In Winter Months, Students Stay Active With BC Rec Programs

Even though it’s cold outside, you have a ton of studying to do, and you may not want to get out of bed, Boston College Rec might make you rethink your spring semester hibernation.

Bundled up in two sweatshirts, snow pants, a giant scarf, a puffy coat, a hat, and gloves, I set out with my friends last weekend on a narrow snowshoeing trail at Stratton Mountain in Vermont. Now, if you had asked me if I would have ever willingly signed up to wake up at 5 a.m., drive three hours to Vermont, and hike almost four miles up a mountain in 5 degree weather on a Saturday, I probably would have just laughed. After we started our hike, however, I was happy my friends had signed me up.

My friends and I were led on our hike by three BC students. They provided transportation to the mountain in Vermont and instructed us on how to pack for the trip and use the snowshoes when we arrived at the trail. Although I had never snowshoed before, the leaders were very helpful throughout the day, allowing my friends and me to set our own pace as we hiked. It was a long but leisurely day, and I was happy to have this opportunity to get off campus for a few hours this winter.

BC Rec is offering a variety of seasonal activities this semester to help students stay active throughout the winter season, from hiking at the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, Mass., snowshoeing at various locations throughout Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, to cross-country skiing. Students may sign up for these weekly and monthly outings online, with prices ranging from $15 to $30 for day-long trips. For avid BC skiers and snowboarders, BC Rec also offers limited shuttles for drop-off and pick-up at nearby ski areas during the winter sports season.

All of these outdoor adventure trips are led by BC student volunteers who take classes and undergo hours of training to become eligible to run these programs.

In addition to excursions during the cold-weather months, activities such as paddleboarding, paddleboard yoga, rock climbing, and Outdoor Adventures’ SpringBreak trips are offered for the warmer part of the semester.

The biggest upcoming Outdoors Adventures trip will be the Spring Break trips to Assateague Island, Md., according to Becca Fink, marketing and communications manager for BC Rec. Students who wish to spend Spring Break on these trips can sign up to either backpack or sea kayak. Each excursion is eight days long and consists of camping, exploring, and spending time enjoying the beach.

“Students on the trips will get to have a unique experience,” Eli Crispell, assistant director of outdoor activities at BC Rec, said in an email. “Whether they go backpacking or kayaking, each group will travel to a new remote campsite each night and spend their days traveling along beaches, bays, and estuaries. We will carry everything we need with us and will be able to disconnect and discover this unique and exciting place. Between the wild horses that call the island home and the ocean waves this is a truly wild adventure.”

These off-campus trips usually accommodate five to six people each due to limited transportation. They have proven to be very popular and are filling up fast.

For those that are not feeling that adventurous and would rather stick around campus, weekly offerings from group fitness classes to instructional classes and intramurals are also available to students throughout the semester.

There are a variety of group fitness classes, such as the traditional spin, zumba, yoga, barre, and step classes, offered daily at both the Flynn Recreation Complex and the Quonset Hut on Newton Campus. Instructional sessions being offered include beginner through intermediate tennis classes, beginner bachata and salsa dance classes, and beginner through advanced jiu-jitsu.

Current intramural sports include walleyball, basketball, and indoor soccer. Both the basketball and indoor soccer intramurals offer competitive, intermediate, CoRec, recreational, and women’s divisions. The second phase of spring intramural registration begins March 18 and includes multiple divisions of flag football, wiffle ball, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, dodgeball, and floor hockey.

BC Rec also offers certification courses. Lifeguard CPR/FA/AED classes are available this semester for interested students. Each course is three days long and costs roughly $240 per student.

After signing up for weekly zumba, an indoor soccer intramural, and a weekend snowshoeing trip, you will probably be fairly sore. Not to worry—sign up for one of BC Rec’s new massage therapy sessions. Massage offerings range from the traditional Swedish massage to the more specialized Trigger Point Therapy massage. Available sessions are on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and cost between $45 and $115.

So for those who need a break from the library, head over to BC Rec and check out what they have to offer to beat the winter blues.

Waking up early and making the trip off campus to ski, snowshoe, or hike may seem infeasible for many students this winter. Taking in the view from the peak of the mountain with my friends after a morning of snowshoeing, however, made the early morning trek worth it.

Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor

Maddie Phelps

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