In spring 2015, a new club appeared on Belmont’s campus, dedicated to hiking and enjoying the outdoors in the Nashville area.
The idea for this club came when two Belmont students, Kara Reed and Ben Oliver, found that while they both enjoyed hiking, their friends didn’t always enjoy it as much as they did.
While out on a hike together, both came to the realization that they needed others to join them.
“We need to meet more people who want to go out and do this with us,” said Oliver, the club’s vice president.
They started “Hiking.” as a way for students interested in hiking and the outdoors to share this love with others on campus. It’s all inclusive, meaning that people interested in hiking from any skill level are welcome.
“Belmont really needs a group of students who want to go out and be active,” said Reed, the president.
Now that it’s been around for a semester, the club is really starting to take off.
“They’ve been hitting the ground running,” said faculty advisor Ted Peetz about the leaders’ work so far.
While at first they weren’t sure how many students would be interested, it’s now clear there is a large population of students on campus who also see the need for such a club. As of now, there are just over 90 students signed up on their BruinLink.
Reed also commented on the club’s focus on giving back to the outdoors through a service project that will occur later this year, with a location still being determined.
“We exist in the outdoors,” Reed said, “We want to give back to that community.”
Sept. 19 was the first of three hikes and a camping trip that the hiking club has planned for this year. The club members traveled to Burgess Falls, hiked the trails around the falls and then ate lunch there.
The club’s next event will be a camping trip at Fall Creek Falls from Oct. 11 – 13.
This article was written by Ellen Barker.
Photo courtesy of Hiking.