Sign-up for semester of adventures
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
At 9 a.m. last fall, two eager students waited by The Outfitter, an outdoor equipment retailer at the Reitz Union, for the start of TRiP's fall registration at noon.
TRiP, which stands for Travel and Recreation Program, is a volunteer student-run organization on the UF campus, with a specific mission to plan and lead adventure trips, ranging from backpacking and rock-climbing to sailing and surfing.
This semester, TRiP's volunteer student leaders are expecting another positive outcome at spring registration, which starts at noon today at The Outfitter, on the ground floor of the Reitz Union. There are currently over 20 different trips available for students to choose from.
Frank Fogarty, a 21-year-old zoology major and a leader for TRiP for over a year, said that the main goal of the organization is "to get people out into the wilderness and get them to experience a lot of different things."
The organization is geared toward beginners, including those students who have never experienced a specific outdoor activity, or those with little experience, Fogarty said.
The cost of an average weekend trip is about $100, and TRiP provides participants with food and all the necessary gear.
"It's not that bad for getting to go for the weekend somewhere and getting to experience something like that," Fogarty said. "It's a lot cheaper than if you could go try to do it on your own, especially if you don't have gear."
Aside from experiencing an exciting outdoor adventure, Fogarty said that participants of TRiP end up building close bonds and creating many long-lasting memories.
"It's a cool dynamic, and you get a really interesting group of people to go," he said. "And you usually end up getting close; usually with the small group you are out there with, there is a lot of interaction."
Freshman Alice Feigel, 19, greatly enjoyed her experience with TRiP last fall and decided to become a leader.
Fogarty said leaders are the student volunteers "that plan the trips, take the trips out and are responsible to know what their doing, so they're trained in the area they lead the trip for."
Feigel said that she learned about TRiP while taking a tour of the UF campus. "I thought they sounded really cool, and I thought I'd go and check it out," she said.
Feigel said that after having a great time during her trip to the Everglades, other TRiP leaders encouraged her to apply for the position.
Although it is going to be a very hectic semester for her, Feigel said she is very excited for all that is in store. In addition to her coursework, she is required to take a three-credit course specifically for TRiP, work in The Outfitter's office once a week and meet with her TRiP mentor on a regular basis, in order to master her various responsibilities as a TRiP leader.
"I think I am really going to develop as a leader," Feigel said about her newly auired position. "I led other things, but I've never done something like this, where I am in charge for the entire weekend. It's really up to me to make sure that everyone is safe and still having fun."
TRiP uses 15-person vans as its form of transportation to different travel destinations, which are usually within a 12-hour driving range. Fogarty said that in addition to short weekend trips, there are usually several larger trips that the organization plans each semester.
Today's registration will continue throughout the semester on a first-come, first-served basis. It will accommodate individuals and groups alike.
"It's something a lot different," Fogarty said, "and it's something I feel every student should give at least one try while they're in college."
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