The club offers outdoor excursions throughout the year, including rock climbing, kayaking and a trip to the Appalachian trail.
TU Treks has long been a member of the university’s Student Association. As a group, they host all manner of activities ranging from short trips to the Gathering Place to week-long excursions into the wilderness.
TU Treks is intended to provide accessibility to new experiences for students at the University of Tulsa. When questioned regarding their purpose, Treks president Jesica Santino answered, “TU Treks aims to inspire students to get off campus and go outdoors! We also hope to help students appreciate and explore the outdoors around the Tulsa area, as well as around the nation.”
The organization provides excursions near and abroad. While not leaving the domestic region, the club has visited New Orleans, Orange Beach, The Guadalupe Mountains, Asheville, Sevierville, Nashville and hiked the Appalachian Trail.
Outside of the lengthier adventures, most events are local and entirely free. They annually host the Hurricane Thursday drive-in movie night at the Admiral Drive-In. Within the last year, they have gone indoor rock climbing, taken an overnight kayaking trip, hiked Turkey Mountain, partaken in urban hiking in downtown Tulsa and played laser tag. They also host shorter and more condensed trips, such as yoga sessions held on campus.
Santino specifically pointed to the fact that “almost all of our events are free and provide all the equipment you need.”
The journeys can vary in duration and difficulty, but the group welcomes “all abilities and experience levels.”
TU Treks does not hold weekly meetings, but the club provides an array of activities for the general populace, spanning all difficulty levels “so almost everyone can participate in some form.”
Santino encourages those who are interested in a more engaged capacity to “run for officer positions to be involved in the planning and execution of events.”
Throughout the year, they hold a variety of events, specifically aiming for a few indoor events amongst other “high-intensity” adventures. Prior to an event, the group will gather for an information meeting. Transportation is provided, as Santino notes, “If it’s an off-campus event, we will set up a carpool and meet beforehand; for overnight trips, everyone will meet up at the Treks Closet to help pack supplies, like tents, sleeping bags, cooking supplies, etc.”
The organization’s grand excursion of the year is usually held over spring break. This year, the club journeyed to Colorado. This included “hiking in the Flatirons, Red Rocks Amphitheater, Garden of the Gods and the South Table in Golden. We explored downtown Denver, Colorado Springs and Boulder, went white water rafting, horseback riding, did a bike tour of Colorado Springs and went foraging.” Such adventures do come with a fee, as longer treks come with a larger price tag.
When questioned specifically about her favorite trek, Santino answered, “My favorite event would probably be kayaking, which is great because it happens yearly. The campground is always gorgeous, and it’s so fun to get away from campus for a night and then kayak the whole next day!”
To participate in TU Treks, sign up for their email list by emailing Jesica Santino at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct messaging their group page on Facebook. You can also follow updates and events on their Facebook and Instagram pages (@TulsaTreks).