Spring break has just ended and with that comes the readjustment to a semi-online learning environment. With only a few weeks left of the semester, students will soon be looking for ways to spend this well-deserved freetime.
The Outdoor Program at Boise State provides students with opportunities to learn and expand upon their wilderness skills, along with many other planned trips to encourage students to get outside and explore the outdoors.
Spring break is usually a popular time to go on these recreational trips through the Outdoor Program. However, due to the restrictions of COVID-19, there were no extended trips for the week of April 12-16.
Sophomore nursing major Heather Campbell, the student trips manager for the Outdoor Program, has been working to create coronavirus-conscious trips for students to enjoy after spring break and into the summer.
“Usually, we do have like some sort of extended overnight type trips, but we do have some suggestions for students that they could go out and do,” Campbell said. “And we also have a rental center that they can come get any gear that they need to go on those trips kind of on their own or with it.”
At the beginning of the semester, students were told that after spring break, all classes would be delivered online. That has now changed, which has also allowed the Outdoor Program to put together a climbing trip the week after spring break. The assumption is that students will be returning to campus after break looking for something to do.
This trip will take place at Black Cliffs on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. and will go until 4:00 p.m.
Jordan Pascal is the Outdoor Program coordinator at Boise State and works with the staff members to ensure that the student body is being heard and listening to which types of trips are in high demand.
“We’ll have stand-up paddle boarding trips, hiking, rafting and climbing and then in the fall, hopefully, we can expand that,” Pascal said. “We’re offering all of those things still, but then we will have some overnight backpacking trips, some rafting trips and we’re planning to have COVID-19 precautions set in place for all of that still.”
There will also be new summer orientation trips happening after school gets out in May. These orientation trips are open to any student who may have missed their outdoor orientation trip because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This summer will be just focused on orientation trips, and then fall will kind of start getting back into our normal rhythm of things with some overnight weekend trips and some more extended trips opened up to everybody,” Campbell said.
The Outdoor Program is here to provide students with activities that promote mental health and wellness as well as physical well-being. The pandemic has forced us all inside, but that doesn’t stop the Outdoor Program from encouraging students to get outside in the safest ways possible.
“People are really itching to get outside right now and everybody’s just going a little bit stir crazy,” Campbell said. “So, we’ll definitely be continuing to offer more day trips within the area so people can get to know the place that they live in a little bit more and experience new things and meet new people.”
Pascal and Campbell are hopeful that the summer and new fall semester will bring a new demographic of outdoor enthusiasts. Despite having no trip for spring break, the Outdoor Program will continue to encourage students to explore on their own through the promotion of the rental center and workshops offered through the program.
“Although we don’t have the spring break trips going on this semester, there are so many ways to go outside and enjoy it.” Pascal said.