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Finding Outdoor Adventures Right on Campus

The Intramural Outdoor Adventure club has grown in popularity in its three years.

Last Sunday, several students gathered in the Red Room to spend the day weaving baskets from dried grasses harvested from the Main Plaza. The students were thrilled they could turn what was essentially garden refuse into something beautiful and useful. They also found it meditative and relaxing

The students, studying in diverse programs such as Mathematics/Computer Science to Psychology to Painting and Drawing, all share one thing in common—a love of outdoors. The event was organized by the Purchase College Intramural Outdoor Adventure Club.

Rachel Haft, administrative assistant to the interim vice president for student affairs, created the group three years ago to share her passion for promoting a love and appreciation of the outdoors. “You don’t have to go far to find it. It’s all around us here at Purchase.”

That first year, the students learned survival skills such as how to build a shelter to stay warm in 0 degree temperatures; how to obtain water, and how to identify edible and medicinal plants.

The word spread and this year, Haft has 71 members in the club. In addition to hiking, skiing, and foraging tours, they’ve sailed the Hudson River on a schooner, road-tripped to Eaglefest at Croton Point Park and the Wolf Conservation Center in Lewisboro, and visited Wave Hill in the Bronx.

Currently, students are tapping trees behind Alumni Village to make Purchase College Maple Syrup. Before the snow came, they collected four quarts of sugar water and processed their first bottle, which reduced to a fraction of what they gathered. “The students now realize why it’s liquid gold!” says Haft.

Haft is also a member of the Sustainability committee, the Green Fee committee, and the Earth Week Task Force. Interested students should email