Thursday, October 10, 2013
Pitzer Outdoor Adventure
Jenna Florio- Queens, NY
So now that it has officially hit October I can truly say we are in my favorite month of the year. Why you ask? This is because not only is the weather down from 85/90°F every day to a cool 75°F but also the first break from school is approaching in 1 week! Students are all feeling the stress of classes now that midterm season is among us. Fall break marks the beautiful reward we give ourselves for completing the transition of summer back to school and completing our first midterms again. For fall break some students stay on campus, some students who live close enough go home, and the rest of us take advantage of Pitzers best club, POA, and go camping!
POA stands for Pitzer Outdoor Adventure. This is the biggest club on Pitzer’s campus. The reason for this is because this club encourages students to get outside the Pitzer bubble and go explore all the beautiful nature that the giant state of California has to offer. Students go the weekly meetings propose any trip they want from surfing at crystal cove to camping at Joshua Tree. Once they propose their trip as long as they keep two spots in their form of transportation for any other Pitzer student to join them last minute and post on our student email thread when you are leaving then POA will reimburse your gas money. We also have a gear closet that students can check out any gear they need from sleeping bags and hiking backpacks to camping stoves. This is a really great resource for students like me, an inner city kid, who want to explore the outdoors but haven’t had that many opportunities to do so.
POA really came in handy during my first backpacking trip last spring break. Me and a few other friends decided to go drive the 324 miles up to Big Sur and go camping for a week. I agreed to do this because it was time for me to explore one of California beautiful natural wonders and also bite the bullet and actually do some real physical activity for once: backpacking. As the backpack I borrowed from POA was placed on my back I started to feel the jitters of my first time carrying this much weight and hiking at the same time. The last time I had gone hiking before this was 7 years ago when I was at a camp in upstate New York designed to take kids out of the city into the country side. Besides a few blisters on my feet and hips the 20 mile backpack into the beautiful hot springs was actually not as challenging as I thought. I survived the four hour hike into the redwood forest all in one piece! If it wasn’t for Pitzer students being so welcoming to “first timers” when it comes to nature and POA giving me the opportunity to take part in these trips than this city girl probably would’ve never have wanted to even take part in this experience unless I got to sit in a car the whole time. Usually I dread any physical activity but because of my amazing experience last spring break this fall break I’m going back to Big Sur to do it all over again! Hopefully I’ll get fewer blisters this time.