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Outing club: “a mecca for outdoor recreation”

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Braxton Lynn

Braxton Lynn

Braxton Lynn

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The next time someone tells you to take a hike, you might want to consider JSC’s Outing Club, which offers a variety of outdoor adventures including caving, bouldering, rock climbing, rafting and, yes, hiking.

“The goal of Outing Club is to get students outdoors,” said Becca Farrow, the club’s vice president. “This place is a mecca for outdoor recreation and people don’t often utilize it to the fullest, so our goal is to get everybody out and about and stoked.”

For first-year student Braxton Lynn, the club has provided a welcome environment, making the transition to college a little bit smoother by providing a way to make new friends and learn new skills.

“I’ve met a lot of cool people, a lot of upperclassmen who I don’t think I would see otherwise because they don’t live in the dorms, and those are the people that are really experienced that I want to talk to if I want to get serious about outdoor sports,” said Lynn. “I’ve always been into outdoor activities, but Outing Club is a more formal way of broadening my horizons regarding outdoor sports.”

Outing Club’s president, Kayla Barrs, cites JSC’s location in a prime outdoor recreation area as a real draw for students wanting that kind of experience. “If you came to Johnson State College, there’s probably a good part of it that you came for, for all that Vermont has to offer,” she said. She noted the college’s proximity to popular hiking trails such as the Long Trail and the rail trail, as well as places for climbing, mountain biking and camping.

“It’s a great way to get to know the area more in depth instead of just being a tourist here,” said Lynn.
Some past trips have included bouldering at Smugglers Notch and a trip to a nearby swimming hole for lunch in between classes.

The JSC Outing Club also has volunteered to pick blueberries at a local farm to donate to the Johnson food shelf.

One of the most memorable trips run by Outing Club, for Farrow and Barrs, was a caving trip in the Adirondacks. “[It’s] the most epic thing,” said Farrow. “Imagine the deepest, darkest depths of the earth and you’re crawling. You lose touch of sight, of hearing and you’re so far out, you become an earthworm.”

Outing Club meetings are held at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays in the basement of Governors Hall. All are welcome.

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Outing club: “a mecca for outdoor recreation”