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Chico State

Adventures on Whiskeytown Lake

   By Charles Finlay, AO Marketing and PR Coordinator

Recently I had the pleasure of leading a trip for a group of students who all shared in common a leadership position in the CSU Chico community. Members of the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) made up the majority of participants, but there were also representatives from organizations such as Community Legal Information Center (CLIC) and our own KCSC Radio. Our destination was the wonderful Whiskeytown Lake; our objectives were teambuilding and good times on the lake.

At the helm we had Keith Crawford, our fearless trip leader and Adventure Outings’ new assistant coordinator. This trip marked Keith’s first trip as a leader for Adventure Outings and my first trip as an assistant leader for the fall 2012 semester.

Whiskeytown Lake is a beautiful lake just west of Redding. After a drive of less than two hours, then circumnavigating the crystal clear lake, we found our campsites. Occupied. While the park management resolved the issue, we decided to get in the water. I don’t think any of our participants had much experience on stand-up paddle boards or in canoes, but Whiskeytown Lake proved to be a perfect introduction.  Everybody quickly built confidence.

Then Keith introduced our first team-building initiative. The objective was to somehow fit all nine of student government group into a canoe built for two. After three attempts, success was achieved.

Aside from the comical visual, the activity gave us further insight into teamwork: First, we learned that it is necessary to take a step back and observe the problem. Second, to take into consideration everybody’s input – most solutions are a collective effort, not the representation of a single individual. And third, that complex problems are solved by maintaining positive attitudes and persistence on a team level. Our group of campus leader was able to take away some important concepts related to teamwork as well as friendships that will no doubt serve them well as they work together in the semesters to come.

By the end of our teambuilding shenanigans, the campsite situation had been sorted. Our campsite was perfectly situated on the lakeshore, allowing us to paddle around during the sunset. Sunset was absolutely wonderful. For dinner, our team of master-improv chefs prepared delicious burritos with pico de gallo. For dessert: fresh-baked brownies. We sat around watching the sky change colors from gold to orange, pink to purple, and eventually stars filled the clear mountain night.

As I reflect, I realize these are the weekends that stand out in my memory. Trips with Adventure Outings offers the opportunity to meet new people, build lasting relationships, and learn skills to interact with both people and nature.

We all pace up and down campus waiting for the weekend, when we can dress up, go out, and continue the cycle; it is not an easy one to break. Sometimes you just need to throw a wrench in the system. Do something new!

Adventure Outings makes a great wrench for throwing into systems. I encourage you to try something new. Come on an Adventure Outings trip, and I make you this promise: have an open mind and a hunger for the unexpected, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.