Campus Rec Opens And Prepares For Warm Weather Activities

After a slow fall semester due to COVID-19,  Hydaway Outdoor Center opened its gates this spring with updated health precautions, offering outdoor experiences and rental equipment to students. 

Students have the opportunity to once again experience outdoor adventure trips such as horseback riding, kayaking, skiing, whitewater rafting, hiking, rappelling and fly fishing. They can also rent canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, mountain bikes and ENO hammocks at Hydaway by presenting a Flames Pass.

Hydaway Outdoor Center Assistant Director Maria Campanella said that all returned rental equipment will be sanitized and placed in a quarantine room for an allotted amount of time before it is able to be rented again. Additional safety precautions including social distancing and wearing a mask while indoors are also being implemented.

“Basically, we just couldn’t keep up with it last semester,” Campanella said. “Now we feel more prepared so we are just going to start back up with renting out equipment like tents and sleeping bags.”

According to Campanella, Hydaway Outdoor Center was scheduled to re-open Feb. 13 but was postponed until Feb. 14 due to the unsuitable weather conditions.

Camping and challenge courses such as the high ropes course will again be offered in addition to the various other available activities. 

“We are opening campsites back up for roommates or people of the same household to use,” Campanella said. “Or residential halls, people that are already around each other a lot. We didn’t do it at all last semester.”

During warmer months, Hydaway offers students a break from on-campus living and a chance to participate in outdoor events.

Upcoming events for spring semester include Hydaway Bonfires on March 19 and April 16, and Hydaway After Dark on April 23.

“I’m really looking forward to spending time at Hydaway this semester,” Emily Nelson, a senior english student said. “I think the various activities they offer are a great opportunity to get outside and meet new people.”

Although the current colder temperatures may discourage students from spending time outdoors, Campanella is confident that once the sun returns, the students will as well.

“It’s nice to have Hydaway as an option,” Campanella said. “It’s just more of a getaway and people can be here without having to worry about [COVID-19] as much, I’m excited to just get back into the swing of things as much as we can and for students to have the option to come out, be outside and have a good time.”

For more information on available outdoor activities, visit Liberty University’s Campus Recreation website.

Addi Tarr is a News Reporter. Follow her on Twitter at @addi_tarr.

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