The ACU Outdoor Club cleaned up and climbed up during the club’s rock climbing trip. Students of all skill levels, 22 in all, joined the Brownwood climbing group, Rock Addiction, as they collected trash before their excursion Saturday.
“It was so encouraging to see such a large group all excited about climbing and giving back to an area that we all have come to love,” said the Outdoor Club president, Colter Lane.
Lane, a senior physics major from Kalispell, Mont., has been climbing for four years. He met the leader of Rock Addiction on a previous climb this semester.
“It’s grown into a pretty good friendship,” Lane said.
Rock Addiction cleans their climbing area the last Saturday of every other month and offered to work with the Outdoor Club in exchange for help. The Brownwood group shared their gear and their advice with ACU students after the cleanup.
“They were incredibly helpful and donated their complete time for our enjoyment,” said Brett Harbor, senior criminal justice major from Austin.
Many students who participated in the climb were beginners; a few were not even part of the Outdoor Club, Lane said.
Samantha Sutherland, freshman English major from Brownwood, is a new member of the club. She said the trip gave her a chance to meet a lot of new people.
“The experience of doing something challenging together is a good way to get to know people,” Sutherland said.
For Harbor, rock climbing is an opportunity to form relationships.
“I don’t know if it’s necessarily easier to meet new people doing it, but it’s easier to build relationships, because you’re basically trusting people with your life,” Harbor said.
The Outdoor Club plans to partner with Rock Addiction again for another combination climb-and-cleanup next semester. The cleanup is important in preventing the misuse of public land, Lane said.
“It creates a sense of ownership,” he said. “If you see the good you can do picking up trash, you’re less likely to dispense trash. When you escape into the outdoors, but you go into a dump, it’s not very much fun.”