Like many of the students and faculty at Trent University, Arthur was shocked to discover that a university that touts excellence in everything to do with environmental endeavors does not have a group where students can get together and experience the outdoors.

In anticipation to begin his first year at Trent, Noah Korne, now a third-year conservation biology student, went searching through the long list of clubs and groups that Trent offers. He was disappointed to discover that there was not any such group where he would be able to meet like-minded people, camp, fish, hike, and just get outside. Korne decided that he had discovered a void at the university before even stepping foot on campus, made the decision to start his own group, and the Trent Outdoors Club was born. Now with close to 700 members on Facebook, the Trent Outdoors Club has made leaps and bounds within the last few years, having secured partnerships with businesses in town such as Wild Rock, as well as with The Land – Canadian Adventures out of Lakefield.

The club receives funding from a few of Trent’s college cabinets in order to subsidize some of the larger trips. However, Korne and his team says that they will be aiming to secure themselves as a Trent levy group next semester.

Arthur had the opportunity to sit down with the group’s President, Noah Korne and two of the eight group executors, Vice President Jessica Waltner, and the group Treasurer Alex Lowman.

Korne says that he is very happy with the type of support that he has received from both students and faculty for creating such a present and necessary group on campus but as he is nearing the end of his university career, he says he is now looking for a successor. “For next year, I am aiming to step back a little bit from executor of the group in order to ensure that once I have moved on from Trent, the Outdoors Club will not fizzle out. I want students to have to opportunity to get involved and just get outside long after I’ve gone.”

Jess Waltner was visibly excited when talking about the group’s recent large trip over first semester reading break which consisted of twenty students and eight faculty members.

“We recently just finished our canoe and camping trip over the reading break in the Kawartha Highlands, which was a four-day trip and comprised of close to thirty participants consisting of both students and faculty.”

Waltner went on to talk about one aspect of the vision of the group, which is accessibility to students. “We wanted to make the group as accessible as possible to everyone no matter their financial status, which is why we do a weekly hike and explore the trails behind the environment center. The cost of these weekly hikes is zero and all students need to bring is some comfortable shoes and a water bottle.”

In anticipation of the cold weather quickly approaching, Arthur asked the team what kind of events the outdoors club has in store for the winter months. “Our weekly hikes will transform into snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, as well as running a few “intro to winter camping” and winter excursions where people get together, drink hot chocolate, build snow forts, have a snowball fight, toboggan, stuff like that. We also organized a skating trip to the Liftlocks last year which was very successful and fun for everyone who attended.”

Arthur inquired about rental equipment for the events such as snowshoeing and cross country skiing. The group responded saying that snowshoes would be provided free of charge to anyone who would like to attend a winter hike, while cross country skis would be provided at a small rental fee from The Land – Canadian Adventures.

If you’re looking to get involved in the outdoors club, you’re in luck! Korne and the team go out on a hike each Thursday morning at 11am, and meet at the Gzowski College bus loop and set out from there. You can also follow the group on Facebook, or on Instagram.