Outing Club newly headed by Dorsey

Sara Dorsey leads the ARHS Outing Club.Photo: maxpixel.net

“I love getting folks outside for an adventure,” said Sara Dorsey, a science teacher at ARHS and new advisor to the Outing Club. “I believe that outdoor experiences can have an incredible, positive impact on our relationship with the environment and our relationships with one another.” 

The Outing Club at ARHS is an opportunity for students to work collaboratively, learn practical skills, and apply those skills by spending what can often be long stretches of time outdoors. While the club is open to any student with an interest, Dorsey said there are certain students that will be a naturally good fit.

“I hope that Outing Club members are enthusiastic about learning, willing to challenge themselves, and are supportive of one another regardless of the level of outdoor experience they bring to the club,” said Dorsey. “I hope that they walk away with some great friends, an appreciation for the natural environment, and confidence in their own skills and those of their fellow club members.”

Logan Flory, a junior, has been involved with the club since 2017, and has found the people and experiences have become a significant part of his life.

”I’m looking forward to opening up similar experiences to those both returning and new to the club [this year],” said Flory. “The group logistics are always rewarding, and seeing new people meet each other and fall in love with nature are some of my favorite things to see.”

Flory also shared a story about his favorite Outing Club experience.  “It was an overnight backpacking trip in October of 2018,” said Flory. “We had a very tightly-knit group dynamic, and I met most of the friends I have now. We held a campfire for four hours from late in the night into early in the morning, which yielded some conversations I’ll never forget.”

For Dorsey, a lifelong interest in exploring the outdoors makes the club an easy choice to be involved in. She has had lots of powerful outdoor experiences such as a paddling adventure on the Cheat River in West Virginia.

“We set up camp on an island and that night when we looked upriver, both banks of the river were entirely lit up by fireflies,” said Dorsey. “The Milky Way was bright overhead and on the cloudy western horizon there was epic heat lightning. It was the most amazing light show I’ve ever seen, and some of the students with me had never even seen the stars before!”

Dorsey recognizes, however, that despite the fun and bonding and life-changing experiences, there are some real challenges that the group will need to work to overcome.

‘’There are always challenges involved; challenges are what make the adventure!” said Dorsey. “Weather, temperature, physical and mental obstacles are all a part of the outdoor experience. That said, proper prior planning prevents most misadventures. We’ll be sure to prepare folks of all experience levels to get outside and have fun while mitigating safety risks.”

Dorsey said it looks like there will be a combination of weekday and weekend trips this year and hopes to organize a few “skill-builder” afternoons in the fall and then “see what the level of interest is for the spring semester.’’ 

Anyone interested in joining the club can contact Dorsey at (dorseys@arps.org).