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Hiking & Lake Hopping During the Pandemic

September 24, 2021

Written by Sid Williamson, Hydaway Outdoor Center Manager

Last year, I got the chance to go on several hiking/camping trips with other staff members from the Hydaway Outdoor Center. We did a lot of hikes in the Amherst, Virginia area including Cole Mountain, The Priest (my personal favorite), Spy Rock, and Mount Pleasant. We also did a day trip to the Natural Bridge area where we hiked up the boulder rocks in Devil’s Marbleyard. So, I thought I’d share a little bit about my experience with you to help you plan your next trip!

Bring the Right Gear

When we would go on overnight camping trips, we would checkout gear from the Hydaway Outfitter. There is a detailed list of the equipment students can rent for a weekly, daily, or weekend rate available on the Campus Recreation website. The main items my friends and I would checkout included hiking backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and 2-man or 4-man tents. I recommend taking one of those sizes as opposed to the 6-man tents that are available because they can be very heavy for the person hiking with them in their hiking packs. Even though most of the weight should be felt on a person’s hips, it can still cause you to get more tired and fall behind due to how heavy the weight is (trust me, I would know!).

Hiking backpacks are very useful in holding all of the essential items needed for a camping trip. The backpacks at Hydaway are Kelty brand and offer many compartments. They are extremely spacious and make it possible to attach gear on the outside as well. I always carry food, extra clothing, a tent, and basic camping tools like a hatchet, knife, and lighter on the inside of my pack. I usually put my sleeping bag, sleeping pad, pillow, and water bottle on the outside of my pack especially when I go on longer trips that require more gear in my pack.

Another piece of gear we usually take with us is a jet boil. They are a great investment, especially when you are camping in the wintertime and want to make something warm to eat! My personal favorite is using them to heat up my soup. You can use them to boil water and add to food like oatmeal or drinks like hot chocolate, tea, and coffee. Jet boils have to have a canister of fuel attached to the bottom of them. We would be glad to show you how to assemble your jet boil or any other gear that you own or rent from us!

Lake Hopping in Amherst

Something else I found fun to do during last year was “lake hopping” which has now become one of my favorite memories. I had gone into the Charlottesville area to visit with my grandparents back in the summer. On the way back to Lynchburg, I was sick of being on a main highway, so I got off and went on the back roads thinking they would lead me somewhere. I didn’t just go onto a random road without any sense of direction. I remembered some of the roads because they were the same ones my friends and I had taken on the hiking trips I listed above.

As I was driving along, I saw a sign that said Mill Creek Public Fishing Lake. After I got home, I searched “public fishing lakes in Amherst, Virginia” (because I couldn’t remember the full name). To my surprise there were three different lakes that popped up which were all within a few minutes’ drive from each other. One nice evening, my best friend and I decided we would drive out there, eat Chick-fil-a, go “lake hopping”, and watch the sunset.

Out of all three lakes, Mill Creek was definitely the biggest and the prettiest. This particular lake is open to anyone. They also have grills set up for people to use and a public swimming area. My friend and I are planning to go back to Mill Creek Lake once the leaves are back on the trees, and it’s a little warmer outside. This time, our plan is to bring paddleboards, life vests, and charcoal from the Hydaway Outdoor Center and spend the whole day at the lake with some Chick-fil-A of course.

So, if you’re looking for a new adventure, I highly recommend any of these trips! Don’t forget to check out the Hydaway website to view the gear you can check out from The Outfitter, and visit Liberty.edu/Outdoor-Adventure/ to view our staff-led trips for the semester!

The Benefits of Intramural Sports

September 16, 2021

Written by Kailey Bandara, Intramural Sports Manager

As a manager who has played and worked for Intramural Sports, I can say first-hand that there are many benefits to participating in Intramural Sports. Not only did it help create hundreds of memories with teammates and coworkers, but it was also the perfect starting point to getting involved on campus. Here are four of the major benefits of participating in Intramural Sports:

Meet New People

College is a time of transition. Getting plugged in can be a daunting task when navigating class schedules and settling into a new dorm or apartment. The person you sit next to in class can become your best friend, but sometimes it can be a lot harder than that to form friendships and meet new people. Speaking from a place of personal experience, joining an Intramural team opened the door to having opportunities every week to make memories in a fun and competitive environment. You can join a team with your hall or play the role of “General Manager” and add people to your team that you have met from other places on campus. Whichever route you choose by building a team or joining one, you will never know the fun and lifelong friendships you can build when you decide to participate in Intramural Sports.

