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Shawnee State’s Hiking Club seeks outdoor enthusiasts

Photo courtesy of Ashlynn Pfau
Members of SSU’s Hiking Club finish last spring’s annual last hike of the school year at Hocking Hills. Participants include (from left) Regan Zeiber, Bengi Trout, Nathan Taylor, Callie Link, Sofia Mikhailichenko, n/a, Eric Jackson, Logan Brown and Ashlynn Pfau.

For Shawnee State students who enjoy the outdoors and want to find a community that shares their outdoor interests, the Hiking Club is a fantastic option. Members of the club try to plan at least one hike a month, typically meeting on Sundays at noon and spending the next few hours hiking. 

“This club is designed for people who like to be outside and get active in nature,” said Ashlynn Pfau, the president of the Hiking Club. “While it’s called the ‘Hiking Club,’ we also enjoy spending time kayaking, fishing and hopefully camping in the future.” 

Pfau’s role as the president of this student organization includes planning events, listening to and addressing any advice or questions and making sure people are able to get to the events. Members can communicate through a group Discord server, and Pfau encourages anyone interested in participating in the club to connect to the server and share their availability to participate.

All sorts of activities are possibilities when it comes to the Hiking Club,” she said. “While we mostly just hike day trails, I’d like to incorporate some variety within the club by introducing other outdoor recreations, like camping, fishing, archery and backpacking trips.”

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Pfau stated that the club is mostly dedicated to hiking, but clearly there are ideas in the works to add more outdoor activities. These additional activities will make it so that there are plenty of options for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. 

“You get to experience the outdoors with others who may know more about outdoors subjects,” Pfau said, identifying one benefit of joining the club. “This allows experienced hikers to share their knowledge and rack up miles and time on the trail while giving new outdoorsmen and women the opportunity to learn the ropes so that they may take it into their own lives, trying it out on their own. Being outside is also helpful when it comes to releasing stress, so connecting with nature and making friends are also benefits.”

This club is a good place for both experienced hikers and novices. Novices can gain confidence on the trail by hiking in a group, and experienced hikers can lend their encouragement and expertise to novices while gaining miles. This club is also a good option for students who are struggling with anxiety or stress because they will be able to exercise and spend time in nature in a community of people who value outdoor activities. 

Pfau encouraged potential new members to join the group.

“Time spent in the great outdoors is never wasted,” she said. “By joining this club, you get to meet amazing people, see amazing places, and make unforgettable memories.”

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Kendall Riley
Kendall Riley, Staff Writer
Kendall Riley is a Scioto County native and a Christian who values positivity, kindness and service. Riley considers herself to have a strong work ethic and love of God, which she hopes has helped her stand out in a way that’s authentic to herself. Her childhood love of literature has helped Riley develop a strong mind and love of language that she carries with her today. Despite her struggles with anxiety in high school, Riley has had a support system of educators who helped her through. Riley’s experiences with the educators who have supported her, like her mom and her friends, have shown her how impactful the confidence of an educator can be for a student, and she wants to be part of that impact. Riley believes she is called to love and serve others, so teaching is the perfect career path for her, especially when she can help students through tough times. In her free time, Riley loves to sing and read, and she is a member of the Illuminate club at Shawnee. Though she never thought she would develop skills in journalism, Riley is excited to uncover and showcase the more interesting parts of Shawnee while spreading positivity.

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