Outdoor Adventure Club lives up to its billing – UBNow: News and views for UB faculty and staff

Editor’s note: It’s not always easy for students to find their place at a large, research university like UB. Thankfully, there are hundreds of clubs on campus — nearly 500, in fact — where students can take a break from their studies, make friends, pursue their passions or simply try something new. UB clubs help build a sense of belonging and True Blue pride in the university. To help, UBNow is introducing Club Watch, an occasional feature highlighting one of UB’s many student clubs or organizations that you may not know about — but should.

One weekend you may be hiking along the Niagara River Gorge. The next, you might be whitewater rafting. Come spring break, it’s backpacking in the Carolinas. UB’s Outdoor Adventure Club comes exactly as advertised.

“It’s in our name — we do adventures in the outdoors,” says senior John Toftegaard, the club’s president. “We do all sorts of stuff ranging from day hikes to canoe trips, backpacking. We subsidize rock climbing passes and run carpools to Central Rock Gym. We try to offer things for everybody.”

The club, which dates back decades to before the North Campus was built, has on its listserv 1,000 names from over the years and a core membership of 30 to 40 current students who are most active.

Some, like Toftegaard, are former Eagle Scouts or longtime outdoor enthusiasts. But you don’t need a lot of experience to get involved in Outdoor Adventure Club — just a basic level of fitness and the willingness to put forth the effort.

In fact, most of the weekend outings are geared toward beginners and many of the club’s core members had never hiked the outdoors before joining — and now they’re obsessed, Toftegaard says.

“A big part of our club is education,” he says. “We want to teach people how to be prepared, how to hike on their own.”

Adventures range from hiking and backpacking to whitewater rafting. Photos courtesey of John Toftegaard

Outings are once or twice a weekend throughout the semester, although the number of participants is limited for each excursion. Signups are each week and done on a first-come, first-served basis.

There is no cost. The club has a budget funded by the Student Association and paid for through mandatory student fees. There’s also no need to run out and buy a lot of expensive outdoor equipment. The club has plenty of gear for the borrowing.

There’s always at least one person on the trip trained in wilderness first aid, so you’ll be in good hands.

“It’s a great way to meet new people and hang out,” Toftegaard says. “I know from my personal experience it’s how I found all my friends at UB. If anyone wants to come and hang out with us, we’re here.”

How to join: For more information or to get club emails, go to Outdoor Adventure Club at UBLinked and send a message. General body meetings are held at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays in Knox 109, where preparation for the weekend outings and other club issues are discussed.

Oh, let me tell you ’bout the daring few

Who in Buffalo’s great outdoors pursue

The Outdoor Adventure Club, their name

In every season, they seek wild game.

With compasses pointing and packs on their back

They’re off to the hills, to conquer and hack.

No challenge too great, no task too tough

For in the great outdoors, they’re just plain buff!

They climb up cliffs, and abseil down low

They kayak in rapids and ski in the snow.

With every obstacle, they laugh and cheer

For they know no limits, and have no fear.

And when the day is done, and the stars are out

They light up a fire, and pass the stout.

They may raise a glass, or two, or three

For who needs moderation, when you’re part of this spree?

So here’s to Buffalo’s Outdoor Adventure gang

May their backpacks stay light, and their adventures hang.

And may they always remember to have fun

For in the great outdoors, there’s no need to run!

Dylan Salica

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