“Basically, we try to make it easy for people to do things outside like go hiking, backpacking, rock climbing and anything else,” explained club president Adrienne Socci ’01.
Students organize and lead all excursions. “Anyone can lead a trip, with whatever level of experience,” said club secretary Dave Reckess ’02. “Participation is not limited to members, and no experience is necessary for most trips. For people who don’t have any experience organizing, the more experienced members help out.”
This semester, the club has offered opportunities for surfing, rock climbing, full moon and day hikes, and has plans for a weekend backpacking trip and several climbing trips.
The Outing Club is also looking into the possibilities of more complicated projects, including canoeing, snow-shoeing, cross country skiing, sky-diving, kayaking and short camping trips in New England.
Spring break, Interterm and early June allow for longer camping trips farther away from campus. Past destinations include North Carolina, Peru, Colorado and New Mexico.
Additionally, associations with other outing clubs like the one at Hampshire College expand the number and types of trips that are feasible. Past collaborations have included ice-climbing and caving expeditions.
Amherst’s Outing Club is always ready to help students get acquainted with the intricacies of the outdoors. For members interested in becoming certified to lead outdoor trips, or for those who simply want to feel safer in the backcountry, the club offers a wilderness first aid program.
The club also encourages students to come up with their own activities. “We’re open to ideas from people who don’t think they can lead a trip but would like to go on one,” said Socci. “We’ll set it up for you and find someone who wants to lead it. And if you don’t want to do it as a club event, we have gear to rent, and maps and suggestions of good places to go.”