The pandemic has eliminated most opportunities for students to socialize and make friends. Students can no longer convene over sporting matches or through lectures. However, not all socialization opportunities are gone.
The Adventure U Club allows students to get outside, have fun, and meet new friends, all while following COVID-19 safety precautions.
“We’re working so hard to make things happen for students who are still in Kamloops,” club president Gagan Watts said. “We just want [students] to have a little bit of adventure and to not feel lonely.”
This semester is Watt’s first as club president, a challenging time to step into the role.
Last year, around 20 students helped the club to organize logistics. Because of COVID-19, however, many of them have not returned to Kamloops and thus have not rejoined his supporting staff.
He is hoping to attract volunteers to help him organize club functions. Despite the lack of help, he remains determined to push the Adventure U Club forward, “Right now it’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. I really want to do something for the students.”
Usually popular amongst the student body, the club has seen a decrease in participation this year, “there has been a drastic change,” said Watts. “Usually, all the trips fill up within a day of being posted. That isn’t happening anymore.”
This fall, some of the club’s events have been unable to reach even 50 per cent capacity. Watts blames this lack of attendance on a lack of awareness,
To keep club members safe, the Adventure U Club is taking precautions to eliminate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Masks are mandatory for all students participating in the club’s events. A first responder is on-site at all events and has hand sanitizer at the ready.
Additionally, students are asked to avoid participating if they’re experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
Currently, the club is only putting on hiking events to ensure proper social distancing can occur. The club plans on putting together skiing and snowshoeing events this winter, although nothing has been finalized.
Despite the changes to the club and the low turnout, Watts has noticed how appreciative students have been for the opportunities to get together.
“Usually when you go on campus there are numerous events… now [students] have no option. Our members seem so happy that there is still something going on on campus right now,” Watts said.
The club’s next featured event takes place on Sat. Oct. 31. Participants will be hiking Harper Mountain. Students who wish to take part in the event, or join the club, can register by going to trudadventureu.com.