Great Source of Exercise & Stress Relief

Through the craziness of classes and other responsibilities students might have during their time at Liberty, it can be difficult to get a healthy amount of exercise into their weekly routines. While going to the gym to workout is a good solution, doesn’t playing a game with friends twice a week sound more fun? Whether a student is running down the field to catch a touchdown pass or dribbling the ball down the court on a fast break, Intramural Sports provides a great source of exercise every week without even lifting a weight. In addition to exercise, participating in Intramural Sports is also a great way to manage stress and to give a student a quick break from their studies. Many students have used their weekly Intramural Sports games as a way to relieve the stress of school, life, or whatever else they are dealing with.

Work AND Play

One of the newer benefits to participating in Intramural Sports is that we now offer the students the opportunity to play in the sport that they work. This means that if a student is working for basketball as a referee, they can also create or join an Intramural basketball team and enjoy playing in the league. This means you can still get your work hours in AND relieve a little stress in the same night. This policy allows students to have the best of both worlds — to both compete and work in their favorite sport.

Free T-Shirt Opportunity

The general consensus about college students is that they are obsessed with opportunities for free t-shirts. Whether it is their attendance at a Liberty basketball game or staying until the fourth quarter at a football game, t-shirts are a huge motivating factor for college student’s participation. This remains the same for Intramural Sports. Many students have expressed their determination to win the championship in their league because of the bragging rights that wearing an Intramural Champion t-shirt brings.

Intramural Sports is a great contribution to a student’s college experience. Because of its influence on building friendships, promoting a healthy lifestyle, and providing a fun competitive environment, Intramural Sports has become a huge factor in what students look forward to every year. Have we convinced you to sign up? Visit Liberty.edu/IMS to learn more about Intramural Sports & register for the Fall Season!

Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip

September 2, 2021

Written by Maria Campanella, Assistant Director of Hydaway

Here in Lynchburg, the Blue Ridge Mountains are right in our backyard. For those of you who love to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, this is an extended weekend trip along the Ridge region with ideas of things to do along the way, places to camp, and overlooks that are worth the stop.At this point, everyone knows about the Blue Ridge Parkway and the beauty of it at every time of year. It really is one of the gems of living

Camping Spots

The Peaks of Otter Campground is located at Mile Marker 85.6 along the parkway. They allow tent camping here from the months of May to September, so right around the corner! It is only $20 a night and the campsites have picnic tables, fire rings, and on-site bathrooms. When coming from Bedford, you can follow route 43 to the parkway and the campground is on the left — right before you reach the parkway. You can reserve your spot here.

Sherando Lake Group Camp is another great place in the Blue Ridge Mountains to camp when on the Parkway. It is a bit pricier at $50 a night, but the campsites are bigger, there are on-site bathrooms, and there is a lake at this site for boating, fishing, and swimming! You can book your reservation for this campsite here. These campsites are available April through October!

Stops Along the Way

For those of you that enjoy hiking, there are many hikes to pick from along the Ridge region of the parkway. Here is the extensive list, but a few of them look especially great!

  • Flat Top Trail at Mile Post 83.5 is a 4.4-mile moderate hike with beautiful views. I personally have done this hike, and I can confirm that it is a beautiful view!
  • Harkening Hill Trail is another one on this list that would be great. It starts at the Peaks of Otter Welcome Center and is a 3.3-mile moderate hike.
  • The last one on the list that looks especially great is the Fallingwater Cascades Trail which is a 1.6-mile loop with a great view of the cascades.

Along with hikes, there are many attractions to visit in Virginia that are located along the parkway such as the Virginia Safari Park, the National D-Day Memorial, and Wintergreen Resort. Depending on when you take this trip along the parkway, you can enjoy the safari park, take a guided tour at the memorial, or even go skiing at Wintergreen.

