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A successful year for Outdoor Adventure Club

Photo of 2014-15 CVA Adventure ClubCentral Valley Academy Outdoor Adventure Club provided students with exciting, new, and challenging activities this year.  It is the club’s second year active under the direction of CVA science teacher Wendy Sanders. Students in the club held fundraisers to offset costs of the activities.

“Our fundraising efforts left us in a position to offer all of our trips virtually free to any club member,” said Mrs. Sanders.  “We want to thank everyone who contributed for their support.”

Taking on a mountain in the Catskills

The first Outdoor Adventure Club trip of the year was Oct. 18 to climb Balsam Lake Mountain in the Catskills.  Fifteen participants had the privilege of enjoying the last remaining display of fall foliage on this beautiful October day.  Students reached the 3,754 foot fire tower on the summit of the mountain without much difficulty and decided to add a few extra miles by looping around the mountain.  Hiking for the day totaled about seven miles, with numerous side trips to “stack rocks” into cairns, and scrambling up some interesting rock formations.  Despite the scattered rain showers, the temperatures remained mild throughout the day and the sun did manage to come out for awhile.

The trip turned out to be a great adventure with an energetic group of participants.  The club would like to especially thank Mr. Peter Molesky, Mrs. Cindy Molesky, Mrs. Audrey Marcoux, Mrs. Rachon, and Dr. Brian Sanders for their help and offerings of encouragement, great conversations, yummy cookies, and other assorted foods.  It was a fabulous trip and students look forward to many more!

Gliding through the woods

On Feb. 17, 11 adventurous people traveled to Osceola Ski Center in Camden to cross-country ski.  It was nice to see plenty of white on the trails since the first trip was rescheduled due to lack of snow.  The extremely low temperatures that plagued the beginning of the winter break seemed to back off for the day, allowing the club to bask in 15 degree temperatures.

Outdoor Adventure Club arrived just as the ski center was opening allowing more assistance getting rental equipment taken care of.  Venturing out to the trail and what appeared to be a small rise became an extremely challenging hill for many new skiers.  After successfully getting everyone up and over that first rise, they headed down a flat trail to learn the skills of “kicking and gliding” on skis.  Everyone managed to work their way down most of the trail with varying degrees of mastery.

The rest of the day was spent sitting inside, cuddled underneath blankets, drinking hot cocoa, and eating cookies.  Most people ventured outside again to ski on some of the more challenging trails.  A special thank you goes to Ms. Harwick and Dr. Sanders for coming along and helping to make this a great day to be outside in the winter.

Banff Film Festival offers a break from the extreme cold temps

A group of 19 CVA Outdoor Adventure Club members and chaperones took over a corner of the Bradford Auditorium at Hamilton College on Feb. 18 to view a sold out assortment of 12 movies that were part of the Banff Film Festival World Tour.

Films included amazing coverage of LED lit-up skiers, a touching story of a veteran’s life after returning from war to spend his time fly fishing, two rock climbing films showing some extremely talented male and female athletes, crazy surfing in the Arctic, two unlikely adventure junkies who crossed the Indian Ocean in a row boat which capsized, resulting in them needing to swim to safety, a classic Danny McAlister video of one of his incredible mountain biking feats, a documentary film on the drought-ridden Colorado River and the chasing of its meager flow, a fun-seeking paraglider, and an inspirational amputee whose skiing skills put most able-bodied people to shame.

The variety of films was wonderful, and the evening out at Hamilton College was a nice diversion to the bitter cold days that had been plaguing most of the winter break.  We would like to thank Mrs. Guidi, Mrs. Gay, and Dr. Sanders, who accompanied this group of CVA adventure seekers.

Reaching new heights

On Apr. 2 a group of 20 people participated in the Hoffman Challenge High Elements Ropes Course at Cornell University’s Team and Leadership Center.  The temperatures rose into the high 50’s, which happened to be the warmest weather in over 4 months.  Due to the significant snows and cold temperatures throughout the winter, there was a great deal of snow to maneuver around.

The centerpiece of the facility was a 64-foot high replica of Cornell’s McGraw Tower, complete with a “tree fort” platform, rappelling stations, 400-foot double zip lines, and a 40-foot giant swing.  To climb up into this tower, there were a few options, including a difficult climbing wall.  Many Outdoor Adventure Club members challenged themselves with the 40-foot giant swing, which required a jump off the 64 foot platform, free fall for over 20 feet, and then be caught by the rope swing.  There were numerous other elements that people tried, including high balance wires and beams that inspired some serious noodle combat.

The facility had a yurt that was used for group gatherings, including a quick lunch break.   Upon completion of the course, stopping in Ithaca for a quick bite to eat, the group headed back to CVA.  The trip turned out to be a wonderful experience for everyone who participated providing opportunities to step beyond personal past perceived limits and reach new heights.   The club would like to thank Mr. Greco and Mr. Misiaszek for helping to make the day great fun.