Student writer Hannah Katz ’21, an Outing Club leader, describes a weekend camping trip held right in her own backyard — on campus in the Glen.

Two weeks ago, I participated in an overnight training for leading Glen camping trips. On Oct. 2, Emma Szegvari ’21, Asha Grossberndt ’21, and I put these skills to use during the first Glen outing open to all students.

On Friday afternoon, we met our nine participants at the Glen House to pack personal and group gear while getting to know each other. We brought lots of layers in preparation for a night with temperatures in the low 40s, as well as stoves to cook our delectable camping favorites and sleeping bags to stay warm in our own personal tents (along with many other things). Everyone wore masks and maintained social distancing. 

We left the Glen House around 5 p.m. and walked through the woods, crossed a stream, and climbed a ladder to the secret campsite spot — our humble abode for the night. Once we arrived at the campsite we pitched our tents and started cooking. After shedding tears while cutting onions, and literally watching water try to boil, we enjoyed our Annie’s Mac and Cheese © with sautéed onions by our bonfire. Some people also ate the legendary “meat stick,” an Outing Club and orientation classic.

As it began to cool off, we layered up and enjoyed some hot cocoa by the fire. Once it got fully dark, we broke out the marshmallows and everyone’s attention shifted to roasting the perfect s’more. We talked for hours about the (almost) full moon and astrology, classes and clubs on campus, movies and TV shows, and the deeper conversations that campfires tease out, like hopes, fears, and dreams for the future.

As the sky cleared up, we stared up at constellations and relaxed after an always busy week. After putting the fire out, we went to our individual tents and snuggled down in our sleeping bags for the night.

I awoke the next morning to the sound of birds, but still darkness. Then I realized I must have been a little chilly during the night because I had buried my head in my sleeping bag, and the opening was about a foot above me. I crawled out of my sleeping bag and tent into a light but steady drizzle. Then we all worked on heating water for oatmeal (and hot chocolate for those who had saved some), taking our tents down, and packing up to head back to campus. We left our woodland home and within 20 minutes were once again walking down Martin’s Way in our full packs and rain gear.

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