Outing Club (logo design by Stephanie Sheridan) Outing Club (logo design by Stephanie Sheridan) Outing Club (logo design by Stephanie Sheridan)
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Contact us:
Clark University Outing Club
Student Leadership
             and Programming
950 Main Street
Worcester MA 01610-1400
Email outingclub@clarku.edu

Outing Club Wisdom

Thinking about joining us on a trip? Here are some things we've learned over the years which can help make your Outing Club experiences (and ours) successful and fun!

Do join us! You won't know what you're missing until you've been on one of our trips.

But don't request a spot on a trip unless you plan to go. Our trips often have wait lists, and "holding" a spot until you decide if you want to go can deprive others of the chance to take part and make it difficult for trip leaders to manage the roster. If you have been given a spot and subsequently need to cancel, it is not uncommon and we understand. But please remember to notify the trip leader as early as possible.

Don't fear the wait list. Rarely does a full trip not have any cancellations. We all have busy lives, unexpected complications, and get sick from time to time. Often trips which were once "full" end up departing with empty spots because those on the waitlist have made other plans by the time vacancies arise or cannot be reached in time. So if you're on a waitlist and the clock is winding down, don't hesitate to let the trip leader know that you are still interested. You just may get that coveted open spot.

Choose the right trip for you. Outing club trips vary in intensity and duration, and in some cases by the level of skill or experience needed. While the vast majority of them are intended to be within the ability level of a typical Clarkie, you should consider your own level of physical and psychological readiness, degree of past experience, personal preference, and limitations when deciding whether a specific trip is right for you. Photos from our past events may give you a sense of what to expect, and you're encouraged to talk to the trip leader for additional insight.

Invite a friend or two, but not ten or twelve. By design, most Outing Club trips are limited to 12 or fewer spots, and trips with a wide diversity of participants tend to be more rewarding for all than those composed largely of a single circle of friends. But sometimes that happens. If you find yourself within such a circle on a trip, make an extra effort to connect with those outside of your circle as well, and you'll have done your part to make the trip a success! For a great testimonial to this point, check out the Oct. 22, 2015 Scarlet Letter.

Come prepared for the trip. For many day hikes, good footwear for hiking, appropriate layers of clothing, adequate water, and some high energy snack food may cover your basic needs. Longer duration or more adventurous trips require additional gear, but those details will all be worked out in advance.

Come prepared for the climate. Once on the trail you may feel much cooler or warmer than expected due to variable conditions and levels of exertion. Be prepared by bringing layers of clothing that you can easily add or remove as needed. You'll not enjoy your trip when shivering or sweltering. Pay attention to the weather forecast. Your trip may be canceled or curtailed in event of inclement weather or may proceed as planned. Sometimes a decision is made at the scheduled point of departure, based on current conditions and whether there are enough willing participants to make the trip happen.

Plan ahead. Staying out a little bit too late the night before your trip or forgetting that you have a big assignment due the next day are among the things which cause one to miss a trip or cancel at the last minute.

Arrive on time. You'll avoid being the one who the rest of the group must wait for.

Pitch in. Overnight trips in particular may entail cooking meals, setting up campsites, packing the van, cleaning up, and so on. It makes for great teamwork when everyone does their share.

Commmunicate! Open communication is key! Your trip leader will send information by email in the days leading up to the trip, some of which will require a response. Please read and reply in a timely manner so the leader won't spend precious time tracking you down. Before and during the trip, be sure to raise any questions or concerns you may have and to share your insights. Our outings work best when we're all on board with the game plan.

Enjoy our labor of love. The fifty or so outings which our club sponsors each year are all organized by volunteers with a passion for sharing the outdoor places and spaces we cherish. It is a lot of work which we enjoy doing. By following the wisdom on this page, you'll make our lives easier and our trips memorable. We hope you'll be a part of both.