Outdoor Adventure Club Has Productive Semester

Published 05.10.2006


An Outdoor Adventure Club member enhances his balance through slacklining.By Juli Reppert, student writer/photographer

From biking to rock climbing, skiing to backpacking, the Outdoor Adventure Club at Pennsylvania College of Technology has something to suit the interests of any type of student.

The OAC finishes its first full semester as a college-recognized student organization this month and is looking forward to planning more fun events for its members in the fall. All students are welcome to attend meetings, regardless of their major. Faculty and staff, as well as the general public, are encouraged to participate and become members of this organization.

Outgoing President Matthew L. Gross, a plastics and polymer engineering technology student from Dover, says the club just wants to "find other students and people who share the same interests."

"The activities are more fun with more people," he said. "We just want to get together and have a good time."

The OAC has been involved in many different college and community-service projects including selling daffodils for the American Cancer Society. The club plans to do a trail cleanup and assist with the Adopt a Highway program in the fall.

The latest activity that the OAC members have been in involved in is "slacklining." Members also introduced this activity to other Penn College students during the "Camping on Campus" event that took place in late April.

Slacklining is similar to tightrope walking. A nylon webbing, somewhat like an inch-thick book-bag strap, is tied between two trees at 3 feet or less from the ground. Cardboard is placed around the trees where the webbing might rub, so the trees are unharmed. Participants walk across the webbing in their bare feet.

Slacklining is used not only for recreation, but also by rock climbers to enhance their balance and strength. Others are said to use this activity as a type of meditation or form of prayer.

Club members gather for a biking activity.Gross and newly elected President George A. King, a construction management student from Lancaster, say that Williamsport is the ideal location for their type of organization.

"A lot of things we do are in the local area," Gross said. "Williamsport has great resources. The possibilities are endless here. It's beautiful."

The club has come a long way in just a short time with help from its members and faculty adviser, John J. Messer, assistant professor of computer science/computer information coordinator.

"John is great and really supportive," King said.

"He is willing to push the limits with us," Gross added.

For more information about the Outdoor Adventure Club at Penn College and activities planned for the fall, visit online or send e-mail to King or Messer .