Club Spotlight: Outdoors Club
By Caleb White, Online Editor
With pandemic limitations being relaxed from last year, many clubs on campus are looking for a fresh start. One of these is the Outdoors Club, which is actively seeking new members after a long hiatus.
Nathaniel Putnam, the captain of the Outdoors Club, is a sophomore who came into leadership after getting in touch with Mike Rodier, the Director of Recreation. Rodier told him the club was in desperate need of revitalizing, and taking charge was a natural fit for Putnam, whose active lifestyle has taken him mountain biking, surfing, trail-running, and skiing.
In an interview last Tuesday, Putnam said getting off of campus is one of the main benefits of the Outdoors Club. “It allows students to take a break from academics, which can be really stressful once the semester gets going.” He also sees it as important for mental health and to keep students from being cooped up in their rooms. “We’re animals. We’re supposed to be outside, we’re supposed to be active.”
The group aims to have outings every weekend, such as hiking in areas like Mount Wachusett or Purgatory Chasm. They plan to start small and do longer activities over the course of the year, including possibilities like whitewater rafting, rock-climbing, and skiing.
The club is currently planning a calendar for a variety of different activities, so that it’s open to everyone regardless of physical ability. Leadership will also have bi-weekly meetings to plan programs, with optional attendance for members who would like to input their own ideas.
One activity Putnam looks forward to is at the end of September, when the club will go on a two-night camping trip at Acadia National Park in Maine. The group will be attending the Acadia Night Sky Festival, which includes activities such as stargazing, carriage rides through the woods, and various workshops. Because of the lack of light pollution, the activity is a chance to see the sky in full brightness. “I really want other students to experience the beauty of New England,” Putnam said. “Not a lot of students have been to a national park.”
With the Outdoors Club being reintroduced on entirely new leadership, Putnam hopes they will create a new legacy for the group. Prior leadership pre-pandemic was more exclusive, he explained, and they mostly planned trips on short notice with their friends. “That’s really the opposite of what I want this club to be. I want the club to be inclusive, tailored to everyone’s capabilities,” he said.
Besides Putnam, those in the new positions of leadership include Sebastian Pontrelli as Co-Captain, Prithyankara Rajesh as Vice President, Carly Duval as Treasurer, and Thomas Przyborowski as Finance & Event Advisor.
The Outdoors Club provides a great space for students to stay active and meet new people. If you are interested in joining, you can contact Putnam through email at email@example.com.