Freddy Heredia — Staff Writer
While the winter season has had Southern students wondering day after day when winter temperatures will arrive, the season has also affected a club at Southern whose focus is surviving in the wilderness.
The pleasure of spending time in the wild was a big factor for a group of Southern students to create “The Extreme Wilderness Club.” Southern seniors and co-creators of the club, Glenn Paskiewicz and Matt Fitch, put it in their own hands to create a club where they can teach many students about wilderness survival.
Only starting the club in the 2011 fall semester, Paskiewicz and Fitch along with other club members attempted to unite weekly. At times, the club ventured out into the woods around Southern’s campus where the club would practice many different survival techniques—like rope tying, fire starting, and learning to create slings and use them. The Extreme Wilderness Club started positively, but because of the winter season the club is in a hiatus as of now.
“Well we started having meetings only last semester,, but this semester we’ll become official and start getting some funding,” Paskiewicz said. “But at this moment, not many people like being outside.”
Fitch said he believes with the spring coming, the club will start up again and will be able to continue what they started: learning and teaching others about wilderness survival.
Southern senior and member of the Wilderness Club, Kyle Pettinelli, said the club was meant to be educational and is disappointed the club was not able to continue this spring semester.
“We had a pretty good turnout every week last semester. But this semester [Glenn] tried to email everyone who signed up but unfortunately not many people were interested this semester,” Pettinelli said. “With Glenn being really busy with his senior art show, this semester there was a lack of interest. The club pretty much fell apart.”
With the members who first put together the club currently in their senior year, Pettinelli said attempting to re-open the club would be a difficult task without the leaders they had in fall.
Another member, senior Kenny Engelhard, agreed that while the club started as a fun thing to do with friends, it would be hard to continue with some of the members they had in the fall gone at the end of the year.
“It’s a tough club to keep together in the first place. There wasn’t that many people who were really motivated,” Engelhard said.
While the future of the club is in the ground for now, Engelhard said having the club for at least one semester was an experience that he thought benefited those who attended. Even if it didn’t last long, he said he hopes to continue some type of activity with those involved in the future.
“We would go on day hikes, camp out in the woods and making bonfires,” Engelhard said. “I knew a good amount of stuff from being in Boy Scouts—although it didn’t last too long—I fish, I hunt and I have a good background in it. Although the club is over, some of us still go hiking up West Rock. And now that the weather is getting better, we hope to go camping real soon over spring break.”