The Bates Outing Club (BOC) organized three trips over fall break: a multi-sport and backpacking trip which each went to North Conway, N.H. and a People of Color (POC) trip that went to both Camden Hills State Park and the BOC lean-to. Each of these trips were organized and led entirely by students, including the trip leaders and BOC president Miles Lamberson ‘19 and vice president Zach Guion ‘19.
The North Conway multi-sport trip included climbing, biking, and hiking. Gordon Platt ‘19 and Oliver Farnum ‘19 co-led the biking part of the trip, and Adam Dohn ‘20 led the climbing portion of the trip. The New Hampshire backpacking trip, which ended up merging with the North Conway multi-sport trip due to weather, was both led and organized by Anna Mangum ‘21. The final trip went to Camden Hills and the BOC lean-to and was co-led and organized by Ursula Rall ‘20 and Sam Alexander ‘20. Each of the trips were catered by Commons, one part of the multiple planning aspects of the trips; many hours went into making the itinerary for each excursion, which made each trip fun and special in its own and unique way.
North Conway is an area known for its beautiful scenery and numerous hiking and backpacking opportunities. Platt, one of the leaders of the North Conway multi-sport, has been a member of the BOC since his freshman year and a biking director since short term of his sophomore year. He was excited to be able to lead a multi-sport trip because he feels that the outing club “engages a lot of people on campus, but rarely all at once or [by] doing the same thing,” considering the different interests of each individual. Going to North Conway intrigued him given the versatility of the trails for many different sports.
Platt feels that so much went “into planning the logistics of 20 people doing different things over three days and two nights, that at times it just felt like a bottomless pit of forms, food pickups, gear checks, and itineraries.” When he and his co-leaders finally left campus with eight cars and 13 bikes (including a rented truck for all of the BOC-owned mountain bikes), he “was incredibly proud and excited.”
Originally, the New Hampshire backpacking trip, led by Mangum, was supposed to be separate from the multi-sport trip, but the two ended up combining due to a decrease in students backpacking, as well as the forecast of snow and high winds in the higher elevations. Mangum has become increasingly involved in the BOC as a sophomore and loved being surrounded by others who also have a love for the outdoors.
Farnum, the co-leader of the biking portion of the multi-sport trip, has also been a part of BOC since he was a freshman. As a trip leader, he is cautious of the fact that mountain biking can seem intimidating at first due to the amount of gear, time, and unique skills it requires. Because of this, he and Platt both went out of their way to make biking more accessible on the trip with the hope that everyone would take advantage of the BOC’s bikes, gear, and trip opportunities.
Dohn, the leader of the rock climbing portion of the trip, took those interested in the group to climb Whitehorse and Cathedral, beginning with an introduction to rope skills and climbing techniques. On the second day, it was extremely cold but dry enough to climb some very steep, sheer vertical rock. Dohn describes using “the small cracks for hand and foot holds” as the only cracks him and the climbers were able to utilize.
Furthermore, Ralls really enjoyed leading the POC Camden Hills and lean-to trip. She was inclined to lead this trip in order to introduce new people to the Outing Club, feeling that it can be “an intimidating space to join.” With this in mind, her goal was to create a space where people who would not typically partake in Outing Club activities felt comfortable and welcomed to do so. Camden Hills State Park is a beautiful location to hike, with lots of foliage and a fantastic view of the ocean.
Overall, the three Bates Outing Club trips during fall break were a huge success. These trips brought together individuals who all enjoy the outdoors, providing an opportunity for Bates students to be able to further pursue their outdoor interests. Both the leaders and the members of each trip thoroughly enjoyed their time away from Bates for a few days, and Bates is very fortunate that the Outing Club has the ability to plan such trips.