Interviewee: Kelly H
Interview: Nahum Gale
What is the Outdoor Club?
The Outdoor Club is a club at the university where we go and do different outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, exploring and cultural events. We are a group that loves the outdoors and trying new things and just being out and about exploring what South Australia has to offer. There is talk of us even trying to do interstate camps if we can.
We also try to work with fees that our students can afford because we all know what it’s like to be a poor student. So, we try and make our activities affordable, unique, fun and outdoorsy. We try to find something that everyone will like, that is both exciting and a great way for people to meet others and make friends.
Can you tell us a bit about the activities that you do and what exactly is the process when you do that?
So, sadly, we have had to cancel a lot of our events due to COVID, but the first event we did was a walk around Glenelg and got some food, pre-COVID times. We also joined our sister club, Flinders Outdoor Club, for a camp at Onkaparinga National Park.
The process, basically, is that we will find a whole lot of activities that we think is affordable and then we put them up on a poll on our social media, generally on Facebook, and we will let people know and say, ‘vote for one that you want’ and the one with the highest votes will be the one that goes ahead. So, we get ideas, we say ‘look at these’ and we ask the members what they want to do
Do you have any upcoming events over the year that you want to share with us?
Definitely. There are certainly some events that we are really keen to do.
We want to ride from Adelaide to Glenelg on bikes. Bike renting can go through Bikes SA which is completely free and all that they expect is just you give them some form of ID and then when you return the bike they give you back the ID. We are also definitely looking at doing some hikes in the coming year and some camps. Camping is like a really big thing for us. We are so lucky here in SA; we have so many camping spots and we are talking about doing one in the Flinders Ranges later on in the year, hopefully more in the winter, just because that is the best time of year for it. Another of the ideas we are definitely interested in is doing a Popeye boat trip down the River Torrens. We want to walk Mount Lofty and might even camp or stay in a cottage in the area […]. We are thinking of going to Adelaide Zoo and then, on the same day, going to where the bats are in the area which is really close.
An idea that one of our members gave us, and we were really keen on actually having it, a night picnic where we do star gazing. One place was the Stirling Oval in the Adelaide Hills and, that’s the thing, we also try to make our activities easy for students to get to. So, even students who rely on public transport can still access the activities. We are planning to go on the Cockle Train, the one in the Fleurieu Peninsula. There are also dolphin tours in Port Adelaide. Cleland National Park. Monarto Zoo. Belair National Park and Hallett Cove Boardwalk. A treasure hunt type trip where people get directions from an APP and a message to find certain objects in certain places around Adelaide and it takes you all over the city.
What is the main point of the Outdoor Club? What are you trying to deliver for students?
A chance to explore SA; a chance to be active; to get outside; doing activities outdoors and having fresh air. As you would know, as uni students, we spend a lot of our time inside on our laptops and doing our study. Our aim is to be outside, get some fresh air and also give members a break from study. That has actually been proven, that being outdoors can actually help people’s mental health and being out and about and doing physical activities is also good for physical health.
Also, being outside, I think a lot of people are really keen, thanks to COVID last year where going outside was a no-go. Now we appreciate it so much more. We appreciate being like, ‘oh, we can go outside’ or ‘oh, we can go camping’ and we just want to encourage students to be able to go outside, have a break from study and have fun. We also just try our best to make it affordable as we understand that uni students have tight budgets as well.
How can students support and get involved in The Outdoor Club?
Well, coming to events. Voting is definitely a big thing. We actually have an online chat which anyone is welcome to join on Discord. We also have Facebook and Instagram. We are also planning on getting merchandise so hopefully, in coming months, once we get that all sorted, people will be able to actually get merchandise [for example] a hat was one of the things that we were thinking of getting because, being outdoors, you need a hat for sun safety. Merchandise can be a great form of advertisement.
So, being engaging and letting people know about activities and, also, being outdoors, you generally know it’s going to be exciting, because you are outside and you are exploring and that is definitely a big part that people like us for. We make sure our members have a constant say and we listen to them.