Art by Gabby Digiovanni
Campus Recreation, perhaps best known for Surf Convo and their numerous outdoor excursions, took 14 students to Yosemite National Park from Jan. 17 to Jan. 20 for this year’s “Yosemite Winter Wonderland.”
Campus Rec’s latest overnight adventure consisted of three nights at Calvin Crest Conference Center with a variety of outdoor activities to choose from. For $225, students could attend the trip and engage in hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, escape rooms, zip lines, high ropes courses or archery, all of which provided for an action-filled weekend.
Outdoor Recreation Coordinator Carla Dyment said it was the first time Campus Rec had taken a trip to Yosemite in the winter. This trip, however, was unique in more ways than one.
“One of the exciting things I wanted to try was promoting this trip as a ‘create your own adventure,’” Dyment said. “We drove into the park each day and worked hard with student leaders and drivers to figure out how to make this be an adventure that the students could create.”
Surrounded by icy waterfalls and trails dusted with snow, students had the chance to experience Yosemite in all its winter splendor. The trip, Dyment said, received fantastic feedback from attendees.
Senior Elle Weir, who went on the trip, said one of her favorites things was meeting new people.
“I had a really fun time getting to know everyone,” Weir said. “I was going because I wanted to see Yosemite, but making relationships with other people was a welcome surprise.”
Campus Recreation, is “committed to providing high-quality, recreational activities for individuals and groups to enhance personal fitness, wellness and enjoyment,” according to their website. They strive to present students with the opportunity to engage in a wide range of programs, all aiming to fulfill the goal of “promoting personal enrichment, learning and development.”
For Dyment, trips like these are about personal growth.
“One of my favorite things about doing any of these outdoor trips is to see people push themselves, to try something new,” Dyment said. “When students learn about their bodies being in the outdoors and do something more than they think they can do, it flows into their emotions and where they are spiritually.”
Campus Rec has long been providing students with opportunities to enjoy nature with a series of goals in mind.
“I’d say the goals [for trips like this one] are like a tripod that stands on three things: to connect students to nature — specifically, to connect people to God’s creation and experience God in a new way — to give people the skills to be able to go out and do things on their own, and to help build strength in students through physical activity,” Dyment said.
Weir, a first-time Campus Rec trip attendee, said she would definitely recommend their excursions to other students.
“I think it can be kind of intimidating if you haven’t gone before, but we ended up getting to know each other really well,” Weir said. “Everyone was very welcoming.”
This trip is one in a series of trips planned and executed by Campus Rec. This fall, the division took students to explore Solstice Canyon and Zion National Park, but there are several opportunities for students to participate in during the spring.
The upcoming trip to Mammoth, Dyment said, has been done for around seven or eight years in partnership with the Convocation Office. The excursion, named “God in the Wilderness,” runs from Feb. 29 to March 5 and offers student attendees four convocation credits.
There is also a beach whale-watching day trip to Point Dume scheduled for March 14 that is free for all students. This, Dyment said, comes as part of her efforts to provide big excursions but also local day trips where students can get involved in outdoor recreation in ways that do not strain their finances.
A backyard campout is also in the works, which would give students the unique opportunity to learn about camping gear while spending the night in self-built tents on campus, Dyment said.
Visit Pepperdine’s Outdoor Excursions website for more information on upcoming outings and opportunities.
Email Maria Belen Iturralde: email@example.com