Editor's Note: Jessi Alt is a photographer for The Collegian.
The Outdoors Club, one of the newest additions to University of Richmond campus life, is seeking to build a community of people with a shared passion for exploring and spending time in the outdoors.
Sophomore Glenn Rose, founder and president of the club, transferred from the University of New England in Maine, which had an amazing outdoors program with many opportunities to get outside and explore with other students, he said.
Since becoming a Spider, Rose had been looking for a community similar to the University of New England outdoors club, he said, but did not find it in UR’s Outdoor Adventure and Recreation (OAR) program. Rose's desire to combine community and time in the outdoors sparked his interesting in starting this club.
“The difference, mainly, is we are trying to create a community through the group along with having our own trips,” Rose said.
First-year Jessi Alt, a member of the outdoors club, said she too had been looking for a club that explored the natural beauty around UR when she had applied to the university.
The group’s goal is to create an inclusive environment for like-minded people who want to spend time outdoors and explore the Richmond area, sophomore and club member Sally Watanabe said.
The Outdoors Club and OAR work together to create more opportunities for students to take trips, preventing or lessening competition for membership and attendance, Rose said.
Because the club is so new, most of the meetings are about what trips club members would like to take in the future, Alt said. One of their goals is to have weekly trips to Pony Pasture now that the weather is warmer.
“The people who show up get to play a part in forming what it will be like in the future as well,” Alt said.
While it focuses on planning trips and laying groundwork for its future, the club will have a casual environment, concentrating on fostering a strong community among interested students, Rose said.
The club plans to have kayaking and camping trips in April, Alt said, but the group plans to expand beyond the Richmond area during breaks in the school year.
One trip the club will be taking is hiking Old Rag Mountain, the peak of which is located within Shenandoah National Park.
Potential destinations for future trips include the Great Smoky Mountains and Zion National Park, Rose said.
All students are welcome to attend meetings, join the club’s GroupMe and social media and become involved in the club’s trips.
Contact features writer Cate Bonner at firstname.lastname@example.org.