TCU’s adventure trips began as a spring break excursion, but the mission has expanded and now students can enjoy weekend and day trips throughout the semester.
The outdoor center has facilitated these trips for the last five years. The trips take students all around Texas and into surrounding states.
“With the adventure trips, I have been able to climb the Wichita Mountains and canoe the Brazos,” said Miranda Wilson, a sophomore political science major.
This semester, the program offered trips to Enchanted Rock State Park, Dinosaur Valley State Park, Colorado Bend State Park and Mineral Wells State Park, among others.
Depending on the trip, participants may learn how to rock climb while ensuring safety, canoe down a river, hike to the top of a mountain or even set up a campsite for multiple nights while learning to cook over an open fire.
“The trips used to just be for spring break. Now, we try to offer something every weekend. They range from backpacking trips to climbing to canoeing and kayaking,” said Cameron Potter, assistant director for outdoor programs.
These trips accommodate all levels of experience, from beginner to expert. They are open to all students and faculty.
“I loved how the whole trip was about teamwork,” said Alma Luna, a sophomore political science major. “I had never gone camping before, but they taught me small things like how to build a tent so that I could contribute. It was a peaceful trip and nice getaway from my ordinary college schedule.”
Many of the student leaders in the program got their start by attending one of the events. Wilson said that she became interested in becoming a leader after attending a canoeing and camping trip put on by the center.
“There are three levels of adventure trip staff,” said Wilson. “There is Leader in Training (LIT), Assistant Trip Leader (ATL), which is what I am now, and Trip Leader.”
“So while a Trip Leader runs the show, the other positions help out in any way possible while on the trip that include packing, preparing, planning before the trip, teaching, setting up camp, making sure everyone is safe and healthy during the trip and cleaning up after the trip.”
The center hopes to attract more awareness in the future. Potter said he hopes to create a stronger social media presence to reach a broader audience and encourage collaboration with other student organizations.
“We would love to see the trips become a resource that groups on campus can participate in,” Potter said.
“They could set up a trip with the outdoor center that members of the organization could all go on together. We would take care of the logistics and the groups would be able to go to some really cool places and enjoy the outdoors.”
The center plans on continuing to offer as many trips as possible. By increasing campus-wide awareness, trip leaders hope to allow more students to take part in these opportunities.
“I would love to see the program grow,” Wilson said. “There’s nothing that brings people together more than the great outdoors.”