One question I made sure to ask at every college visit was, “do you have an outdoors club?”. Now, don't get me wrong, I did not grow up backpacking a few times a month, or skiing every winter (that would have been awesome!) so by no means was I a pro. But, I was fortunate to spend 3 weeks backpacking and camping during one high school summer. This trip made me realize how powerful being outdoors is in resetting our mind, body, and spirit. There really is something special about spending time in the wild. Away from our phones, the constant stress of social media, school work, relationships, expectations, you name it. Escaping into the wild is -- and I am now biased -- something special.
When I attended Santa Clara’s Preview Day, I asked anyone and everyone where I could get more information about the outdoors club, Into the Wild. Nearly every person I spoke with knew about it as it is a club open to the entire student body - only requiring students to sign up for a specific trip they are interested in. Into the Wild runs at least 2 trips - one day trip and one overnight trip - for students each weekend of the year. The club also runs awesome trips for first years only before school begins in the fall and several spring break trips such as backpacking in Utah, the Grand Canyon, and backcountry skiing in Idaho to name a few. Into the Wild trips provide the chance to explore the beauty of California right in Santa Clara’s backyard. Yosemite, Big Sur, Point Reyes, Lake Tahoe, Redwoods, Santa Cruz, the options are endless.
Into the Wild provides an opportunity for students to escape the stress of college, take a breath of fresh air, and reset. This environment fosters a community where students build new relationships that go deeper than the quick “hey how are you” interactions that have become common in our busy and fast-paced lives. The club is completely student run with all trip leaders going through extensive training including being Wilderness First Responder certified. The club leaders love leading students on these substance free adventures where students get to fully experience the empowering and beautiful outdoors. I have been able to meet some of the best people through Into the Wild trips. Returning to school after getting to know a great group of students during a weekend outdoors has led to many new friendships that make the Santa Clara community feel even more like a family.
Get up, Get out, Go wild!