“Basically I just love to get away from school for the weekend, just a day to be at peace and to forget about everything else. It’s really nice,” said Emily Moore, a first year Industrial Design major. As a member of the Outing Club, Moore has the opportunity to get away like this every weekend.
The Outing Club, a student run organization, is formatted to appeal to students who enjoy camping, hiking, backpacking or have a general passion for the outdoors. The club meets weekly to organize events that a wide range of students can participate in. According to club president Clay Grosshans, a second year Mechanical Engineering major, the meetings are informal: the members choose what they would like to do and the club leaders figure out
how to make it happen.
Grosshans stated that most of the outdoor activities the club engages in are day hikes or camping trips to the Adirondacks. He explained that many of the activities are beginner friendly, although most backpacking trips require more experience. Each week, there is a small day hike that nearly anyone can participate in. “If you have a pair of tennis shoes and a jacket you can go on an Outing Club trip,” explained Grosshans.
However, sometimes members suggest more unique activities. “My favorite was when we went to Lake Placid. We got to do the Olympic skeleton course, which was awesome … You know the luge? It’s that, but headfirst. Skeleton is an actual Olympic sport, and we got to do that,” recalled Moore.
The Outing Club provides some of the gear needed to participate in the club’s more intense activities. Grosshans explained that equipment is available freely for club members and can also be rented by nonmembers for a small fee. The available equipment includes canoes, sleeping bags, backpacks, stoves, snowshoes and other basics.
“I see [Outing Club] as a way for people with similar interests to get together and find other people to do it with,” stated Grosshans. He explained that activities such as camping can be boring or lonely without others.
“These people here are like family,” said Rudra Raviteja, a graduate student in Electrical Engineering. He joined Outing Club very soon after arriving in America because of his interest in travel. “I like adventures; I don’t like to stay home.” Sometimes the adventures don’t go as planned, such as the incredibly cold camping trip he went on one weekend to Sugar Hill. But his favorite trip was to Fall Lake George: “The water was crystal clear and we saw the Milky Way galaxy, you could see the stars.”
More information about the RIT Outing Club and upcoming trips can be found on their Facebook page.