NEWBERG, ORE. - The Outdoors Club at George Fox University (GFU) is a community that hopes to get students to learn new technical skills in different environments, become aware of the things happening in and around Newberg, and get involved in the great outdoors.
Conceived by Club President Nathaniel Shiiki at the end of last school year, the club hopes to do all this while enjoying quality time with other students. It is already clear the club is a success, because over 150 students are taking advantage of this opportunity.
Even though it has been about three years since GFU has seen an outdoors club on campus, Shiiki isn’t surprised. Shiiki said, “People just love to be outside.”
“A lot of people here come to George Fox and may not be from around here and they have never really seen the area, and also might not have the chance to really get outside of Newberg,” Shiiki said. “So I think this is a good opportunity for students to be more aware of what is going on around them. The Outdoors Club creates a community within itself where people love nature.”
Despite the vast spectrum of activities that can be done in the outdoors, most of the club’s events do not require a lot of gear. All you really need are good shoes, and transportation is arranged.“We want to make this a club that is as available as possible, so anybody can come on the trips that we will be doing,” Shiiki said.
The Outdoors Club’s past events include a hiking trip on the Oregon Coast with over 40 students, a Planet Earth movie night, and a birding outing. Along with other big plans for the school year, Shiiki said, “We want to get students involved with conservation projects in the Newberg area; for example, the community gardens, and the Yamhill Watershed Council.”
Shiiki has brought several others onto the club staff, including Vice President Elliot Shannon, Social Media Manager and Photographer Ben Shannon, Backpacking Specialist Michael Seigneur, and Financial Manager Wesley Seigneur, to assist in planning and programming events.
Most of the planned events will be oriented around the changing seasons. News regarding upcoming events will be released once the club committee comes up with some new ideas for outings.
Students who feel they have great ideas for a club trip or a new way to get involved can attend club meetings in the next few weeks to suggest their ideas for future events.For more information about the Outdoors Club, check out the club’s Facebook site or Snapchat at GFU Outdoors Club. If you would like to join, Shiiki can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reported by Jacks Whitehurst
Photographed by Nathan Reichlin