Photo by Daniel Caso
The Big Sur camping trip kicked off Campus Recreation’s spring 2016 semester’s events this past weekend. The first overnight trip of the year cost $50 for each student to attend, which covered transportation, equipment and food for the weekend.
Campus Recreation has hosted the Big Sur camping trip for the past three years during Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. Associate Director of Campus Recreation Denton Jones wrote in an email that one reason for this is that more students are available to attend at the start of the semester before they become overly busy.
“I find it especially rewarding to see the joy, excitement and growth that occurs in students who have little experience with outdoor activities or who have not seen the kind of natural beauty that California has to offer,” Jones wrote.
Students who participated in the camping trip were able to see Big Sur’s redwood trees and a waterfall on the beach.
We want students to be in awe of the scenery, to try new things and challenge themselves physically and to form friendships with other students,” Jones wrote. “God has always used nature and the wilderness to reveal himself, so there is something about being in the wilderness that helps us encounter God, to appreciate what we have, to develop deeper community with those around us and to stress about life a little less.”
Campus Recreation hosts two-to-three overnight trips each semester, as well as about five day-trips. Jones wrote that these trips are each led by two of the four students who make up the Campus Recreation team of student trip leaders.
“It was a lot of fun,” senior Jessica Lou said about attending an overnight trip hosted by Campus Recreation. She also said these trips provide an opportunity to meet many other students.
All students are welcome to participate in Campus Recreation trips, and they are not meant to cater only to students with an interest in camping. Other activities include playing on the beach, relaxing in hammocks, hiking, sightseeing and spending time around a campfire. Due to the variety of activities that take place during Campus Recreation trips, more people tend to enjoy it.
“I’ve only gone hiking twice before and thought I was going to die on my two-hour trek up the San Gabriel Mountains,” senior Valerie Varghese said. “I was the last one to reach our destination, but I felt so accomplished afterward. If I, a city girl used to walking on flat land, made it up 11 miles of dirt and rocks, anyone could do it.”
Varghese said she highly recommends Campus Recreation trips: “They are a great way to stay active and everything is planned.”
She said attending these trips also gives students the opportunity to reflect on their places in the world.
“Being in nature is always a wonderful reminder that the world continues without us, and our primary reason to exist is to enjoy and care for the world God has provided us,” Varghese said.
Jones said students who participated in this year’s Big Sur camping trip had great photo ops. “On our Big Sur trip, you will see some very unique things — purple sand, hundreds of seals laying on a beach, giant redwood trees, a waterfall on the beach and more,” Jones wrote. “Some students have even spotted whales.”
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