[Jennie Couling | Contributing Writer]
On meeting Henry Miles (Treasurer) and Elias Westerdahl (Chair Person) one thing is made clear – the Outdoor Society has to be one of the most chilled out and interesting groups of people on campus. Having just come back from their most recent trip, they were full of stories.
Last weekend’s trip to Dover and Calais was the first of the society’s bi-annual big adventures. Straight after lectures, the group left at 5pm to head south and set up camp on a quaint little farm filled with ducks and pigs. Members spent a chilled evening cooking dinner, having a few drinks and playing music around a tea light campfire. Day Two was a quick hop over to Calais on the ferry and a walk along the beach and cliffs scattered with old facilities from WWII. The group then jumped into the minibus for a quick trip to the local historic town Boulogne-Sur-Mer for a spot of wine and cheese shopping after a walk around the historic walls. The last day was driving to St Margaret’s Bay, walking along the incredibly high cliffs (trying not to be blown off by strong winds) and exploring caves.
Sound like your ideal weekend? Well sadly there isn’t another big adventure until Easter (the location to be decided by members later in this year) but there’s still plenty of time to get involved before then with micro-adventures.
“Just because you’re a student and just because you have lots to do…it’s not an excuse to not have a sense of adventure,” said Westerdahl. “You don’t need to go far to do it. It’s something you can do in an afternoon.”
A more regular event for the Outdoor society is their weekly Capoeira sessions. In Hutton Hall every Wednesday night from 6:30 to 8:30, members and non-members are welcome to perform the Brazilian dance martial art. Described by Henry as ‘a lot of different movements which are a bit animalistic and not quite human’, Capoeira is a lot of fun as well as a good workout. Each session is £2 for non-members and £1.50 for members.
As a relatively small group, the Outdoor Society are a tight-knit bunch. Social Secretary Chloe Fowler said: ‘It’s such a brilliant society, the best thing I’ve joined or done at uni.”
New member, third year Holly Horton, said: ‘I joined because I wanted to go on adventures and explore. I really wanted to climb Mount Snowdon and I messaged them during summer when I was looking for societies to see if that’s something they would do and they said yes!”
‘As a muslim woman coming to UK for a PhD, joining the Outdoor Society has been one of the best things that I have done,’ said Rafia Faiz ‘The students are flexible, inspiring and non-judgmental. The society has given me my first hiking trip, my first walk in a forest, my first slack line, my first hammock, my first camping, my first bonfire, my first visit to a beach, my first swim in the sea, and my first snow slide. It has given me a lifetime’s worth of adventure and left me craving for nature. I would sincerely recommend to any student.’
If you’re interested in finding out more, their next social, on 26th November starting at 7pm in Hutton Hall, is a great opportunity to get to know other members. There’ll be a Capoeira demonstration followed by a giant twister game before a quick trip over to EleHouse for drinks.