I hope everyone had a wonderful reading week! I spent most of my time eating, sleeping, and watching The Office. Some might say this was an unproductive use of my time, and I would have to agree. But it was awesome!
I regret, however, that I stayed inside so much. Last year, I went up north to South River to visit a friend who works near Algonquin Park. We stayed in a log cabin and went snowshoeing and saw a family of deer and got stuck in a snowstorm. It was a regular adventure, and it was GREAT!
Although reading week is over, there are still plenty of weekends left to get outside. An outdoor adventure is especially important at this time of year, because it can seem so difficult to actually GO DO IT. Luckily, there is a club designed specifically to help you. It’s called the U of T Outing Club.
Fifty-years old, the U of T Outing Club is committed to getting students, professors, staff, and alumni out of their classrooms and offices and houses and into the wild.
I got a chance to meet with an executive of UTOC, who helped explain what the club is all about. First of all, the club is about meeting people. With such a long history, the club has attracted a large number of people from different places in their lives. A lot of exchange program students join UTOC, because it’s a great way for students to explore Canada beyond Toronto. Every member, however, shares a love for outdoor adventure.
In addition to planning and hosting outdoor adventures like camping, canoeing, caving, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, and rock-climbing, UTOC also owns a cabin in the Niagara Escarpment that they use almost every weekend for group getaways. The club has also organized road trips into northern Ontario, around Georgian Bay and even Manitoulin Island!
The heart and soul of UTOC are its members. Trips and adventures are usually planned and lead by group members, while the executive team helps with the headachey technical stuff that can sometimes seem burdensome and difficult. It is UTOC’s goal to help students become comfortable and safe in taking the initiative to plan and experience outdoor adventures beyond the U of T campus. They’ve been doing it for 50 years!
The club website offers a detailed calendar of upcoming events, and they have office hours on Wednesdays 3-5 at Sid Smith. If you have an idea for an outdoor adventure that you needs help putting together, don’t hesitate to contact UTOC!
I’ve been reading Jean-Paul Sartre, and he writes that life becomes an adventure only in the re-telling of events. But I say there is much adventure in the real act of living, much, much adventure. So get out there, visit UTOC if you need some help, and get into it!
‘Til next time, stay diamond, U of T!
* Photos courtesy of Michael Chahley