AMANDA GOODWIN AND DEMETRIUS YOUNGER ‘DOAH CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Shenandoah Outdoor Adventure Recreation (SOAR), one of Shenandoah University’s newest recreation programs, has hit the ground running this semester, offering a multitude of budget-friendly activities for students to get involved in.
Previously known as S.U. Outdoors, SOAR is a recreation program designed to get students outside and engaged in outdoor activities. Run by program director Alice Morgan, S.U. Outdoors was revitalized into SOAR at the beginning of the semester and serves the Shenandoah University community. Its purpose is to allow students to “develop basic skills for safe and environmentally responsible exploration of natural resources in the Shenandoah Valley and beyond.”
SOAR offers all types of activities, from the more active (such as rock-climbing and kayaking) to the less strenuous (such as hiking and apple-picking). Activities are offered at least once a week, and students are accepted on a first come, first serve basis. Suggestions for future activities are also welcomed and encouraged from the student body. “Our goal is to find a way for everyone to connect with the outdoors,” Morgan stated in an interview in early October.
These trips provide an ideal access to outdoor activities for Shenandoah University students, as they are all “budget friendly.” While Morgan attempts to make the majority of trips free for students, there may be times where a small fee is requested. The cost does not normally exceed 20 dollars on single day trips. SOAR also occasionally offers overnight trips for a more substantial fee. Transportation is always provided for students to and from destinations.
There are several upcoming trips this November for students to attend. These activities include a sunrise hike along Old Rag Trail on November 1st, as well as the organization’s monthly trip to a rock climbing facility in Manassas, VA on Thursday, Nov. 4. If students are interested in seeing more of what SOAR has to offer, inquiries can be made to Alice Morgan at su- firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those that want to venture off on their own, a trip the Shenandoah National Park could be a possible destination for you. The park is just a 30-minute drive south to the Front Royal entrance with an additional entrance fee of 10 dollars. Once inside, you will have access to plenty of biking, hiking, fishing, bird watching and wilderness exploration activities. Some of the most popular sites include Old Rag Mountain and the park’s 10 amazing waterfalls.