By Tim Alford, Transcript Reporter
With the start of spring weather, sophomore Ashley Taylor, a resident of the Tree House, has begun organizing outdoor trips for students during April.
These trips are being planned for her new position in the Environment and Wildlife Club as the adventure coordinator, as well as for her SLU house project for the Tree House.
Taylor said the first trip she planned was cancelled, but has been rescheduled for April 7 at Alum Creek. She said she is planning on having hikes each weekend in April, and hopes to end with a camping and rock climbing trip to Red River Gorge in Kentucky.
“I want to get more of the students off campus and into nature,” she said. “Delaware isn’t exactly a large city, but it’s enough of a concrete jungle to make some of us go nuts. I would like to get more of the Delaware community to come, as well as some of the OWU faculty and staff out for our hikes to talk about our native area.”
Taylor said junior David Reitan, president of the rock climbing club, and OWU Assistant Chaplin William Hayes have helped her plan the trips.
“(Reitan) was interested in potentially taking the club out with my series to do some natural rock climbing, rather than at the gym in Columbus,” she said.
“My main task is trying to get guides for the trip, or people who can supervise from a climber’s perspective,” Reitan said. “My goal is to get a rock climbing or camping trip to the Red River Gorge settled for the end of April, and to help promote Ashley’s ideas.”
Taylor said Hayes will be coming with the group on the trips.
Hayes said he has talked to Ashley about also collaborating on one or more of the trips with the Outdoor Ministry Team.
He said OMT is a group that focuses on Christian outdoor leadership, making connections between faith and outdoor experiences, and adventure with a purpose.
Taylor said Hayes also organizes Fresh X, the pre-orientation camping trip for freshmen.
“I’ve known Ashley for two years since I met her on Fresh X in 2010, and she has also attended OMT,” Hayes said. “I’m always eager to help and give advice to students who are interested in doing things outdoors.”
To get credit for her house project, Taylor said she had to get it approved by the house residential life coordinator, and it must promote some aspect of environmental consciousness which allows the participation of the OWU and Delaware community. While the series of trips is her house project, Taylor has a more important reason for planning them.
“I chose this project because being outside is one of the greatest places to be, whether it’s doing homework or taking a study break and playing catch,” she said. “I want to share that with more people.”
Taylor said Alum Creek is the only trip planned for April 7, but she will announce times as the dates get closer and she can monitor the weather. She said the trips will mostly be on Saturdays, and if more students are interested in them, she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.