ASI Adventures Lights Virtual Campfire For Outdoor Students
By Alexandre Osornio, October 5, 2021
The ASI Adventures program continued to foster intimate spaces for students with a taste for the outdoors during its virtual campfire event held on September 23, inviting PPC students to share and learn from exploration experiences. of each other.
For this latest iteration of the virtual campfire, presenters Marshall Fielding and Ian Navarro, ASI Adventures Student Supervisor and Adventures Education Coordinator, explained to attendees how to prepare for a backpacking trip. They were also joined by ASI Adventures student supervisor Sophia Hayek, who shared some of her own outdoor experiences with a small, intimate group.
Fielding hopes the Adventures team can continue to help students “break the barrier of entry” to outdoor activities by providing them with the necessary knowledge and resources.
They shared online resources on finding places to hike, accessible guides on what to bring, and how to check for weather or safety conditions such as wildfires. Fielding and Navarro also shared some of their own hiking experiences and friendly advice.
The Adventures team were sure to share some of their own aspirations and experiences with the participants, such as Fielding’s recent love for paragliding or Hayek’s love for climbing and hiking with his dog.
While the Aventures team stressed the importance of preparation, they did not fail to speak about the psychological benefits of outdoor recreation. Navarro, an outdoor enthusiast with a life of experience, proclaimed it as a way to step back and distance yourself from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Navarro said outdoor recreation is important to students because it helps them make a personal connection to the natural environments in their area.
The Adventures Virtual Campfire began last year with the start of virtual learning at Cal Poly Pomona. With the break from in-person events, the Adventures program launched Virtual Campfire events as well as virtual tours of national parks, online trip planning tutorials and guest speakers with an outdoor recreation background.
Fielding added that the idea for the virtual campfires came from rangers at Joshua Tree National Park who would meet with local climbers every Saturday to share important information about the site.
“We’ve always been inspired by this because it’s such a heartwarming time for people to come together to talk about their experiences in the outdoors,” he said. “When we went virtual, we thought it would be a great time to start introducing a program like this. “
Additionally, Navarro believes that engaging more with outdoor spaces through a virtual format could help students recognize the importance of advocacy for nature conservation. “If you don’t know something… how could you be the voice of it?” ” he said.
The team also used the program as an opportunity to tailor the experience to what would be of most interest to the attendants. Therefore, the event opened by asking the students which places they most wanted to visit, such as Yosemite National Park or Inyo National Forest.
One of the resources mentioned by Fielding is the Equipment rental center which helps students find affordable options for outdoor gear for “everything from a laid-back day at the beach with friends to an overnight hike in the wilderness of mountain ranges.” Although the GRC will be closed during the fall semester of 2021, Fielding is hoping it will return in the spring.
In addition to the virtual programs, ASI Adventures currently offers in-person programs on fishing, rock climbing, abseiling and is planning a trip to Joshua Tree National Park. The team also plans to transition from current virtual programs to in-person programs as the campus continues to open.
Hayek encourages students interested in outdoor recreation to “go down whenever the wall is open and try a climb” to better familiarize themselves with what the Adventures program has to offer.
To register for the next virtual campfire, visit program page on the ASI portal. To learn more about planning, regulations, or outdoor ideas, contact the ASI Adventures team at their email address [email protected]
Graphic courtesy of Justin Oo.