Many of Azusa Pacific University’s students have a love for outdoor activities. Students often hike Garcia trail in the Azusa hills north of campus, but many may not know that APU has a program for those who enjoy these activities called Outdoor Adventures.
Nearly every weekend, the program offers fun outings, such as mud caving, kayaking, and backpacking, at discounted rates.
Kylynn Richley ‘14, a graphic design major and one of the program’s active members, said, “I love getting away from all the thousands of people and just getting to know a small group of people without distractions.”
Normally, such adventure outings can cost up to $1,000, but Outdoor Adventures covers all costs except food and transportation. For example, their Moab Desert trip this past spring only cost students about $200 for the week.
According to Dan Williams, director of Outdoor Adventures, “We are not looking to make a profit, but to offer students an opportunity to open their minds and experience something new.”
Outdoor Adventures started out as a club run by graduate students and part-time student workers. Once it became an official program, Williams was hired full-time, and the program was able to offer more resources, trips, and opportunities.
Meredith Matsushima ’12, business administration major and Outdoor Adventures intern, said, “I love being able to connect two things that I love—nature and people. I get to meet some pretty amazing people that I don’t normally see in school.”
Williams said, “One of my favorite parts of my job is seeing the students consumed by God’s beauty in nature. I encourage students to go out and try it once.”
Outdoor Adventures trips are introductory and anyone can participate. Psychology major and program intern Lily McGuire ‘11 explained, “Regardless of skill level, each student should explore with us at least once. We are here because we are passionate about introducing them to the great outdoors.”
Williams hopes to consistently improve the program by introducing new places to students, having more range in the trips, and possibly branching out internationally.
“I would love to see APU offer an outdoor leadership minor and continue to see my staff grow in their position, as well as see more full-time people be a part of the program,” said Williams.