Reporter: Sinead Fegan
Whether you like paddling, pushing pedals, or sliding down snowy slopes, up until now there hasn’t been a club on campus dedicated to these activities.
A group of UOIT students came together and developed the Durham College/ UOIT’s Outdoors club in September, 2013.
“We wanted to start something up that would get people active and outdoors,” said Mal Lakins, second-year UOIT Energy Systems Engineering student, and operations co-ordinator of the club.
With 100 members, the club is devoted to bringing people together with similar outdoor interests like, snowboarding/skiing, hiking, mountain biking and camping.
The club held their first event of the year last semester. During this day members participated in First Aid training, with a wilderness slant.
Insurance is one of the main problems the club has been struggling with since September. Lakins explained that because they’re such a new club and all their possible events are so risk-intense, the college and university don’t want to be responsible for any injuries that may happen.
As a result, the Outdoors club created Trailhead, a Facebook page for members to plan their own independent trips and events, not associated with the school. This way, Lakins said the Outdoors club isn’t liable for injuries or damage that may occur.
Members from Trailhead have planned weekly snowboarding trips to Brimacombe, day-long hiking trips, as well as rock climbing at Rock Oasis climbing gym. They have also participated in Geocaching, a-real-world treasure hunt that involves using a GPS to hunt down hidden containers called “geocashes”, anywhere in the world.
The on-campus club has formal meetings every Friday from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. at E.P. Taylor’s, where they discuss upcoming events/trips as well as things that need to be done.
“We love having new people,” said Lakins. “We like to get people involved and trying something new so we welcome Durham College and UOIT students, as well as their friends. The newer, almost the better.”
They hope to get the insurance matter settled so they can throw at least one big outdoor adventure before the end of the semester, Lakins said.