CSUSB Adventure has multiple trips planned for Winter quarter to give students opportunities to connect with nature, gain practical skills, and connect with a community of fellow students.
The program provides students with an outlet to experience nature through various types of trips such as backpacking, camping, hiking, and kayaking. In the past, students participating in the program went to various locations such as Big Sur, Zion Canyon, and Mecca Hills.
The Big Sur trip was offered to incoming freshman before Fall quarter in 2018. Claire Shumate, a first-year who participated in the 4-day camping trip, recounted it as a worthwhile experience in building connections and disconnecting from technology and social media.
“We got to go on different hikes and we got to go kayaking on the last day,” Shumate said. “My favorite part was just getting to know the people and building relationships with them.”
According to their website, there is no requirement for participating in the program. However, the trips give students opportunities to learn new skills and be more physically fit.
Shumate discusses how her peers were not familiar with the outdoors at first, but then they grew to enjoy their time while simultaneously disconnecting from social media.
“We didn’t have WiFi out there, so they lost their Snapchat streaks. When you’re in nature you don’t think about social media or technology,” she added. “I feel like it opened up a lot of people’s eyes to see that there is a world outside of your phone and that you can build connections even when you don’t have access to social media platforms.”
While the locations and activities are what arguably interest students in participating in the program, students will value their time spent with others. Shumate still keeps in touch with people she met on the Big Sur trip.
The program also offers leadership opportunities. John Harford was able to become an Adventure leader as a freshman.
Because of his background, Harford quickly found a place in the Adventure program.
“I’ve always been an outdoorsy person, and when there was something through the school that allowed me to explore my interests and be closer to what I like to do, then that was it for me. I was sold,” said Harford.
As a leader, Harford went through a month-long training process which included wilderness first-aid, driver training, sexual harassment training, and a number of leadership workshops.
Harford applies the things he learned in training to his daily life.
For example, as someone who is responsible for students on the trips, general harassment training teaches Harford to recognize and identify when any sort of harassment is taking place. The leadership workshops also exposed Harford to new ways of leading outside of his previous leadership knowledge. He also is responsible for driving campus vans with students on those trips.
Harford is continually learning responsibility and accountability as a leader, but he also gets to connect with various groups on every trip. This helps him adjust as a new college student, as he gets to interact with people and spend more time with them outside of the Adventure program.
“When I went as a participant, I felt free from my daily life. I didn’t feel tied down, and I wasn’t focused on unimportant things,” said Harford.
After spending some time as an Adventure leader, Harford wants to pursue a career in national parks service.
For students who are interested in going on a trip this quarter, CSUSB Adventure has trips planned to Running Springs, Newport Beach, Yosemite National Park, Mojave National Preserve, and many more. Students can find out more information on these trips and others through their website at https://www.csusb.edu/recreation-wellness/outdoor-adventures