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Outdoor Club takes on new adventures

Photo of Outdoor Adventure Club Members at Hamilton College

In April, Outdoor Adventure Club members visited Hamilton College’s ropes course and climbing wall. Front row: Mr. Misiaszek, Mrs. Dunn-Jones, Felicia Leavitt, Sadie Lincourt, Yan Chen. Back row: Dr. Sanders, two Hamilton College student guides, Mrs. Korba, Mrs. Sanders, Drew Vilardi, Allison Ford, Amanda Dahl, Emily Connor, Travis Willams, two Hamilton College student guides.

Outdoor Adventure Club at Central Valley Academy kicked off their first year with great activities. Under the direction of  Outdoor Adventure Club Advisor Wendy Sanders, students participated in trips to the Catskill Mountains, Osceola Ski Center and Hamilton College.  Club members worked hard at fundraising making nearly enough money to cover the cost of all their trips.

Off to the Catskills

The club’s first adventure was in October where 22 participants traveled to the Catskills stopping at the Hunter Mountain Ski Center and then heading to Becker Hollow Trailhead.  The trail climbed steadily to the highest fire tower in New York State at 4,040 feet. The weather remained cool and sunny throughout the day, with strong 20+ mph winds on top of the tower. After lunch and group photos, it was time to head down the steep, leafy-covered rocks. After hiking for almost three hours students were ready to board the bus making another quick stop at the ski lodge before driving into Cobleskill. Upon arriving in Cobleskill students indulged in amazing cookies during their visit to Grapevine Farms. Their first adventure concluded with a dinner stop at McDonald’s before heading back to CVA. The students have a fabulous time and declared their inaugural adventure a success!

Ready to hit the snow

A trip to Osceola Ski Center was the second adventure for the club where 10 participants took on cross country skiing in January. This was a true challenge to try out their skills (or lack of skills) at one of the best cross-country ski centers in New York State.  Having received over 170 inches of snow so far by January, Osceola Ski Center had perfectly groomed trails and wonderful ski conditions.  The temperatures had finally risen into the 20’s, after a week of being below zero.  After fitting everyone with boots, skis and poles, they headed out to the trails.  The first obstacle was a small bump that proved to be a major hill for most newbies.  After many contortions in the snow, they all moved on to a flatter trail.  Students took to this new activity to varying degrees of success.  After a well-earned lunch break, almost everyone went back out to try the hillier trails. The day ended with everyone gathered together inside the ski lodge watching the end of the SU game.

Film festival gets rave reviews

The third adventure included 13 participants who traveled to Hamilton College during February break where they viewed a selection of films from the award winning Banff Film Festival World Tour. The film festival highlighted extreme outdoor adventures.  The showings ranged from 4 to 45 minutes, including some of the following adventures:  Kayaking down 150 foot waterfalls,  skiing and paragliding on desperately steep powder slopes, climbing one of the last great mountains in Antarctica, high-adrenaline mountain biking with interesting flora and fauna identifications along the way, portraying the plight of the majestic Colorado River, documenting the unique adventure of 2 Norwegians who spent a long, dark, cold winter on a private, remote arctic island surfing, snowboarding, and clearing the beach of debris, and a heart-warming film about Elizabeth Hawley; a 90 year old woman who has lived in Katmandu for the past 53 years, chronicling every Himalayan Expedition.   The evening was hugely entertaining, and may turn out to be a very popular trip for the club in the future.


The club’s final adventure took them back to Hamilton College in April to participate in the Mark Cox Memorial Challenge Course which is a group experiential activity. The ropes course focuses on leadership/followership skills, communication and group processing, improving trust, and some healthy risk-taking. Students also had a chance to test their strength on the indoor climbing wall. They scaled up the 3,000-square-foot state of the art climbing wall wearing special shoes, harnesses and belay devices after receiving specific instructions on climbing safety. The day wrapped up exploring the lovely Hamilton College campus.

Below are some photos of Adventure Club members at the Mark Cox Memorial Challenge Course and rock wall at Hamilton College.