Siena offers more than 70 clubs and organizations for students to get involved in, and every single one is pretty awesome. To introduce you to some of our most popular, unique and just plain cool offerings, we're launching a new series here on our blog, Inside Look. The best part is you'll get to know more about the clubs, their missions and activities from their members' points of view. First up, Outing Club. 

We talked to the club's president, Michael O'Connell, '16, and the club's hiking/camping chair and event coordinator, Zackary Gregg, '16. Read on.

What does the Outing Club do?

"The club is focused on connecting students with the outdoors. Our motto is that we will do any 'outdoorsy' activity that a club member is interested in. In the past, we've gone white water rafting, rock climbing, hiking, camping and on ski and snowboard trips. We're always open to new ideas and we encourage club members to bring those ideas forward." - Michael

Where have you traveled?

"We've been to Thatcher Park, Lisha Kill Preserve, Mount Greylock, Jay Peak, Smugglers' Notch, Loon Mountain, Gore Mountain and Lake George, and will soon be camping in the Lake Placid area." - Zackary

"We stick to the New England area. In terms of driving time, we rarely travel somewhere that is more than four hours away from Siena." - Michael

How often does the club meet?

"Meetings usually take place every other week on Thursdays at 9 p.m. Often, an email will be sent out regarding an upcoming trip, and if someone is interested, they should plan on attending. Otherwise, students should look for future emails regarding the trips they're interested in." Zackary

"When we have an idea for a trip, we bring the idea to the club to gauge interest. If enough people are interested, we plan and hold an informational meeting. Then, we'll meet again the week before the trip to go over details. We try to host at least three trips a semester." - Michael 

How many members are there?

"We currently have 223 members, but we're always growing. It's actually expected that a different group of people will attend each trip, which means anyone can join at any time." - Zackary

How has this club made your Siena experience better?

"I love hiking and camping, which is why I got involved in the club last year. As a senior chemistry/biochemistry double major, I understand how having fun around a busy class schedule can be challenging, but I am always willing to find time to go on our trips because they're always worth it." - Zackary

"My time in the Outing Club has allowed me to meet some amazing people and work with some of the offices on campus. I have developed my event planning skills and I have made some great friends. The club is focused on creating great events for students to get more involved in the outdoors, and that's exactly what it does." - Michael

What do you love most about the club?

"I love the overnight backpacking and ski trips. They make for a great weekend-long vacation to places I've never been before. Nothing beats spending the day skiing and the evening relaxing with new and old friends." - Zackary

What's your favorite Outing Club memory?

"My first ski/snowboard trip as a sophomore to Smugglers' Notch. I had never been snowboarding before, but some of the other members were determined to teach me. By the end of the weekend and after a few falls, I was snowboarding down some of the expert-level trails. The Outing Club is a great opportunity to go out of your comfort zone and try some new 'outdoorsy' activities and experiences." - Michael

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