By Ashley Foy
At last September’s club fair, one group in particular stood out as new sign-up sheets continuously were being added to the table after students heard a brief description of planned activities.
“[SALD Associate Director] Sue Sweeney told us at the club fair that we are the most dangerous club on campus,” said Drew Blythe, the club’s vice president.
This popular and “dangerous” new club on campus is the outing club.
“Matt [Vekakis] and I came up with the idea of an adventure club during winter break 2010. When we found out, however, that there was formerly an outing club which had held the same mission as us, we decided to reactivate that,” explains Liz Braun president of the outing club. “Our club purpose is to enjoy nature in a respectful way, but we also throw in a relaxed sense of having fun and adventure. The main difference between us and the old outing club is the adventure we mix in.”
One would think a club that’s main goal is respecting and enjoying nature should seem like a relatively low-risk club, but that is clearly not the case for the outing club.
“We definitely throw a lot of adventure into the mix, with things like zip-lining and whale watching,” explained Vice President Drew Blythe.
While the club is working on insurance issues surrounding some of their planned activities, they are promising exciting events for their club members. With already around 50 members on Collegiate Link and a strong following of members at meetings and on their Facebook page, this club is quickly becoming a popular one around campus.
The club is currently in the process of getting gear for all of their active members, and then will be giving out extra reusable bags and carabiners with an outing club logo to promote the club and thank the members for their support. These will be given out at a table they will have in the Student Center in the fall semester and at an event they are planning for Earth Day in the spring.
Aside from their major whale watching trip during the spring semester, the club will have an overnight event this winter where members go rock climbing, sleep over, have pizza and hang out. The event will be held at Prime Climb in Wallingford, Conn. And before then, while Connecticut is still in its fall foliage stage, the club plans to go on a hike and will announce the time and place once they get the clearance from SALD.
Important to remember is that the club covers many different nature activities from all walks of life. There is no expertise required to partake in any of the events. Beginners and experts alike will be accommodated at each event to ensure that all students are truly welcome to join in and will have a good time.
Meetings for the outing club are every other Thursday. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Sprague Room in the Student Center.