Membership is open to all full and part-time students, faculty, staff, employees, and alumni of the University of Virginia, as well as members of the surrounding local community who are at least 18 years of age. Outdoors at UVA defines a local community member as a legal resident of one of the following locales: the cities of Charlottesville, Waynesboro, and Staunton; the counties of Albemarle, Green, Orange, Louisa, Fluvanna, Buckingham, Nelson, and Augusta within the state of Virginia.
Though most members just want an inexpensive and easy way to participate in fun Adventures with others, there are some additional benefits of being a member of the club.
Free-to-Borrow High-Quality Gear
Climbing Harnesses & Shoes
Trad Protection, Quickdraws, and Dynamic Ropes
Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, and Paddleboards
PFDs and paddles
Cross Country Skis
There are some limitations and requirements, but most of the time all gas is covered for Adventure drivers.
Discounts at Local Merchants
High Tor Gear Exchange (10%)
Endeavor Cycles (10%)
For questions about the merchant's discounts, please contact the merchant directly.
You can get your membership fee reimbursed when you become an Adventure Leader and lead four or more Adventures during membership period (ask an Officer for more details).
Friendship & Networking
Many members form strong friendships that extend beyond the confines of the club.
The first step is to create and account on the website. You'll receive an email confirmation that you've started an account, and be able to login on the site to edit your profile.
Secondly, electronically sign the waiver form by going to your profile and clicking the sign waiver link. (There are options for doing this physically, but keep in mind they'll slow down the process.)
Lastly, you will need to pay membership dues, also found in your profile. There are several options for membership lengths, choose one and pay your dues online to complete the membership activation process.
After those three steps are complete, you can begin to participate in Adventures. Most Adventures have no participation fee; if there is a fee, it will be due to the leader when specified in the Adventure details (most of the time this is at the start of the trip at the meeting point).
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 (though you're welcome to bring your own), and the website helps the Adventure Leaders organize logistics (who's driving, who needs what gear, meal preferences, and so on).
We enable lots of Adventures, so there's always something happening that you can participate in. We are busiest during the school year, but continue to have Adventures happening throughout the year.
Outdoors at UVA doesn't hold many “club meetings” , because we're focused on being in the outdoors (see our Mission Statement). We use our website and email list to manage the club, and the officers mostly communicate via email. Club trips are not mandatory and you are not required to attend them in order to join the club. However, we do hold several large information sessions every year, more so towards the beginning of each semester, as well as a few trip leader workshops throughout the semester.
Officers meet with members at our gear room 2-4 times a week so that members may check out (and check in!) gear on a regular basis. If you need to hand in waivers and dues, you may do so at these gear rooms. The regular gear room schedule is different every semester, so please email the officers at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to meet us at a gear room.
In addition to gear rooms, the officers hold 4-7 meetings a semester as needed. Officer meetings are generally closed to the general member body, but you may always notify us of an issue, and if necessary we can include you in a meeting.
If you can't attend the information sessions, don't worry! They are just for convenience and face-time between officers, members and potential members. You can join the club right here on the website.
Once you have created an account, you can visit your profile and click the waiver link to complete the process electronically. If you've already completed the waiver, it will show up as having been completed.
If you wish to complete the waiver physically instead, please download the PDF, print, sign and submit it either to our mailbox, the gear room, or during an info session meeting.
We do suggest you use the electronic version, as it's completely paperless and completes the process faster allowing you to quickly start Adventuring.
No, we are not affiliated with the Outdoor Recreation Center. They are a division of the Intramural-Recreational Sports, and are NOT a student club. Their trips are often more workshop oriented, and have a fee (reasonably priced) associated with them. They also rent gear (for a fee). If you are not a member of our club, you may consider renting through Outdoor Recreation.
Outdoors at UVA is funded through member dues and support from the Student Council of the University of Virginia.
Individual adventures are sometimes 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!
One of the most rewarding ways to participate in the club is to become an Adventure Leader. The process is painless and straightforward, you will need to
1 - Contact a Club Officer
2 - Attend an official club Leader Workshop
3 - Read the Trip Leader Manual
Once you've finished these, a Club Officer can promote your membership to Leader, and give you permissions to be able to create Adventures for others to join.
Please note: There are some Adventure types that require you to obtain Officer authorization for you to lead them.
