Classes have been in session for only a couple of weeks now, but for some students the stress is already piling up. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better way to relax and get in shape than by signing up for a Georgetown Outdoor Education trip. Outdoor Ed runs the ever-popular GOPOP (Pre-orientation program) and offers day trips throughout the school year. They’re looking to expand their program, meaning more opportunities for student adventures.
We talked to a couple of GOATs (Georgetown Outdoor Adventure Trainers) about the Outdoor Ed program and their favorite trips of the year. Alex Moran (SFS ’13) is the Student Director of Outdoor Ed and Anne Kenslea (COL ’13) is an experienced GOAT; both are eager to tackle the wilderness with Georgetown students.
Q: What are your favorite trips or trips that you would recommend to a student who has never participated in a trip before?
Alex Moran: We run weekend backpacking trips to Maryland or Virginia, as well as Friday afternoon rock-climbing trips (indoor/outdoor). We’ve also been running kayaking trips during the week (weather permitting). We adjust to the changing seasons. In the fall, we may even have an apple-picking or pumpkin-picking trip! You can look forward to our very popular ski trips in the winter! Come spring time, we’ll be kayaking again and possibly planning some trips for the senior class.
Anne Kenslea: OE leads day hikes and day climbs all throughout the year, as well as kayaking trips and my personal favorite– apple picking trips! My advice to people in all years, not just freshmen, would be to grab a friend and come along for an OE day hike, kayak trip, or apple picking adventure. You get to meet new people, get some fresh air and exercise, and it’s an awesome alternative to sleeping till 1 and going to Leo’s brunch before watching Netflix in Lau all afternoon. Meeting new people, feeling healthy, and coming back with great pictures and stories to make all your friends jealous– how can you say no?
Q: How is this year going to be different than past years?
AM: This year will definitely be different from years past. Russ Watts, now the former Director of Outdoor Education, resigned at the start of the year. Our new Director is Sam Bonfield, the former Assistant Director of Outdoor Ed. The biggest change is that the GOAT class, usually taught in the fall, will now be spread out throughout the year. The fall will give new GOATS the chance to learn hard skills on a backpacking weekend. They can take Wilderness First Aid in the fall and will go through the formal GOAT class in the spring.
AK: We’re putting control of the trips back in the students’ hands, and are focusing a lot more on the recreational part of being outdoors. Rather than emphasizing the teaching of hard skills, we’re hoping to show Hoyas the more fun parts of being outdoors, and widening our audience in the process.
So get off the computer, grab your outdoor gear (which you might be able to get from the program!) and bring out your inner Bear Grylls.