Overlooks

Not everyone likes hiking, so I wanted to make sure I included a list of spots right off the road that is great to stop at for a scenic moment! Ravens Roost Overlook is a beautiful place to park with no hiking necessary. Pine Tree Overlook is in Bedford County, located in the Ridge region of the parkway that is another great place to stop. Lastly, Rock Point Overlook, which is only 15 minutes from Wintergreen if you decide for that to be one of your destinations along the parkway. The great thing about the Blue Ridge Mountains is that there really is no bad place to stop, and there are overlooks around every turn along the parkway.

Perfect Day or Weekend Trip

The great thing about this is you don’t have to have a full weekend. The Blue Ridge Parkway can be a short couple-hour trip, or it can even be a week-long trip with stops in all the different towns it runs through. Either way, I highly recommend taking advantage of all that the parkway has to offer!

Preparing for Your First Rock Wall Visit

August 20, 2021

Written by Kylie Tidmore, Rock Wall Monitor

In the two years that I have worked at the LaHaye Rock Wall, I have encountered countless people that “really want to come climb, but they are nervous or intimidated.” I have heard countless people say they wish they had taken advantage of the rock wall while they had the opportunity.

First of all, at the wall we love new climbers! Most people will agree that the best part of climbing is the community—and you being a part of that community will only make the experience better! If you’re nervous, use this blog to learn some basic rock wall lingo as well as some at home exercises you can do to prepare for your first rock wall visit.

Checking In

When you come to the rock wall, the first thing you will see is our silver desk, shining brightly with the sun’s reflection. We will be sitting behind it, smiling, and ready to welcome you in! You will have the option to climb on the bouldering wall, the grasshopper board, or the auto-belay tower.

We do have free shoe rentals as well, but a lot of climbers do bring their own shoes. If you find yourself wanting to pursue this sport, check out some great options for climbing shoes on REI’s website!

Bouldering and Hold Types

Bouldering is a shorter version of climbing. When bouldering, no ropes are used and the climber falls safely onto a padded surface when they are done. The bouldering wall, as well as the tower, is covered in brightly covered rocks that we call holds. If you were to walk around and try out these holds, you would notice that there are different shapes and grips required to use these.

Jug

The easiest hold is called a jug and is a deep pocket in a rock where you are able to hold on well.

Crimp

Another type is called a crimp, where the rock is a thin edge on the top and the climber may only be able to get their fingertips on the hold.

Pinch

Another type is called a pinch, where the climber has to literally pinch the hold to stay on. The last major hold we often use is a sloper, which looks like a ball, and the climber has to hold with an open palm.

Exercises to Get You Ready

Climbing uses a unique set of muscles other exercises typically do not utilize, including hand and finger strength. Going into climbing slowly and carefully, with adequate warmups, is crucial to avoid straining a weak muscle that has not been trained yet. Pushups are a popular exercise for climbers because they counteract the muscles used to pull the climber up the wall. Climbers also like using hangboards which are specifically designed for rock climbers to train and condition for climbing. During quarantine, I found myself hanging on door frames and bricks that stuck out from my house, as a makeshift hangboard. Doing these exercises builds up finger strength, but again should be done gradually. Another easy ‘diy’ is taking a block of wood and attaching a rock, or other weight to it, and seeing how long you can pinch it (mimicking a pinch or sloper hold). If you’re serious about training, check out this link from REI on creating your own hangboard at home!

See You Soon!

Now that you have become more familiar with how the LaHaye Rock Wall operates, I hope you will have the confidence to come and see us this semester! Again, we love welcoming new people and want to help you fall in love with climbing just like we have! Grab some friends who are up for a challenge and head to the wall. Want to experience a class first? Check out our Fall 2021 offerings here!

Three Diverse Waterfall Hikes for the Weekend

August 6, 2021

Written by Carter Brackman, Hydaway Outfitter Manager

Do you ever have the itch to get outside, to feel the fresh air flow through your lungs? Virginia is the place that can provide a solution to that problem. Virginia is loaded with hundreds of different hiking trails, from the coast of Virginia Beach to the mountains of Shenandoah.

It is one of our goals to provide a diverse grouping of trips so that every person has the opportunity to experience the outdoors in a positive way — each person is made uniquely by the Creator, and there are certain outdoor activities that may not appeal to everyone. The same can be said of hiking. There are hikes for all different types of people. So, if you’ve been dying to get on a trail but couldn’t figure out which one to pick, we have some recommendations for you!

