Concordia Outdoors Club Strives for Inclusivity in its Activities

The Group Hopes to Welcome Nature Enthusiasts of All Levels

Concordia’s Outdoors Club offers a range of activities including hikes and chalet outings, geared towards outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Courtesy Concordia Outdoors

Clubs on campus are one of the crucial elements of student life that not only improve people’s experience, but can also introduce them to new Concordians with similar interests. As the school year comes to a close, there are many clubs that have grown and welcomed new members.

One of those organizations is Concordia’s Outdoor Club, a group dedicated to having fun and informative experiences in nature. Their events feature a wide variety of outdoor activities that also encourage people to embrace the outside world around them.

Fourth-year English literature student and club president Hannah Sourbeer has been in love with the outdoors her whole life. She discovered the club in her freshman year and said it enabled her to not only meet a community that was passionate about the same lifestyle as her, but to also learn more about the outdoors.

“I was at the club fair when I first discovered it,” said Sourbeer. “Everyone was super nice and welcoming right off the bat and I fell in love immediately. I came on the winter chalet trip that same year and after that I just kept coming to as many events as possible.”

While now an all-around outdoors club, sailing used to be the dominant activity. There were still a handful of hikes planned in the beginning, but as the club grew in numbers, more events were organized. Sailing president, Emma Francoeur spoke about how water sports and the outdoors complement each other .

“It’s really cool to have these two sides to the club,” said Francoeur. “Having this variety just encourages people to enjoy the outdoors in all seasons and that’s what we aim to do.”

This year, the club hosted outings ranging from hikes to chalet trips, and even a trip to Domaine de la Forêt Perdue, a scenic 14-kilometer skating trail near Trois-Rivières. They hope to keep expanding, and coming up with new and exciting ways to encourage the student body to interact with each other and the outdoors.

“There’s always events that we can only imagine but we can’t really organize because of logistics, budget, or a million other things,” said Vice-President Jodie Couture. “We all come up with some great ideas and maybe some time in the future those awesome events could become a reality.”

The group wants to be able to reach a wider audience of nature lovers, making the club more accessible to all. Courtesy Concordia Outdoors

Francoeur and Couture will be heading the club when Sourbeer graduates. Sourbeer has all the confidence in the world that she will be leaving the club in able and passionate hands.

“These girls are amazing and such an absolute joy to work with,” she said. “I’m definitely going to miss the club but it hurts a little less knowing that it’s going to be under great management.”

“The club life for me has been really rewarding and I’m super happy that I got involved. I want to live and work and just spend my life in the outdoors so this was clearly the club for me,” said Sourbeer. “I really wanted to become an exec because I wanted to introduce people to this great club that we have a plan lots of fun events together. We did that and I know for a fact that Jodie and Emma will do that too.”

From welcoming foreign exchange students, to holding introductory courses for beginners and curious students, the Outdoors club has made strides to not only become more accessible, but more inclusive to everyone as well. They have pushed to be more inclusive in the events they organize in hopes of becoming more inviting to every level of outdoor enthusiast.