Ever felt like Lehigh doesn’t provide a fun club that incorporates outdoor activities? The Outing Club, which had been at Lehigh for 50 years but disbanded a few years ago, has been revitalized with a new and successful following on campus.
As many Lehigh students know, the fall club expo is a great event for students to get involved with organizations, as well as for new clubs to give people a chance to learn about them. At this year’s club expo, the Outing Club was featured for the Lehigh community to see and learn about.
With about 350 people signed up, the Outing Club is now ranked as one of the largest clubs on campus.
Club President Oliver Rye, ’17, said the club intends for Lehigh students to have a way to participate in outdoor activities. Some of the club’s activities include hiking, skiing, rafting and rock climbing. The club also brings back a part of Lehigh’s extracurriculars that was thought to be lost a few years ago.
Rye said the club also has other leadership positions including vice president, treasurer and smaller leadership roles. All positions are crucial when planning the club’s trips, he said.
A few years ago, the Outing Club was disbanded due to limited interest. Upon his arrival at Lehigh, Rye realized that there was no club that really stressed the importance of the outdoors or outdoor activities. This prompted his idea to revive the previously disbanded club and make it appealing to students at Lehigh.
Half of the 350 people who signed up at the club expo were first-year students.
“I was definitely surprised by the turnout at the fall club expo,” Rye said. “I never expected to have over 300 people sign up. I think it speaks to the fact that many Lehigh students are passionate about the outdoors and have been looking for a way to participate in outdoor sports and activities.”
Rye said the club’s meetings are held on the University Center front lawn. This seems fitting, as the club’s purpose is to appreciate and have fun outdoors. Rye said students can attend a meeting at the beginning of every month.
As any new club would, the Outing Club has set several goals and expectations.
“The club’s goal is to host monthly events for large numbers of people, as well as encourage members to organize smaller, weekly trips that other club members can participate in,” Rye said.
The club has made efforts to collaborate with other parts of the university.
“The Outing Club has already cooperated with the new Outdoor Adventure Community for first year students by taking them on a hike on the Glenn Onoko Falls trail,” Rye said.
Rye is not the only one excited about the Outing Club’s success on campus. Other students are equally interested to see the club grow.
“After learning about the Outing Club, I will definitely try to get more information about it and spread the word,” Anna Grillo, ’17, said. “I love to rock climb, and I think it’s great that this club provides the opportunity to rock climb at Lehigh. I could see why this club has become extremely popular on campus.”