Saint Mary’s Waterfall

Saint Mary’s Waterfall is one of the most beautiful, well-mapped hikes in Virginia. It is an easy hike with very little elevation gain. The trail is located in Raphine, VA which is about an hour and a half drive from Lynchburg. It makes for a great one-day trip. The trail itself begins just off of Saint Mary Rd; there is a large kiosk that gives all the information that you will need to know about the trail and how you can get back to your car safely. The trail follows along a stream that is fed by the waterfall itself. The trail also weaves over this stream for 1.8 miles as you get closer to the waterfall. Make sure you bring slip-resistant shoes as the majority of the hike is rocky and wet as a result of the waterfall and stream.

All-in-all, it is around a 4-mile hike with little elevation and beautiful views the entire time. This would be a great hike for someone with a desire to get outside and take it slow.

Upper Shamokin Falls and Morgan’s Loop

Upper Shamokin Falls is a 1-mile loop trail located very close to Wintergreen Resort. The hike is officially in Nellysford, Virginia which sits in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains/Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a short 1-mile hike that actually starts at a high elevation and loops down to the mountain top where the waterfall is. It is a trail that is used for hiking in addition to trail running. This hike is a bit steep and will require caution and a slower pace. But the view at the bottom is gorgeous. This would be a great hike for a group who wanted to do a “destination hike”.

Wintergreen is around one hour away from Lynchburg and offers some great activities for people to do. The hike at Upper Shamokin Falls could be paired with some dinner at Wintergreen Resort or any of the other local restaurants. Make sure you also check out the “One Minute Overlook” and “Raven’s Roost” overlooks off the Blue Ridge if you have the time!

Lower White Oaks Falls

Lastly is Lower White Oaks Falls. This is a 3-mile out and back hike located in Syria, Virginia. This trial is around 2 hours and 15 minutes away and is located within Shenandoah National Park. Just a heads up, Shenandoah National Park charges a fee to enter. These fees are either $35/vehicle or $15/person. You could also purchase a park-specific annual pass for $55 if you anticipate going back to the National Park multiple times during the next year.

It is the most difficult recommendation in this list given the distance and elevation gain throughout the duration of the hike. The trailhead begins at the Whiteoak Canyon Lower Parking lot. There are some areas that are rocky and difficult to traverse. There are also some stream crossing sections so be prepared to get wet. You will need to pack snacks, water, and an extra pair of clothes to sustain you during the hike. This is a hike that we would recommend to someone who desires a slight challenge and desires to be “in the elements”.

We hope you take advantage of these hikes in a safe, fun way!

Using a Treadmill for a Great Workout

July 26, 2021

Written by Heather Salvia, Associate Director of Fitness & Programs

On those days when you can’t workout outside, a treadmill can be a great indoor exercise tool. If you have ever thought working out on a treadmill sounds boring, you aren’t alone, but here are a couple of engaging, versatile workouts with varying intensity to try on the treadmill next time you are stuck indoors.

The Walk-Run

This workout is good for someone who doesn’t love to run for long periods of time, or someone getting back into running. The alternating of walking/running will also break up the impact. Incline can be between 0-2 or more if desired.

  • Start off with a 1-mile warm-up – light jog around 4.5mph
  • At the 1-mile mark, boost up your speed (between 5.5-6.5mph) for ¾ of a mile
  • Turn the speed down to brisk walking pace and walk for ¼ mile
  • Repeat this interval (can increase speed during the run beyond 6.5 if fitness level allows) for between 20-45 minutes
  • Cool down with a 1-mile walk

Mile Repeats

This workout is good for anyone who is looking into increase their speed in running or just looking for an overall good workout. Incline can be between 0-2 or more if desired.

