Campus rec to ride the rapids

Stevenson University’s Office of Campus Recreation and Outdoor Adventures will host a whitewater rafting trip down the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers on Sunday, March 31.

This trip has been booked through River & Trail Outfitters, which, according to its website, is the area’s “longest established and most experienced outfitter.” Sign-ups start Feb. 25 at the front desk of the Office of Campus Recreation, open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and located in Garrison Hall North, room 105.

Students can enjoy a guided rafting trip down the Shenandoah River in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. (Photo from Northwest Rafting Company)

This trip is open exclusively to Stevenson students. Only 10 seats are available, all on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tickets are $20 (cash only), which includes transportation to and from Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, rafting gear, certified rafting guides, and lunch.

The bus to Harper’s Ferry will leave at 8:15 a.m., so students should expect to arrive at the Harper’s Ferry site around 9:30 a.m. The actual rafting doesn’t start until 10 a.m. According to Laura Waginger, assistant director of campus recreation, the event is about a three-hour trip, encompassing 6½ miles of class I-III rapids, meaning the waters are “made up of a mix of mellow water (permitting fun splashing and floating), multiple easy riffles and ledges, and some more challenging rapids,” she explained.

No prior rafting experience is necessary.

“I think it’s great that they don’t require any experience!” said Megan Ingold, a student who has never been whitewater rafting before. “That way, everyone can get a chance to learn how to do it. I’m excited and nervous to possibly try, but overall, I think it will be really fun.”

Outdoor adventures like this give students an opportunity to try new things. Amya Dumay, a student interested in the trip, said, “I think whitewater rafting is a crazy, fun bonding experience that people who don’t mind water will enjoy.” She added, “I like that they’re doing outdoor adventures because it gets people off campus and gives them a chance to try something new.”

Whitewater rafting also includes opportunities to swim in the river, so wearing a bathing suit underneath a t-shirt and shorts is strongly encouraged. Wearing old sneakers is also encouraged since getting wet is very likely. Other things to consider bringing, according to River & Trail Outfitter’s website, include a dry change of clothes, a towel, sunscreen, and a water bottle.

The Office of Campus Recreation and Outdoor Adventures tries to do a trip every month, with an overnight backpacking trip in April and a paddle boarding/kayaking trip in May.

For more information, contact Waginger through campus email, or check out River & Trail Outfitter’s website.

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