GU Outdoors has plans to help spring students away from the dreary late-winter snow into the sunshine.
While the skiing and snowboarding trips to Schweitzer Mountain Resort ended last month, GU Outdoors still plans to have many seasonal activities focused on getting students outside.
With the change of weather, the club plans to shift to activities such as mountain biking, backpacking, climbing and hiking under the sun.
“We also got some kayaking trips on the books and spring rafting going on,” said Matt Hearley, director of operations at GU Outdoors.
While the student involvement program plans to continue having events off-campus and within the wilderness, GU Outdoors also intends to hold more free events on campus for students. The shift manifests itself in events like Week of Adventure, which is a weeklong celebration of the outdoors. The event features three free, on-campus events for students, a paid sunset hike and climbing trip and a week-long scavenger hunt.
“The goal of that is to get students engaged in the Spokane community, get students outside while the weather is nice,” said Cassie Winner, the on-campus events coordinator for GU Outdoors. “The hope is that we get students to have fun while seeing all that Spokane has to offer.”
The hunt features a point system, rewarding students for getting out and about. Students can get points for sleeping in their backyards, seeing landmarks in Spokane like the “Joy of Running Together” sculpture in downtown and longboarding down Bulldog Alley.
The unusual late-season snow hasn’t been a burden for GU Outdoors, as they continue to run snowshoeing trips simultaneously with its spring backpacking trips. However, this winter wasn’t the best for the club.
“This winter was kind of a tough one,” said Winner. “We ended up having to cancel a few different trips, just due to weather concerns. Safety is always a priority.”
Although its most demanding season may have been a tough one, GU Outdoors is undeterred.
“The goal is to get students out under the sun,” said Winner. “I’m really excited for it.”
All upcoming GU Outdoors events can be found on their social media pages.
Correction: In the April 11, 2019 print issue, GU Outdoors was incorrectly referred to as a club, the article has been updated online to read, student involvement program.