  • Start off with a 1-mile warm-up – light jog around 4-4.5mph or a comfortable pace
  • Walk for ¼ mile to prepare for the 1st-mile repeat
  • After ¼ mile turn up your speed to your desired pace and run as fast as you can sustain for 1-mile
  • Turn the speed down to walking and recover for 4 minutes
  • 2nd mile-repeat – run as fast as you can sustain for 1-mile, seeing if you can keep your same pace or beat it
  • Turn the speed down to walking and recover for 4 minutes
  • 3rd mile-repeat
  • Turn the speed down to walking and recover for 1-mile

Incline Sprints (Hop-on/Hop-off)

This workout is more advanced and for anyone looking to amp up their conditioning. In the beginning of the workout, take a few practice rounds to make sure you can grab the rails and safely step off the treadmill during rest periods.

  • Rounds: 10
  • Speed: 10 mph
  • Incline: 10%
  • Work Period: 10 seconds
  • Rest Period: 10 seconds

The treadmill can be a great tool for a variety of conditioning work – if you know how to use it! I hope this blog gave you some ideas and inspiration for your next treadmill workout.

Meet Your Inner Road Tripper

July 12, 2021

Written by Adam Faber, Hydaway Outfitter Manager

As the school year comes to a close and the campus empties, many of you might be asking, what next? A year hindered by quarantines and hardships of COVID-19, maybe hitting the open road (in a safe way, of course) might be the highlight of your year. If you like exciting new experiences and traveling, then a road trip might be for you. The Hydaway Outdoor Center staff is always willing to lend a helping hand with your trip planning needs, whether it’s a short road trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway or cross country to the beaches of California. 

Choose Your Destination

One of the most important parts of planning a road trip is choosing your destination and the route you want to take. Think about your road-tripping style. Would you rather hop in a car and take the back roads with unplanned or planned pitstops, or do you prefer the detailed itinerary filled with guided tours and new people? Are you interested in hitting historical landmarks, touring California beaches, tasting popular bites in big cities, or are you looking to strap on your hiking shoes and walk through national parks? Everything is up to you, and that is the exciting part of road trips!

One of my favorite resources for planning road trips is the RoadTrippers app which allows you to set your endpoint and then provides points of interest along your route. It is full of great information to help you plan, regardless if it is your first time or fifth time!

Consider Your Vehicle

Your vehicle is one of the most critical aspects of the road trip as you will be spending most of your time in it. Depending on how long your road trip will be, it is important to keep an eye on your car’s gas mileage. If you plan on sleeping and living out of your car for the trip duration, sacrificing gas mileage and taking an SUV, truck, or small crossover may be ideal. I know people who have done this and have found it a fun experience with a group of friends. If you prefer a queen-sized bed to yourself, picking hotels along your route and taking a smaller, more fuel-efficient car may be a better option. Before leaving on your adventure, be sure to bring your vehicle in for a tune-up to ensure you won’t run into any unwanted surprises down the road. 

Consider Your Budget

Having a budget in mind before you start planning out your road trip is essential to help keep you on track so you don’t break the bank. Road tripping gives you plenty of opportunities to customize details to cut costs. Are you looking to travel cheaply? Plan your route with shorter distances between stops, chose to dine at cheaper restaurants, and stay at local campgrounds instead of expensive hotels. Spending long hours on the open road can seem daunting, so bringing some snacks and drinks along can help lighten the mood and stay within budget. Suppose you plan to hit a couple of national parks with friends on your trip. In that case, I recommend looking into the America the Beautiful Pass that gives one vehicle admission into all National Parks in the country for a nominal cost compared to individual passes for each park.  

Get the Necessary Supplies

When setting out on your road-tripping expedition, it is vital to have all the essentials to continue the fun and limit the stress. If you are traveling with a group of friends, it might be wiser to share a couple of larger suitcases than many smaller ones to save room for other supplies or exciting purchases along the way. At Hydaway Outdoor Center, we have a wide variety of outdoor equipment that students, faculty, and staff can rent for their trips. Feel free to check out one of our tents to stay in with friends along with some of our sleeping bags and pads. Our Outfitter also rents out cooking equipment such as Jetboils, camp stoves, and cooking pans if you are up for a culinary challenge of your own. Pre-packaged meals are a great option if you are looking to cook for yourself throughout your trip that taste and work great with our cooking gear. Check out Mountain House for some great meal options that we currently use on our Outdoor Adventure trips! 

Stay Flexible & Have Fun

At the end of the day, going on a road trip is all about having fun and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Sometimes leaving some wiggle room in your itinerary for unexpected stops can lead to one of your most memorable experiences. It’s an exciting journey, so where do you want to go?

