Spring break presents an opportunity to travel for the busy Trinity student; whether students are going home or visiting a foreign location, the chance to travel is one taken advantage of by many, including members of Trinity’s Outdoor Recreation group (O-REC). Twelve students signed up with O-REC to go to Big Bend National Park over break.

“I was interested in going because I did their Thanksgiving trip, so I decided to go on this,” said Madison Matthies, a junior Spanish major. “I heard good things about the spring trips, and Big Bend was on my bucket list.”

O-REC has provided several opportunities like this one in the past for intrigued students.

“I went on the spring break trip to the Ozark, a trip to Lost Maples and a backpacking trip to Lincoln National Park,” said Mikki Hoffman, a junior business analytics and technology and urban studies double major.  

The adventure involved three full days of canoeing down the Rio Grande River, which gave students the chance to view landscapes they’re not regularly exposed to in San Antonio.

“We kept going by all these camping spots where we wanted to stop for the last night and there were a bunch of groups that had taken all of them, so we just had to keep going,” said Nathan Dullea, a senior computer science major. “Eventually we found a spot on the Rio Grande and at the end of the night we looked at the stars. We saw Cassiopeia, Scorpio, Orion, the Big Dipper. There were more stars than I had seen in a long time.”

For others, little funny moments made the trip worthwhile.

“My favorite memory is probably when we went canoeing the first day and had to deal with 60 mph winds in the canyon. I got stuck in my boat with my friend in the mud and we had to army crawl through the mud to get out, which was crazy,” Matthies said. “It was one of those experiences where it’s terrible in the moment, but it’s hilarious once it’s over.”

The opportunity to visit these unique places and use high-quality equipment at a low price was an enticing reason to sign up for the trip.

“The trip was only $40, and to do that myself and pay for all the gear would be impossible for me to do as a college kid,” Matthies said.

Previous camping experience is not required to attend O-REC trips, an additional benefit to signing up for the programs.

“There were several people on the trip who had never gone camping before, and I think it was a good way for them to get outdoors and have fun with a great group,” Dullea said.

O-REC offers many chances to visit various locations in multiple states during the school year that students should take advantage of.

“Someone else takes care of all of the planning and preparation, and it’s easy, fun and you always make great friends. I just love to unplug from my phone and escape on a journey,” Hoffman said