Hiking

View of the water by the hike to Cascade Falls, Feb. 24, 2017.

As incoming freshmen, I’m sure you’ve all heard about the looming terror that is the “freshman 15” — if you haven’t, you will. Luckily, Tech was named the fittest college in America by The Active Times and there are plenty of ways to stay active both on campus and off. Here are some ways that you can discover new ways to stay active and your new favorite outdoor oasis, all in one:

Scuba Club at Virginia Tech

How to get involved:

For anyone who is interested in diving, you must be certified before joining for safety reasons.

“We expect all members to have a certification, but for incoming members we offer training through some great local instructors for people to get their certifications if they don't already have them,” said Joey Griffiths, president of the Scuba Club at Virginia Tech (SCVT).

Why should students (especially freshmen) join? 

Despite what you may think, not all dives are in tropical locales. SCVT does local dives, including the New River. 

“Our local dives in the New River are a great way to enjoy the Blacksburg-Radford scenery, and during our winter and spring breaks we usually go to more tropical locales and spend days out on boats,” Griffiths said.

Rock Climbing Club at Virginia Tech

How to get involved:

When I think rock climbing, I do not think “easy.” However, the Rock Climbing Club at Virginia Tech wants to change that. According to club vice president Jacob Kansco, new members do not have to have any prior experience with the sport and can join for just $20.

“With that, you get all of your gear covered and then you also get any trips that you want covered,” Kansco said. “With that $20 you're going to get shoes, you're going to get the equipment, you're going to get ropes and you're going to get access to our gear.”

Members will also be added to the club’s Facebook page, where members post about trips they are leading that are open to everyone. In addition, after every club meeting, members go to the Crimper’s Climbing Gym in Christiansburg.

Why should students (especially freshmen) join?

According to Kansco, the majority of members in the club are new to climbing, so freshmen should not feel intimidated. Through competitions and trips, members become extremely close not only with one another but also with members of different climbing clubs at schools throughout Virginia.

“We're very involved with the climbing clubs at the other Virginia schools, so we do a lot of stuff with the UVA climbing team,” Kansco said. “ We even went to the Collegiate Nationals in San Diego with UVA.”

 For students who want to spend every weekend they can out and about in the New River Valley, Kansco insists that the Climbing Club is the place to be.

“On any given weekend, weather permitting, you'll be able to go on a trip and camp out and then go climbing with people,” Kansco said.

If none of these clubs pique your interest, there are a few other clubs and campus organizations that are more general:

Outdoor Club at Virginia Tech

According to its website, this club does everything from backpacking and whitewater rafting to snowboarding and biking trips. If you don’t exactly have a specific outdoor activity you’re attached to but just want to take in the NRV, this is the place for you. 

If you aren’t a student, no worries — this organization is open to community members as well. In addition, OCVT is not only dedicated to experiencing the outdoors but also maintaining it. They are one of only two student organizations that maintain part of the Appalachian Trail.

Venture Out

For people who don’t have the time to commit to weekly meetings, this organization lets you rent out equipment you can use for short trips. Equipment can include tents, stoves, coolers, lanterns and all of the outdoor games you can think of. If you don’t feel like going solo, Venture Out also hosts trips for a fee ranging from caving to rock climbing to mountain biking.

Read all of Tech Fundamentals here.

Lifestyles staff writer for the Collegiate Times.

Recommended Stories