Change has gripped the UWSP Adventure Club this semester, with more organization, trips and social media presence.
Bailen Stewart is an active member and said the club is “going strong this year. We have already done three trips this year. This is the year to be in adventure club.”
The goal of the Adventure Club is to subsidize travel expenses and maintain a collection of community equipment to facilitate outdoor activities such as rock climbing, backpacking and kayaking.
Club president Daniel Joannes, junior forest management major, said the new semester will see people getting out on trips as much as possible. Winter and spring breaks are the prize trips due to time allotment.
“We have a lot more trips being planned this semester… We are going to be able to get a lot more people out, on a lot more variety of trips,” said Joannes.
Students in the club have the option of three levels of trips according to difficulty: green light, yellow light and red light.
Green light trips are for beginner adventurers that are new to the activity. Everything is taken care of in terms of equipment and itinerary, and the activities accommodate every fitness level. Yellow light trips require additional skill sets, such as whitewater rafting and rock climbing. Red light trips are for students that want to do all that and push their comfort zones.
“You can work your way up,” said Joannes.
Through active participation, students that start in green light trips and wish to become more advanced are mentored by experienced members in the group.
“Being a freshman and not having a lot of experience with backpacking and different adventure activities, getting the advice and trip planning experience from the upperclassman is extremely helpful so I can do a better job when I do trips on my own and be safer,” said Cassidy Cyert, sophomore environmental education major.
Students go to club meetings where officers announce what trips they have planned for the month. Interested attendees can sign up for the trip they want to go on right away. The officer leading that specific trip, emails everybody a meeting time and discusses the logistics.
Following this, there are several meetings to plan and go over things such as the weather forecast, terrain, gear check lists and anything else that would prepare students for what lies ahead. Often times, one of these meetings includes skills training for students preparing for a yellow light trip.
Cyert explained the preparation for a rock climbing trip while at the rock wall on campus. Cyert said, “I learned how to repel, how to set ropes and anchors and how to do that safely.”
Club member Balin Magee, sophomore wildlife ecology major, described the caliber of the training.
“They really do a good job at making sure you know the skills first, and that makes you feel safer and ultimately allows for a more enjoyable experience,” said Magee.
The trips themselves are led by experienced students who are titled Trip Officers. Along with having the skills for the adventures they lead, they are qualified in a 10-day wilderness first responder course.
To get involved, find UWSP Adventure Club on the SPIN network, or on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/uwsp.arc/.