Appropriate Club Adventures
Hiking / Backpacking
Kayaking / Rafting
Skiing / Snowboarding / Snowtubing
Going to the Ocean
Movie Nights must fulfill the following criteria:
1 - The movie is about the outdoors (for example = K2, The Eiger Sanction, Touching the Void)
2 - It's at a member's house
3 - It's part of an outdoors film fest
We usually have two per semester
Please ask before setting these up, some are more appropriately handled as an email to the club.
Capture the Flag
Allowed only when played at an outdoorsy location like the woods on O'hill. Not allowed through the club if played on a field or campus grounds.
Some types of Adventures require the Leader to get authorized to lead. That is, while you may have now become a Leader and can create new Adventures, there are some types of Adventures that need you to get authorized for. These include:
Rappelling / Top-Rope / Sport / Instructional or Beginners Climbing
White Water Sports
Kayaking / Rafting
Please see the Policies section of the Resources page for more information.
Note: If you are hiring a guide for any of these, you do not need to seek authorization, but please Email the Officers for individual Adventure approval before posting such a trip.
Not Appropriate for Club Adventures
Indoor Ice Skating
Soccer / Football / Volleyball / Basketball
Like Kings Dominion. We love them, and they are technically outdoors, but it's not the kind of activity we're about as a club.
Hunting / Shooting
Similar to theme parks, they are outdoors, but it's not an activity we want to focus on as a club. We encourage you to seek out some of the great hunting or shooting clubs at UVa and the nearby community for these particular activities.
The exceptions being movie nights and potlucks, under certain conditions.
Everyone starts somewhere. If you are learning a new skill and have never done this Adventure type before, this is the level for you.
Also a good level for a refresher for that activity you haven't done in quite some time, and just need to refresh yourself on the basics.
Now that you have gained a little experience, and have gained confidence in your abilities with this type of Adventure, you can begin to hone those skill further.
This level is for activities you do often, are fairly proficient at and may require a little more strenuous activity than that of a beginner Adventure.
Proficiency, stamina, and pushing ones skills with safety (and fun) in mind.
This level requires higher level of adeptness and stamina than the Intermediate Adventure level. Also includes Adventures that are intended to teach you to lead others, with safety and fun in mind.
These Adventures will be rare. No you don't have to make money doing that activity you love for this kind of Adventure. But the skill level required for these will be high, as will the Adventuring!
This level is for those that are already proficient, able to teach others to hone their skills, but desire to fine-tune their own skills and boundaries.
We conduct a yearly census to gather data on the demographics of the club. Our census data may not accurately convey the club as a whole because those who fill it out are likely more active members. According to data from our April 2023 census release:
95% Active Students
2% Community Members
4% Gender Non-conforming
The percentages total to over 100% as we allow our members to choose multiple options to describe their identity.
Everyone of our members is encouraged to participate in Adventures, but how many and how often is up to you. The main point is to give you the opportunity to connect and have fun outdoors, whenever you can!
Our Adventures are led by members of the club, most of whom are college students. Typical Adventures are planned 1 - 4 weeks in advance. You can get a feel for the types of Adventures that are planned by visiting the past adventures page. Current Adventures are only visible by account holders, and information and joining those Adventures is only open to Club Members.
Our official policy is to keep our trips Members-Only.
We encourage you to join. You won't regret it! Take a look at our memberships and you'll see they're ridiculously low for the quantity, quality and variety of Adventures that you're able to participate in. Especially when the majority of them are free to participate.
Our Adventures are member led, and some activities are either more popular or more frequent than others. Check our past adventures page to get a glimpse at any activity's frequency.
Check out our Activities page to get an overview of the Adventures we have. You can, of course, also go through the list of past Adventures as well.
Membership dues are non-refundable.
The only exception to this, is as a perk for Adventure Leaders who have led multiple Adventures in a specific given time.
We are sorry if your schedule suddenly filled up, and you're unable to join any trips. But because we are a member-run club, we can't (and don't) guarantee that you'll have fun or be able to participate in the Adventures scheduled by other members.
We do not rent gear to anyone.
Club Members can borrow gear for free (under certain conditions and restrictions).
Most Adventures are free.
If there are fees, usually they are to cover a third-party charge for the activity the Adventure is based on. For example, the jump/flight ticket to go Skydiving.
Many times we can get a discounted group rate for some of these activities, such as with lift tickets for skiing (and can sometimes arrange for discounts for season passes at Wintergreen, too).
"Echols Dorm: Brick Wall by Side Door", one of the main meeting places for Outdoors at UVA, is located directly accross from Gilmer Hall. It is at the corner of McCormick and Hancock Rd.