Map created by students in a journalism class.
Spring break has arrived, and Rebels are making their way all around the country to celebrate.
Some students, like sophomore accounting major Nathan Bell, are driving hours across the map for a change in scenery.
“My friends and I are going to Colorado this year instead of the whole beach thing like last time,” Bell said. “For sure it’s a long drive, but it’s nice being able to kick it in the snow.”
Senior business major Shanice Powell is also avoiding the beach this week. Powell is an exchange student from Germany and said she is excited to spend her first spring break in the United States.
“We don’t have it in Germany because our spring semester – we call it summer semester – doesn’t start until late March or even the beginning of April,” Powell said.
Powell said she is flying to Washington, D.C., over the break and knows her trip may not be the ideal spring break for a college student.
“There is nothing particular I’ve always wanted to do,” Powell said. “But I didn’t want to go to Florida to drink for five days straight and party like many people would.”
Ole Miss Outdoors is offering its own alternative to the warm beaches, big cities and snow-covered mountains toward which many students gravitate.
This spring break, OMOD will take students on two different wilderness expeditions – through the canyons of Utah and along the Buffalo River in Arkansas.
The group’s land-based trip will take place at Zion National Park in Utah, and students on the water-based trip will paddle canoes down the Buffalo River.
At Zion National Park, participants will hike through canyons called “The Narrows” and “Angel’s Landing.” On the canoe expedition, participants will spend six days on the river, stopping at pre-planned campgrounds throughout the trip.
Trip leader Mary Webb said the trips offer a way to get out of town and away from the typical party scene.
“I think that choosing to opt outside on a weekend is so much better for you physically and mentally,” Webb said. “I think everyone needs a little outdoor cleanse every once in a while.”
The cost of the trips includes round-trip transportation, as well as all meals, overnight gear, camping fees and guide costs. Both trips will set off from Oxford Friday afternoon.
“This is a great way for beginners to see what goes into a trip and see how they can go out and find places and camp on their own,” Webb said.
Webb said usually two trip leaders and an intern guide participants throughout the camping experience. Trip leaders are required to take a Wilderness First Responders course and acquire certification, as well as a semester-long course that covers training.
“I believe a lot of what you learn is through experience,” graduate assistant Francis Law said. “I feel like our trips are designed for the novice, and we try to make it welcoming for those who want to just give it a try.”
Many of OMOD’s trip leaders and staff have participated in school expeditions as campers and group leaders.
“I’ve been on three rock climbing trips,” OMOD intern Sarah Pringle said. “It’s one of my favorite things; I love that a lot. OMOD is what got me started with rock climbing, so that’s really cool.”
Senior management major Baylie Beebe said she signed up for a trip on her own and had a worthwhile experience.
“It was cool to meet other Ole Miss students who are all interested in outdoorsy things,” Beebe said. “I still see those people around. It’s a good way to meet new people.”