First-year Adventure Team member Laurel Roberts jumped into the world of adventure sports without hesitation. In her first few months of college, she tried everything from rock climbing to kayaking, Stand Up Paddleboarding, and hiking around the mountains of southwest Virginia. Here are her thoughts on the Adventure Team:
Q: How would you describe the community of the Adventure Team? What is it like to be a member?
It’s like a home away from home on campus. From the beginning of the year we created such a tight bond with each other and I feel that these relationships I have created will last a lifetime.
Q: What has participating in outdoor sports taught you about “real life?” Has it been a valuable part of your education so far?
I most definitely believe it has been valuable to my education. It has created an escape for me whether I’ve had a long week or I just need an afternoon off of campus. It has taught me that community and trust are very vital components of not only the team, but different aspects of life.
Q: Proudest achievements, favorite trips, biggest adventures?
One of my proudest achievements so far would definitely be getting my combat roll on the South Fork. I’m a still a beginner, so being able to do something that is so beneficial towards becoming a better paddler was something that got me very excited.
(The South Fork of the Holston River runs through nearby Damascus, VA and is a great introduction to whitewater kayaking)
Q: What are you looking forward to in the rest of your Adventure Team career?
I really hope to start getting into some higher class rapids. I feel like the only way that I can really prepare myself for those more complicated runs is to just go ahead and do them. I also would love to get more into some lead climbing, and begin improving my skills within that.
Q: If you could go anywhere in the world to hike, paddle, climb, etc., where would you go and what would you do?
I would love to paddle on lake Malawi. It has some of the clearest water in the world and it is in such a beautiful location. I’ve always wanted to go there, so being able to paddle there too would be amazing.