Imagine sea-kayaking in the waters of beautiful Cumberland Island, spending a few days hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and surfing in California. What about exploring the wildness of Nicaragua, all the while working to maintain trails with fellow students?
The steady travail of classes can take a toll on a student’s mind and body, but the GT Trailblazers, a club dedicated to “Outdoor Adventure and Environmental Service”, exists to provide students with a sense of adventure, social invigoration and the chance to literally get their hands dirty.
“When I signed up for my first trip, I didn’t know anyone,” said Lee Bouldin, a fourth-year ME major and president of GT Trailblazers, “In four days I was best friends with everyone. [Trailblazers] is a great way to meet people and bond as a group.”
The Trailblazers host both alternative breaks as well as short local projects around Atlanta every month or two.
The alternative breaks involve working with park services and trail clubs for the first half followed by recreational activities, such as hiking, for the second half of the trip. Past trips were located in such places as Shenandoah National Park, Cumberland Island, Boat Rock and many others.
“I think our club is unique in the fact that we combine both fun and service,” Bouldin said. “No skills are required for our trips, so we have a variety of people who go on them.”
Mammoth Caves, Ky. and Nicaragua are the two trips coming up for the club in the spring. In Nicaragua, GT Trailblazers will be teaming up with Engineers Without Borders on a reforestation project.
“Nicaragua is going to be really cool. We’re hoping to do some volcano boarding while we’re down there, too,” Bouldin said. “And with fundraising and subsidies, the trips shouldn’t cost too much.”
Anyone interested in going on one of these trips or otherwise becoming involved with the club can visit the GT Trailblazers’ website or check out the club’s upcoming weekly meeting.
– Founded Spring 2007
– Meet Tuesdays @8pm, Clough Commons lobby
– Approximately 35 current members
– $30 yearly membership fee
– About 1:1 guy-girl ratio
– Alternate Fall Break: Smoky Mountains, TN