The PSU Outdoor Activities Club (OAC) is an on-campus group that takes students on hiking and camping trips. At its founding, the club had seven members and now, the club has more than 500.
“It lets students get away from the stress of school or the humdrum of life in Pittsburg, KS… It let’s them see some amazing natural landscapes and formations for a weekend and decompress,”
Marcus Yoakam, senior in nursing and former president of the Outdoor Activities Club (OAC), said.
Yoakam also said that the executive board of OAC decides the trips and trip dates, and notifies members via their Facebook page.
“We hold a mandatory meeting for those wanting to go…” Yoakam said, “… Ponca is kind of untouched in a way. There’s a lot of natural beauty hidden away in the foothills of Arkansas. It has a little bit of everything: waterfalls, bluffs, caves, etc.”
Yoakam said that they normally do 3 to 4 trips a semester depending on the weather and the schedule.
“The OAC takes weekend trips throughout the semester to go hiking and camping. We usually go to northwest Arkansas and we go hiking for a day or two and then camp overnight,” Grace Geiger, senior in nursing and president of OAC, said, “… The benefits of OAC are being able to go outside and enjoy the beauty while getting to know other Pitt State students” Geiger said, “Each outing forms new friendships and helps the members get to know more people from the university.”
Geiger said that the trip was organized by 7 member executive team that plan out the location, hikes and campsite, carpooling and equipment needed for the trip.
“This last trip had caves which we were able to explore and waterfalls that we swam in… We picked Ponca, Arkansas because the area around there is absolutely beautiful, and there are plenty of hiking trails. The trails there have several different types of difficulty which works well for the club. We always have an easy hike and hard hike, that way members can decide what would be best for them.” Geiger said.
“We had a large group of over 60 people this past trip. It was a great experience being able to have such a large group…We split into two groups, one moderate hike and one more difficult… I led the moderate hike this past trip and we went exploring through caves and cooled off in the river at the end… In the evening, both groups met back up at our campsite for the night where we all cook dinner and spend time hanging out and enjoying the night.”
Geiger said that the trip was a success and the Gorillas had a good time together.
“I was very pleased with how well the first trip went and I am looking forward to the next,” Geiger said.
“I love camping… I just got super excited when they told me that we were going to hike and camp… The international office recruited me to join the Outdoor Activities Club… We did two trails, beautiful, after that we went to the Camping area, set up the tents, we lighted the camp fire, and cooked our meals… We had a great time with among friends.” Leonardo Gheller, junior in education, said
“I love hiking and I usually do it back in Brazil,” Vitoria Neto, junior in justice studies, said.
“I am friend of some guys that were in Pittsburg last academic years and they told me about PSU outdoor activities. I loved the idea, because I really enjoy spending time in the nature.” Neto said.
“My first experience with PSU outdoor activities was incredible…we went to Ponca, Arkansas, where was possible to see a different kind of vegetation and enjoy a beautiful landscape.” Neto said, “We also slept in tends and listened to some music around a campfire…It was amazing.”