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Program provides summer excursions

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Published 2011-04-25T23:01:00Z”/>


Adventure Outings plans trips for studentsGriffin Rogers

Whether it’s to relieve academic stress or create an exciting college memory with friends, the Adventure Outings program provides a variety of trips students can choose from. Caving, camping, hiking and biking are just some of the many expeditions the organization has to offer.

It started 25 years ago by a student-run club with members who shared a love for the outdoors, said Coordinator Ann Marie Hingley. The once small group of students evolved into what is now Adventure Outings, a student-led organization supported by Associated Students.

Since students are, in part, keeping the organization alive through funding from student union fees, they can sign up for trips at a reduced price, Hingley said. General admission for community participants is usually only a few dollars more.

“If we had to run trips for what they actually cost,” Hingley said, “it would be double or triple what they normally pay.”

Hingley graduated from Southern Illinois University with a master’s in recreational program administration, she said. She worked with an outdoor program for five years and liked how the trips focused on improving individuals’ leadership skills and self-esteem. She soon found an area surrounded by potential for recreational activity and moved to Chico.

Adventure Outings is also an organization that is built to improve character and serves two goals, she said. The first is to help students go on fun trips that allow them to try new activities and visit new areas during the semester. The second is to provide the student staff with an opportunity to develop leadership, planning and teaching skills.

When she isn’t teaching a group about madrone trees and wild flowers on a day hike during the semester, Rachel Luger, a senior health science major and trip leader for the program, works as a mountain guide on a glacier in Alaska.

Her favorite Adventure Outings events are the inflatable kayak and lava tubes caving trips, where students go to the high desert in Modoc County to crawl around in underground caves created by rivers of lava.

“Sometimes you have to wiggle on your belly for 10 to 15 feet,” Luger said.

Every experience is different. On one of her first trips as an Adventure Outings leader, she led a group up to Yosemite in the middle of a snowstorm. The snow came dumping down on a group of participants who were unfamiliar with the cold conditions.

“These poor kids had never seen such a thing,” she said.

Luger also had to chase a bear out of their campsite with a frying pan, she said. Although hesitant about the trip at first, participating students ended up really enjoying it.

The organization also provides gear and custom trips for the community. Once, Hingley received a call asking for a student guide to transport a bride and groom up river to their wedding, she said.

The program currently has about 25 staff members including 10 trip leaders, three full-time staff, and several assistant trip leaders, Luger said. Applications for trip leader and assistant trip leader positions are now being accepted for the fall semester.

Some students would like to go on the programs’ trips, but find it hard to take the time off from school, said Kyle Deller, a senior construction management major.

Deller did attend a cleanup event on the Sacramento River sponsored by CAVE and Adventure Outings, but has never gone on a more recreational trip. He would like to participate in a camping or rafting trip soon, he said.

Once a student decides to attend a trip, they’ll enjoy it so much they’ll want to come back, Luger said. She has faith in the success of the program.

“It’s probably going to be the best experience at Chico State,” she said. “Or at least the most different, because they’ll have the potential to try something new and meet new people.”

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<strong>Griffin Rogers can be reached at</strong>

<em>[email protected]</em>


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