Club Week: Canoe and Hiking Club offers opportunity for adventure

Every semester TNJN profiles a new club each day during Club Week. This semester, our first club profiled is the Canoe and Hiking Club at UT.

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Since 1968, UT students have come together to form a group of nature-loving adventurers. The Canoe and Hiking Club does just that and more. Now considered a sport club, they offer a variety of outdoor excursions such as kayaking, rock climbing and downhill skiing/snowboarding.

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The crew shreds down the mountain at Snow Shoe. // Photo by: Austin Eddy

Unlike many other sport clubs, all experience levels are accepted and encouraged. Each trip is created so that any member can participate and try something new. President Austin Eddy climbed outdoors for the first time with the club and is now an experienced climber.

“The club does an amazing job of providing opportunities to try new things and develop member’s skills based on their interests,” Eddy said.

The club is member-led which allows students to share their interests and expertise with their peers while maintaining a relaxed atmosphere. A recent trip to Xanadu Cave lead by a new member, Garrett Sexton, proved to be one of their most adventurous trips of the year thus far.

“It felt a lot wilder than our other caving trips because we were being led through the cave by one of our peers and not by someone that is ultra familiar with the cave to ‘guide us,’” Eddy said. “We were all just exploring this huge cave together.”

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Members hike up Mt. Leconte. // Photo by Austin Eddy

All excursions are discussed and coordinated as a group. While there are leadership positions, it is mostly for paperwork purposes. It is important to the club that every member’s interests are represented. They enjoy the camaraderie and shared leadership.

“The Canoe and Hiking Club is the best I’ve found for good friends, fun and adventure,” said member Ryan Wagner.

With a current total of 86 members, the Canoe and Hiking Club is the cheapest, oldest and largest sport club on campus. A reasonable fee is due at the beginning of the year that covers gear, lodging and even gas for each trip that is planned.

You can find the Canoe and Hiking Club hanging out every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in front of or inside the HSS building. The meetings consist of planning upcoming trips and simply discussing other outdoor interests. You can also find them every year at Rec Fest on campus or on their website.

Edited by Jessica Carr