Outing Club ventures to ANF for overnight excursion

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The  Allegheny Outing Club went for their first overnight hike since March 2020 over the Sept. 3-5 weekend.

“My favorite thing about The Outing Club, compared to other organizations on campus, is that we involve such a wide variety of the student body and such a large number of people, we will have between 50 to 100 different people coming on our trips“ Outing Club President Ian Manning, ’22, said.

The AOC is a club for students eager to engage in outdoors activities such as hiking, canoeing, biking and other leisures in nature. The overnight hike is one of the more popular outings the club arranges, with spots for the trip filling up within 25 minutes, according to Manning.

“I think it’s great that there is a club that can round out the experience of college instead of just making it a slogfest through academics,” Matthew Ramos, ’25 said.

According to AOC leaders, the whole goal of the club is for students to share their knowledge about nature and outdoor life with other students. The AOC’s official website states the group  “(promises) to provide a safe, healthy, friendly, and exciting experience for you every time you come aboard.”

Three days before the hike, the group of participants met up in the the Outing Club house to discuss the trip and to get to know each other, as well as pay the $10 fee for food costs on the trip.

“I’ve always wanted to go camping but it costs so much money to do it on your own and there’s no way, that I know of, where you can just decide to go overnight for one weekend and have it not cost a mini fortune,” Amber Thompson, ’24, said.

The participants of the hike met up at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning behind the David V. Wise Center where they boarded minivans that would take them to Allegheny National Forest. The canoe group got dry bags to pack their belongings in, while the hikers got regular hiking backpacks.

The hike consisted of a group of 24 backpackers who were divided into two groups — one canoed to the campside located in Allegheny National Forest,  the other group hiked. After a day of activities, the two groups met up to set up camp, eat dinner and make s’mores over the campfire. The next day, the groups switched.

Myrna Sander, ’22, an exchange student from Germany thought the hike was too short.

“For me a hike is about 15 miles minimum, so just doing five miles, that’s like a walk,” Sander said.

There were many international students in attendance. Tobias Teckhaus, a German teachers assistant, said that going on hikes can promote friendships.

“You have a group, where nobody knows anybody, but after some time you become a part of  the group,” Teckhaus said. “You have to interact with people when you are hiking together, first it starts with small talk and then you can get into deeper talks and sometimes there is a friendship.”

The Outing Club is regularly planning new trips and activities, such as whitewater rafting at Ohiopyle, Rescue Isle day hike, hiking at the Erie National Wildlife Refuge, tree identification, trips to Nelson Kennedy-Ledges State Park trip and Pentagon Paintballing.

“The fact that there is a club like this that lets us get out in nature really speaks to the quality of the college and the leaders of the club,” Ramos said.

If students would  rather stay on campus, the club also invites members to its club house, where they frequently hold  bonfires and meet ‘n’ greets, as well as other activities, for new and existing members

If you are interested in joining the club, send an email to [email protected]llegheny.edu and take a look at their Instagram account @allegheny_outing_club.

The Outing Club also lends out gear for students to borrow. Contact Madi Sherman at [email protected] for more information.