Club Spotlight: Villanova Outdoors Club


Courtesy of @villanovaoutdoors on Instagram

VOC members featured on a Labor Day trip to Delaware Water Gap.

Tallulah Laska, Staff Writer

While Villanova’s campus is in the middle of a bustling suburban area, what many students do not know is that it is also close to some excellent outdoor experiences. For any student who wants to hike, ski or just hang out outside, the Villanova Outdoors Club (VOC) is the way to do it. 


VOC has multiple outings each weekend, ranging from ski trips at Big Boulder Mountain to hikes at Delaware Water Gap. They also host indoor events, such as paintballing and ice skating. VOC President Ryan Corsello explained that the hike at the Delaware Water Gap is a club favorite. They took this trip just a few weeks ago.


“We spent the unusually warm November day trekking over the mountain,” Corsello said. “We admired the views of the fall foliage surrounding the Delaware river and ate Wawa sandwiches at the peak while debating ‘Italian ice v. Water ice.’” 


Corsello described how he originally got involved with VOC. He has been the president for two semesters, but he originally started out like everyone else his freshman year.


“I vividly remember going to the first general body meeting the fall of my freshman year,” Corsello said. “In true Outdoors Club fashion, the meeting was held outside, at night. We were all crowded around the Oreo as previous executive members passionately gave their spiel about the club. That night, I signed up for my first trip, and the rest is history.”


VOC welcomes anyone to join the club. It has a large email list, and each weekend, an email is sent about the trips planned for the following weekend. Transportation is always provided. Trips are mostly free, unless the activity itself costs money. 


Things like paintball, ice skating and skiing cost money but are typically big hits with the crowd. These more niche activities also tend to attract a different crowd than the regularly scheduled hikes. Junior Sally Ketterer is a VOC Trip Leader and discussed going ice skating with VOC and how its uniqueness has influenced the trip-planning. 


“Ice skating is always a good time, especially when it’s with some of the most intriguing people on campus,” Ketterer said. “I think we are going to add more variety in the non-hiking trips we offer.”


VOC’s mission is, of course, to get students outdoors. However, it recognizes that not every student will have the physical capacity to do certain activities, like hiking, every weekend. The club does not want to limit anyone’s ability to take a break from school and spend time with nature, so it is working towards diversifying the array of activities offered. 


“Where I really see the club making developments is in efforts to be more inclusive,” Corsello explained. “We recognize that many of our activities are physically demanding, and that this may prevent some students that want to get involved with the club from doing so. Our mission as the Outdoors Club is to get as many students outside as possible, because we believe that there is a very real emotional benefit to having that occasional time away from school and work.” 


The Outdoors Club is expanding. The trips and activities are growing, and VOC is always looking for more members. Anyone interested in joining VOC can click the link in its Instagram bio, @villanovaoutdoors, or email [email protected] to be added to the email list.