A Good Outing Club Motto?
I like the Outing Club concept.
Dartmouth had the first one and it's still the biggest.
They seem to be college/university based. But I'd think they'd be suitable for all ages.
So what is the concept, anyway?
Could there be a general OC motto or purpose?
I think so!
Let's see what we can come up with.
First, at least one club has changed their name, giving up the "outing" term, without being asked (in any serious way, as far as I know), and handing it over to the slang term for a rare antisocial act. I suggest not doing that and taking back the word and staying with the dictionary.
The Univ. of Mass. club has the motto "We take people outside and do things with them." ...Pretty good! Short'n'sweet.
I'd think the core OC concepts involve: lifelong learning, friendship, conservation, conviviality, proximity, thrift, frequency.
So that we have:
Learning from Nature; making friends; doing quick, local trips; taking advantage of nearby outdoor activities, in a wholesome way, as a refreshing escape from an indoor routine of study/work.
OC's often have a clubhouse in a nearby yet rustic setting. These places would seem to ideally have bunks, fireplace, library of outdoor heritage, a porch.
OC's also often have a storeroom with generally useful outdoor equipment that members can use/rent.
The outings are co-ed and often include a picnic. OC's tend to be non-chaperoned and the next stage of outdoor activity for those who've done things like Scouting as teenagers. Outings are "on our own" where people can learn and demonstrate skill and responsibility to themselves and each other. They are, in part, a get-away from study but also from the "in loco parentis" aspects of campus life, scanty as they are today.
I can see a role for an annual exotic side-trip to do something out of the ordinary yet not expensive or overly far away.
But the key, mainstay activities would involve learning about your local nature and doing simple activities locally.
Hiking might be the simplest and most primary activity. Camp-outs would be another.
A rocky, hilly region might bring on a lot of climbing. An area with whitewater rivers would mean that kind of play. A place full of caves equals caving. The seaside would emphasize scuba, snorkeling, surfing, sailing, paddling, rowing.
But it's not just about the activities. I think there's a learning and a general aspect to an OC. OC doesn't mean one kind of outing. I think there's an obligation to learn about the nature of the area and about the cultural interaction with nature. This is especially true if the OC is based at a school. The learning continues even off-campus. School OC's will have a faculty advisor. They're not just to prevent bad PR, lawsuits or jailtime. They're there to make sure the educational component is key and a root of the activities.
Here in mid-Michigan our natural environment with its gentle terrain, forests, trails, nice roads, plentiful public land, and small rivers, all within 5 minutes of any town or campus means that an OC would seemingly primarily do:
*picnics, *hiking, *campouts, *biking, *canoeing, *XC skiing, *ice-skating
An annual long weekend trip could be done south to whitewater fun.
It's true that there's one 20-foot pitch of rock 15 miles from our campus (and in the entire lower part of the state) so that occasional practice climbing can be done. But I wonder how much of a club's activities would be based around this.