Let’s Take a Trip: Shenandoah River

June 24, 2021

Written by Katy Ward, Assistant Director of Outdoor Adventure

It’s starting to get warm again. It is time to get outside and explore new adventures. So, what are you going to do? Where are you going to go? Do you have a list of places you want to knock out? Or are you open to new possibilities? Well, here I am, giving you a new trip idea, one that I myself have not tried but is on my list!

A 3-day, 28-mile river trip down the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Whether you prefer a kayak or a canoe, this river provides a diverse set of challenges and beautiful scenery. Between slow and peaceful waters and fast class II-III rapids, this trip is good for beginners or experts.

If you want to take this trip but do not have the gear for it, check out Hydaway Outdoor Center’s Rental List for all of your trip needs!

What’s the Plan?

Friday

  • 8 A.M. ­– Leave Lynchburg
  • 10:30 A.M. – Arrive at Bentonville Boat Ramp to drop your shuttle vehicle
  • 10:30 A.M. – Leave Bentonville for Bixler Bridge in Luray, VA
  • 11 A.M. – Arrive at Bixler Bridge
  • 11:15 A.M. – Set out down the Shenandoah for 13 miles
  • 1:30 P.M. – Stop for lunch whenever feels right
  • 6:30 P.M. – Pull out river left at The Sandy Beach near High Cliff Rapids just in time for sunset
  • 7 P.M. – Enjoy a nice night camping on the river with your favorite campfire meal

Saturday

  • Wake up and make some camp pancakes (or whatever camp breakfast sounds great to you!)
  • Send out on the river for a 4-mile stretch (this section has some fun class II-III rapids)
  • Pull off to river left at Beach’s Bottom Beach
  • Spend the rest of your day in the swimming hole or going down the rapids again
  • Camp here tonight and get ready for the rest of your journey tomorrow

Sunday

  • Wake up and make a fresh pot of coffee to start the day right
  • Pack your gear up and start out on the final leg of your journey
  • Float 10 miles of peaceful river
  • Pull off to the Bentonville Boat Ramp on river left, just after the bridge
  • Load up your gear and hit the road back home

What Should You Bring?

A packing list for this trip will depend greatly on the weather, but here are some good things to pack in general. Adapt this list to fit the needs of you and your group.

Personal Items

  • 3 days’ worth of clothes for the river (think synthetics)
  • 3 days’ worth of clothes suitable for sandy beach camping
  • A swimsuit
  • A rain jacket
  • Hat and sunglasses to protect yourself against the sun
  • Necessary toiletries, especially sunscreen!
  • 1-2 towels

Essentials

  • Water — Probably the most important thing to pack. Stay hydrated! Pack enough water to supply ½ your body weight in ounces for 3 days.
  • Food — Pack enough food for 6 meals and snacks too (our favorite snacks at Outdoor Adventure are fruit snacks and Slim Jims, just in case you were wondering).
  • A Tent — Make sure it’s large enough to fit you and your gear
  • Dry Bags — To make sure your stuff stays out of the water
  • A Personal Floatation Device (PFD)
  • First Aid Kit — It is important not only to have a FAK, but also to know how to use what is in it. Make sure to freshen up on what you have and why you have it.
  • 1-2 Trash Bags — Take all of your trash with you please! Do not dirty our waterways or campsites because you’re not paying attention, if you pack it in, you need to pack it out.
  • A River Map — Your phone may let you down, so print out a paper copy of your route and laminate it so it is waterproof.
  • Canoe/Kayak + Paddles — This may seem obvious, but sometimes you can forget the most important part of your travel.

Now Let’s Go!

Wait, hold on, a couple more things. Before you go out on any trip, make sure someone knows where you are going and knows your itinerary. Should something happen to you and they don’t hear from you by the agreed time, they should send help. Be prepared and be safe.

Okay, now you can go. Have fun!

Shotgun Games at LMGC

June 10, 2021

Written by Josh Bryant, Assistant Director of Operations

Are you a complete novice to shotgun games? Maybe even shooting in general? Don’t worry, we’ll give you a primer in the shotgun games available at the Liberty Mountain Gun Club.

