Journeys worth pursuing

Journeys worth pursuing

Northwest Nazarene University
Jul 11, 2016

by Carly Gilmore, class of 2017

“Journeys is about experience and relationship,” said Mark Baas, Journeys Outfitting Co. advisor and Corlett resident director. “Students come to NNU from different backgrounds—some have never even been camping. This club provides a safe place where students can enjoy the outdoors—a place where relationships can be fostered in shared experience.”

Journeys Outfitting Co. has sought to connect students with the outdoors for over 15 years. Staff and students saw the opportunity to take advantage of NNU’s ideal location for affordable outdoor adventures, and their vision quickly became a reality. Over the past several years, the club has grown into a thriving element of NNU.


“Since Idaho is basically an outdoor version of Disneyland, Journeys provides an integral part of the NNU experience,” commented Baas. With a plethora of outdoor adventures in mind, he continued, “Most students don’t know where to go or what to do when they first arrive. The majority of them don’t realize the paradise that is available to explore.” Journeys unveils this paradise to students.

Regardless of students’ prior experience in outdoor activities, Journeys Outfitting Co. has the means to get them involved. The club leaders are committed to the club’s mission “to plan adventures, from multi-day trips to afternoon excursions, which will get students outdoors, doing the most exciting things that our state and neighboring states have to offer.” In addition to coordinating and facilitating outdoor recreational trips, Journeys has a growing assortment of rental gear and a bike repair shop. So whether students want to plan their own adventure or have it planned for them, Journeys can help.

“Our goal is for Journeys to spark the interest of students in exploring the world around them,” said current Journeys president, senior Zach McClanahan. “We want students to have experiences they will remember as some of the best times they had in college.”

Having been heavily involved in this club while a student, David Waterman (’16) concurred, “With Journeys, I have been on the San Diego Surf Trip, spent many evenings skiing and snowboarding on the slopes of Bogus Basin, experienced world-class rock climbing in Moab, and spent many days setting routes at the nearby Black Cliffs. I have enjoyed backpacking and snowmobiling in the Sawtooth Mountain Range, fly fishing in Idaho lakes and streams, rafting and kayaking on the Payette River, paddle-boarding the Boise River, and camping in sub-zero weather at natural Idaho hot springs. The list of experiences I have been afforded by Journeys goes on and on.”

In addition to facilitating outdoor experiences, Journeys has fostered personal and professional growth in its members. “Journeys has been a big part of my college experience and provided an opportunity to turn ideas into experiences,” continued David. “It provided another way for me to get involved on campus and allowed me to grow personally by leading students on trips and organizing budgets.”

For senior global business major Janessa Dyk, Journeys has played a different role—it revealed lifelong hobbies and led to relationships with others who share similar passions. “I’ve always loved hiking and being outdoors, but Journeys has challenged me to get out of my comfort zone and try new things, which have become some of my passions now,” Janessa explained. “And in the process, I’ve met some of my closest friends.”

“It would be crazy not to promote the growth of the Outdoors Club at NNU—we have the location, student buy-in, and tons of support,” Baas reiterated. Looking around campus, it is easy to see the value of Journeys Outfitting Co. in students’ lives and in the NNU community. Journeys has encouraged relationships, facilitated personal growth, provided a much-needed respite during the semester, and challenged students to get out of their comfort zones.

Photo caption: Journeys members venture into the Sawtooth Mountain Range on a weekend backpacking trip to Imogene Lake.

“Journeys provided the resources and opportunities to expand the types of trips and outdoor sports I was involved with,” commented Janson Card (’16), pictured at far right. “I would never have been able to have the lasting memories I have had over the past four years without Journeys leading the way.”

Photo by David Waterman, class of 2016