How Outdoors at UVa Works
Outdoors at UVa is funded through member dues and funding from the University of Virginia, and sometimes adventures are funded through participation fees. Most of the club's business and organization is done online; there's very little bureaucracy. Mostly we just get outside and do things! Here's how our club works:
Join the Club
You join the club online. All you need to do is tell us who you are and what kind of membership you'd like. This information is stored in our database. You then send us your membership fees and paperwork, and we activate your membership online. The website sends you an email welcoming you to the club and subscribes you to the members-only email list.
As a member, you'll receive emails when someone creates an adventure, and you can use the website to see what's planned. You'll sign up online whenever you see a adventure you like. You can go on as many or as few adventures as you wish. Most adventures have no participation fee; if there is a fee, it's due when you meet to depart for the adventure. Most expenses, such as lodging and gas for drivers, are paid by the club (there are caps on how much is reimbursed, but they often cover most or all of the gas costs, and generally all lodging for any camping fees). Gear is provided, and the website helps the adventure's leader organize things such as who needs gear, meal preferences, and so forth.
We lead LOTS of adventures, so there's always something to do! While we are busiest during the school year, trips still go out over summer.
Outdoors at UVA is run by members. As a member, you can lead whatever adventures you wish, and the officers are here to help you. As an added perk, if you lead four or more adventures during your (5 or 12-month) membership, the club will reimburse your membership fee! One of these trips must be an "introductory" trip. Climbing and kayaking trips require stricter approval to lead. Because our club receives significant funding from Student Council, we require that at least one student attend a trip in order that the trip have expenses be covered.
Though most members just want an inexpensive way to participate with other folks in fun outdoors activities, there are many other benefits, including discounts at local merchants, the ability to borrow our high-quality gear for free, network with other students and young professionals, and other perks. Many members form strong friendships that extend outside of the club.
More About the Club
If you're interested in becoming more active in the club, there many ways you can get involved, and we always need more good help. The easiest, and often the most rewarding, is to simply lead adventures yourself. It's extremely easy — just contact the officers and they'll give you permission to create adventures online, send you a how-to guide, and help in any way possible. There are benefits to leading adventures, too; you can get your membership money back, among other things. If you want to go beyond leading adventures, there's room for you in the officer's group, and there are special privileges that come with this too. Contact the officers, or come to a meeting, if you want know more.