LGMC currently offers American Trap, American Skeet, and 5 Stand. The targets for all three games are small clay discs—commonly referred to as clays, pigeons, or birds. Each game consists of 25 targets. Only one person shoots at a time, but up to five people can participate in a game at once. So, keep that in mind when you’re getting a group together to come to the range! When it’s a shooter’s turn and they’re in position ready to shoot, they call out ‘Pull!’ and the clay pigeon is thrown.

American Trap

American Trap is a good place to start for people unfamiliar with shooting. In American Trap, only one target is presented at a time, and the targets are always going in the same general direction—away from the shooter. The shooting positions are 16 yards behind the target launcher, or trap machine, which is inside a small building also known as the ‘trap house’. There are 5 shooting positions, evenly spaced in a line (or shallow arc), and each participant shoots at 5 targets per position.

American Skeet

American Skeet steps up the difficulty from American Trap in several ways. Firstly, there are two machines, one on the left side of the field (the high house) and one on the right side of the field (the low house). Secondly, not only do the birds come from two different directions, shooters are moving from one station to the next around a large semi-circle.  To further complicate things, at several stations participants have to shoot two birds at a time! In total, there are 8 stations along the semi-circle, each presenting a different angle to the birds. Again, don’t worry if this sounds confusing. When you’re at the range, we’ll walk along with you and explain as we go.

5 Stand

5 Stand seeks to simulate hunting scenarios and is a scaled-down version of the popular shotgun discipline called sporting clays. 5 Stand, oddly enough, has five stands! At LMGC, shooters can potentially engage 9 different targets on a variety of flight paths. Each stand has a card, or menu, that lets the shooter know which birds they will see from that stand. Each stand has a different card in order to make the game more diverse. There are five targets thrown at each stand: a single clay, two clays thrown with a bit of a delay (report pair), and two clays launched simultaneously (true pair).

Hopefully, this has given you some idea of what to expect when visiting the Shotgun Range at LMGC. If this sounds like a good time, come on up! And if it still sounds confusing, don’t worry. The LMGC staff is always available to help and will be on the range the whole duration of your game.

The Importance of Ski/Snowboard Lessons

May 27, 2021

Written by Isaac Gibson, Programs Coordinator

If you were to ask someone if they have ever skied or snowboarded there are usually two main responses: “Yes, I love skiing. I go every year!” or “I went once and it was so hard. I spent more time on the ground than I did on my skiis.” Over the years, I have learned that people either fall in love and continue riding for nearly the rest of their life, or they have a terrible experience and never do it again. In the end, it all comes down to that first experience, and I highly recommend the first experience being a lesson with a trained instructor.

It’s Like Driving

I describe skiing/snowboarding for the first time like getting in a car to drive for the first time. If you get in with no experience, no one telling you how to properly operate the vehicle, and go straight out onto a busy highway… the result will most always end in an accident. There is a reason why Driver’s Education and behind the wheel instruction is required to get your driver’s license. It’s not because the act of driving is incredible difficult to learn, but rather because of the high level of danger that comes along with it. In the same way, skiing and snowboarding is not that difficult to learn, but if you try without instruction you are probably going to fall a lot and potentially injure yourself or someone else.

Importance of Instruction

Much like driving a car, the better instruction you have and the more time you are able to dedicate to it, the more confident you will be out on the slopes. There is a reason why the average driver can jump into the car and not think twice about driving down the road. It becomes second nature because of how frequently we drive. You can expect the same for the ski slope. After getting the basics down in a lesson, continuously putting in time will increase your skills! Next thing you know, you’ll be skiing top to bottom without thinking about your every move.

In Summary…

Take a lesson, you won’t regret it. You will learn so much quicker and your experience will most likely leave you wanting to come back for more! Once you feel comfortable and confident, go out on your own. If you have something you want to learn and don’t know how, take another lesson!

Go at your own pace! Everyone learns differently and progresses at different rates. So, don’t get discouraged if you take longer to learn something than your friend.

In the end it’s all about having fun! So, make it your own and don’t feel like you have to look like everyone else on the hill.

Once you learn how to do it well, share it! There is nothing better than teaching someone how to ski or snowboard and seeing them fall in love just like you did!