Adventure Hungry but Lacking Experience?

With its proximity to the Appalachian Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Chattooga River, the Blue Ridge Parkway and countless other scenic destinations, Athens, Georgia is a great place to get into the outdoors.  If you’ve never been backpacking, boating or even camping, you can find adventures of all levels within a few hours’ drive of this college town.  The only thing stopping you is lack of local knowledge.  It’s hard to just dive into the world of outdoor adventure when you don’t know where to go.  That’s where the Georgia Outdoor Recreation Program comes in—familiarly known as GORP, this program at the University of Georgia is the perfect jumping-off point for beginners to get a taste of what’s available to them in the area.

From beginner backpacking trips to advanced whitewater kayaking trips, from rock climbing to hang gliding, anyone can find an activity that interests them.  The trips are all reasonably priced and include transportation and leadership costs. Trip leaders are trained with a minimum of first aid and CPR, and many of them have years of experience already in their field of interest.  As the trip leaders, we cater to what the participants want: if they want a learning experience, I tell them everything I know; if they need someone to take them somewhere they’ve never been and they don’t even care what my name is, I just let them follow me to our destination.

Personally, I love being a GORP leader.  I get to lead trips to my favorite places, talk to people who enjoy the things I love, and get exposed to new activities I might have been afraid to try otherwise. If I couldn’t be a GORP leader, the next thing I would do would be sign up for every GORP trip I could get my hands on… For example, the backpacking trip to Cumberland Island over UGA’s fall break, led my none other than yours truly.  See you there!

Lindsay Ward

Lindsay, one of our guest bloggers, is a GORP leader at UGA.

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