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4 Questions with Grand Canyon Excursion Trip Leader Julia Arsenault ’18
Students recently wrapped up a seven-day guided excursion to the Grand Canyon with the Recreation Services Outdoor Education Program. Julia Arsenault ’18 in the College of Arts and Sciences was the trip leader of the Grand Canyon excursion trip. During her time on campus, Arsenault was also a challenge course student supervisor for Recreation Services. We talked to Arsenault to learn more about the Grand Canyon experience.
01What did you do on the trip?
We spent a week exploring the Grand Canyon from many perspectives. This included three days and two nights of backpacking into the canyon and three days and two nights rafting through the canyon down the Colorado River. We hiked about seven miles down to the river and back over the full three-day backpack. During the trip, we learned new skills and techniques for outdoor adventures. In addition to this, the guides pointed out different geology around the canyon, identified animals and showed us different points in the canyon. While rafting, we pulled to the side at multiple points to check out cool spots in the canyon, including multiple waterfalls and rock formations. We hit multiple rapids while rafting, causing large adrenaline rushes and a lot of fun!
02What was your favorite part of the adventure?
Constantly throughout the trip, I was in awe of the sheer size of the Grand Canyon. It seemed to go on forever and we did not come close to seeing the whole thing. Everywhere we looked was beautiful and picture perfect. The most exciting part of the trip was rafting over the rapids on the Colorado River. In the final rapids of the trip, the entire paddle raft flipped, causing us to fall out and float on our backs down the river; it was one of the most fun parts of the trip! Our leaders were also incredible and able to not only help us survive and guide us, but show us unique parts of the canyon that would have been missed by our inexperienced eyes.
03How has the trip impacted your student experience?
This trip began the day after my graduation from Syracuse and it was the perfect way to wrap up my college experience. I was able to meet some awesome students and share a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was a great example of collaboration between Syracuse University and Northern Arizona University, which provided not only trip leaders but equipment, food and transportation throughout the entire trip. It also helped me learn more about experiencing and appreciating the outdoors and reminded me how much I loved being outside. This trip has inspired me to get outside more and enjoy the natural world around me, no matter where I am.
04How could students interested in programs like this get more involved with them on campus?
Recreation Services Outdoor Education Program runs great trips throughout the year which can allow students to meet others that also enjoy the outdoors. Students can learn to appreciate the nature of Upstate New York, which has a lot of natural beauty to offer. In meeting other students with similar outdoor interests, students can travel and create their own local and distant outdoor experiences. The Outdoor Education Program looks to create an experiential learning environment where students can explore and learn on their own, with some assistance from staff. This also helps create a sense of independence that is so necessary when moving off to college and the future beyond.
Follow @BeWellSU on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates or join the Outdoor Education listserv by contacting Scott Catucci, associate director of Recreation Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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