On campus, there are calendars posted everywhere focusing on a variety of outdoor adventures planned throughout the semester. Skiing, tubing, rock-climbing, ice-skating; you name it. These take me back to my high school days, during which I was a part of an outdoor adventure club. Through that club, which we called S.O.A.C. (Student Outing Adventure Club), I experienced a lot of activities for the first time. I signed up for them in the spirit of wanting to try new things, and to this day, I am so glad for the opportunities our teachers provided through the outdoor club. Along with the rock-climbing excursion I mentioned in my last post, some other outdoor activities the club went on included the following:
- Caving (or “spelunking,” the term we learned from one teacher who introduced us to the trip idea)
We went to Schofer’s Cave in the Kutztown. I don’t know whether or not is still able to be explored safely. It wasn’t one of those caves in which there are cleared walkways with railings. We had to crawl in some places, climb over rocks in others and step down onto a plank to cross over some water in one cave room. We rested on some boulders that were large enough to stick pretty far out of the water. One girl lost her footing and fell into the cold water. She had to be rushed out of the cave to change into spare clothes in order to avoid hypothermia.
- Winter Camping
This was a weekend-long trip that took place at Ricketts Glen State Park. When I think back about this, it amazes me that I went on this particular trip. I’m not much of a winter person. I’d love to go back there for waterfall photography, especially during the fall season.
There were two separate trips to ski up at Jack Frost Mountain. The first time around, I didn’t get past the bunny slope. So I signed up for the second trip to accomplish a personal goal of getting down an intermediate one. Goal accomplished!
- Deep-Sea Fishing
We went to Cape May, N.J. for this adventure and broke up into two groups that would go out on the boat separately. I went out with the first group and later walked around exploring the shops as the second group took their turn out on the water. They had to come back early due to some rough weather.
- White-Water Rafting
This trip took us to Jim Thorpe, Pa. under sunny skies. I remember one guy nearly falling out of the raft that I was in as we went over one of the roughest areas of the water. That stands out the most for me from that day.
There were even some urban adventures such as ice-skating at Wollman’s rink in New York City. I wrote about most of the trips soon afterward and ever since my high school days, I kept what I wrote about them in a binder of memories from back then. Along with that, I kept other mementos (state park brochures, ski lift ticket stubs, area maps, trip-related info forms). At the time, I wasn’t as much of a shutterbug as I am now; one of my friends has some photos from the rock-climbing and caving trips. I may ask her if I can post them to this blog later and credit them to her name. I miss the days of those experiences; everyone that went on the various adventures was totally into the activities and had a lot of fun.
These days, adventures for me are simply in going to places I’ve never been to before (Annapolis) or taking in new sites. I’ve had a few of those moments in the past year, such as seeing a Broadway show for the first time and exploring Gettysburg’s Little Round Top. Some places I’ve had first visits to in the last 12 months were much more local and had a lot of interesting historic information to them. I love these experiences just as I did the outdoor adventures from high school for the same reason, to try or to see something new.