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Theme House Corner: The Outing Club

Photo Courtesy of Kirsten Gehl
Written by Thatcher Carter

Every year, the St. Lawrence Outing Club (OC) offers hundreds of trips and organizes dozens of campus-wide events. From Peak Weekend to the Great Titus Cool-Down, the Outing Club has been leading excursions in the North Country and beyond since 1937. Founded by students Anders Lunde and Joseph Norton, the SLU OC is the second-oldest in the country and remains a staple of St. Lawrence today.

Also known as the “Outhouse,” the 25 members of the club live in a theme cottage located at 58 Park St. and each lead a minimum of three trips per semester. Trips widely vary, but include hiking, skiing, and camping, as well as the occasional sweat lodge, cliff jump, or visit to the Wild Center.

Striving to reach as many students as possible, trips range from an hour-long nature walk to a week of backcountry skiing in Canada’s Chic Choc mountain range. With the help of house advisor, Mark Lowell, the club is almost completely student-run, giving its members creative license when thinking up new adventures to get the community off campus.

In addition to weekly trips, the Outing Club also puts together multiple campus-wide events each semester. To promote consent and start the year off right, the Outing Club partners with the Woman’s Resource Center (The Dub) every September to organize Wet Hot American Summer.

As the semester continues and the fall foliage arrives, house efforts shift to Peak Weekend. Peak Weekend is an annual event where the OC attempts to get at least one St. Lawrence student on the summit of each Adirondack High Peak. By the end of the weekend, on a successful year, all 46 peaks will have been summited.

Furthermore, the Outing Club organizes a yearly “Mustache Ride” to raise money for prostate cancer. It also puts together OC-tober Fest and the Halloween Tent Party, while wrapping up the year with a Holiday Dinner for the locals of Canton.

As school starts up again for the spring semester, the Outing Club focuses most of its attention on Titus. Often compared to Christmas, and recently featured in Powder Magazine, The Great Titus Cool-Down typically occurs in February or March. After months of planning, the weekend kicks off with a rail jam. Students gather on the quad and bear frigid temperatures to enjoy a hotdog on the grill and the entertaining sight of peers hucking off rails and jumps on skis. The next day, students load up on buses and head about an hour off campus to Titus Mt. Family Ski Area. Once you arrive at Party Mountain, the choice is yours— some bounce around to live music in the lodge while others stick to the skiing. Personally, I recommend both.

About the author

Thatcher Carter