Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas Outdoor Adventures offers opportunities to explore the outdoors, wellness

Emma George

Located in Gregory Gymnasium on Speedway, UT RecSports offers UT students several opportunities per semester to experience the outdoors. Through the Texas Outdoor Adventures program, leaders like alumni Ash Morris and Beril Saygin take students on paid field trips to different state and national parks around Texas, teaching them basic outdoor skills and providing an escape from academic life. 

Morris, ex-program assistant and outdoor guide of Texas Outdoor Adventures, said different varieties of outdoor trips offer students opportunities to socialize in a more intimate setting while discovering nature together. 

“Our main mission is to introduce students to the outdoors (and) experience parts of Texas they wouldn’t have the option to before,” Morris said. “(My mission) was to introduce people to the same experiences that I had because I remember when I was younger I would love to see the outdoors … and a big part of (my mission was) seeing the joy in people when they get to see these kinds of things for the first time.”

Morris said the price of the trips seems high, but Texas Outdoor Adventures ensures funding supports all aspects of travel. 

“(The guides) get paid partly for the trip, but the price also helps pay for gas, transportation, and campsites will cost (about) $10 per person per day,” Morris said. “It covers entry fees and travel fees for faraway trips like Hawaii or Washington State. I do think that it’s priced a little bit high, but it is still cheaper than taking these trips on your own.”

Saygin, a biology and Plan II senior and current trip leader for Texas Outdoor Adventures, said the organization offers backpacking, kayaking, surfing, climbing and camping, all of which help students disconnect from the stress of student life. Saygin said she remembers her trip to South Padre Island, where the silence of the waves grounded her.  

Erika Jarzombek, an environmental science sophomore, said she hopes to see Texas Outdoor Adventures collaborate with wellness groups like Longhorn SHARE Project, which, according to their website, offers judgment-free spaces for students to promote wellness.

“Having more collaborations (with wellness groups) in any sort of organization would be really good because sometimes you’re in one group that’s your de-stressor, but you’re not as comfortable to talk in that one as you could be in another one,” Jarzombek said.

Jarzombek said she appreciates how Texas Outdoor Adventures offers different trips that create a sense of nostalgia that might benefit students during stressful times. 

“(The trips) remind you of those times when you would go outside (as a kid) and have fun,” Jarzombek said. “There’s a sense in it that helps calm the nerves.”

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About the Contributor
Emma George, Comics Editor
Emma is currently a Spring 2023 Comics Editor. She is a junior civil engineering major whoe loves to draw, read, and visiting art museums. She has previously been a Comics sStaffer and Comics Senior Illustrator.