Getting involved with friends and adventure

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Countless numbers of clubs are available at BYU, serving the various needs and interests of the diverse student body. Yet a particular and popular interest group hasn’t been served for a while.

Members of the Outdoor Adventure Club at Arches National Park.
Members of the Outdoor Adventure Club at Arches National Park.

The Outdoor Adventure Club is returning to campus and is welcoming all who want to enjoy the many outdoor activities Utah has to offer.

BYU had an Alpine Club years ago that catered to those who wanted to enjoy various outdoor activities like rock climbing, mountain biking and hiking. But it ran into a few problems. Craig Jones, a junior business major and current club co-founder, said insurance and policy regulations with BYUSA put the club in a situation where it had to be shut down.

But a few months ago, Jonathon Rickords, a current club co-founder and junior accounting major, saw a local need that had to be filled.

“A lot of people in Provo like the outdoors or say they like the outdoors, it’s a big thing around here,” Rickords said. “So I thought maybe this club would be something good to get involved in.”

When he went on the BYUSA club page, he couldn’t find the club to fill this gap. After a lot of Internet investigation, Rickords found the old club and Jones. The two came up with a solution to avoid another shut down and revive the needed club.

As opposed to going on club-organized outings to Provo Canyon, on-campus club meetings are organized to educate members on safety of various activities while also providing members with a chance to meet up with fellow outdoor adventurers.

“We can’t officially say the Outdoor Adventure Club is meeting in Rock Canyon for our activity tonight,” Jones said. “But we can say … come meet other kids who are interested in climbing.”

Jones started the paperwork and rebranding process over the summer and formed Facebook groups in the meantime. The word got around quickly and gained surprising web traffic. The new club’s Facebook page has more than 50 likes without any club members promoting it since its creation at the end of July.

“No one’s invited their friends to like it. … It’s organic.” Rickords said. “People come, they find it and they like it.”

The club hasn’t officially launched and it already has Facebook pages to meet with other club members and swap gear, a big draw for club member Nicole Graham from Burley, Idaho.

“It gives you a chance to meet up with people who do have stuff,” Graham said. Rock climbing is one of Graham’s favorite pastimes, but she doesn’t have enough gear. This club is giving her the chance to enjoy a climb without worrying about getting equipment as well as the opportunity to meet students with shared interests.

“It’s fun to meet new people that do similar things,” Graham said.

The growing club is perfect for those actively engaged in the outdoors, but often find it too much of a hassle to organize people to join them.

“I wanted to find friends who didn’t do just one thing,” Jones said. “When I couldn’t climb with the friends I know one day, I have another group of friends I climb with.”

The Outdoor Adventure Club officially launches Sept. 6. Club members must pay a $10 membership due, but their return is a club T-shirt and membership card with discounts to area retailers such as Hansen Mountaineering. The opening social Sept. 17 will include a movie, slacklining and other activities, even zorb balls. To get involved in the intrepid new club, visit with club members at their booth in the Wilkinson Student Center, Monday through Thursday during most of September and October, or visit the official club page on BYUSA’s site.

“The point of this whole thing is to build a community of people who love to go outdoors and want to make more friends,” Rickords said.

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