Mule Mug- Ah, the taste of a refreshing Moscow Mule on a warm summer’s day…treat guests (or yourself) to one with our sleek, copper mug! Click here for the recipe.

    Recipes to WOW- According to Quartz, West Virginia’s most popular BBQ dish is the Smoky Mesquite BBQ Meatball sliders—get the recipe here!


    WV Lake

    WV Lake Day Essentials

    Men’s: Gear West Virginia Swim Trunks- Dive right into the holiday weekend with our WVU swimming shorts. These navy trunks are durable and feature an elastic waistband, drawstring, and a back zipper pocket for your valuables.

    Men’s: Nike WVU Stadium Team First Tank Top- Perfect for some fun in the sun this 4th of July, our striped tank will show off your home team spirit and leave you feeling comfortable and stylish.

    Women’s: Columbia WVU Breezy Tank Top-Ladies, our soft Columbia Tank is the ultimate cover for your bathing suit this 4th of July weekend! Light and breezy, show your love for WVU while you cool off lakeside!

    WVU 150 Years Can Koozie- In the heat of the July summer there is one priority on everyone’s mind when they head outdoors: keeping your beverages cool.  Our 150th anniversary koozies are the perfect solution, each can cooler fits a 12 oz can.

    WVU Logo Prism Tumbler- Add a little sparkle to your hydration this holiday with our blue prism tumbler, straw included.

    Fun Lake Activities- You don’t need to own a boat to have a great time on Cheat Lake! Did you know Paddleboard Yoga is offered? Or that you can rent kayaks, boats and more? Click here for a full list of all the activities you can partake in on Cheat Lake this 4th of July!


    WV Fireworks

    WV Fireworks Display Essentials

    West Virginia Home Cap- We all know that there's no place like home, especially when it comes to the state of West Virginia! Share your pride for our state on America’s birthday with our washed twill cap, available in 5 colors.

    WVU Elite Chair- Show your Mountaineer pride and stay comfy during the fireworks display with our lightweight, easily portable chair.

    Women’s: Skicks West Virginia Low Top Sneakers- Stylish and comfortable our Skicks sneakers will keep your feet clean and warm out at night while the sky lights up in celebration!

    WVU Halftime Lunch Cooler- Keep your snacks and beverages cool during your celebration with our mini cooler. Its lightweight, with a handle to make it easy to carry.

    Women’s: WVU Spirit Flag Burnout Racerback Tank- Nothing screams 4th of July like this racerback tank top sublimated with the WVU Spirit Flag. Show your love for our state and the US with this new gem!

    The Ultimate Fireworks Display- Looking for local events to catch some fireworks and outdoor music? Click here for a full listing!

    Cheers to the upcoming holiday weekend and we hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July!

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