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Students experience ‘adventures’

Courtesy+of+AztecAdventurers+on+Instagram
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Back to Article

Students experience ‘adventures’

Courtesy of AztecAdventurers on Instagram

Courtesy of AztecAdventurers on Instagram

Courtesy of AztecAdventurers on Instagram

Courtesy of AztecAdventurers on Instagram

by Alex Noble, Staff Writer

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Aztec Adventures offers a breath of fresh air for the routine monotony of college life.

Established in 1977, Aztec Adventures is a division of Aztec Recreation that provides an opportunity for students to not only explore the great outdoors but to develop friendships and life skills.

According to their website, Aztec Adventures provides San Diego State students opportunities to experience outdoor challenges that aim to promote personal growth, health and wellness, leadership, relationship building and environmental responsibility.

“(The program is) an opportunity for students to disconnect from city life and connect with each other,” outdoor program coordinator Ben Ramaeker said. “The trips help individuals to learn about themselves and others.”

Don’t let the name fool you. While Aztec Adventures promises a good time, with activities ranging from hiking to white water rafting, students are ultimately learning experiences in nontraditional settings. 

“All of our training and programs are based in a model of experiential learning,” Ramaeker said. “We want to demonstrate and therefore teach you skills in a way that you can take the knowledge and apply it to all aspects of life.”

Personal growth is a major goal of Aztec Adventures.

This hands-on approach has a way of enhancing comprehension and reinforcing the real world applications of lessons long after the trip has ended.

“You may not be rock climbing in a literal sense,” Ramaeker said. “But you can apply the confidence and personal insights you’ve gained from that experience to other situations.”

Aztec Adventures is meant to enhance one’s college experience when it comes to a relationships as well. With almost 35,000 Aztecs and counting, some students find it difficult to find their niche within such a massive student body. However, Aztec Adventures provides an inclusive community.

“A lot of feedback that we get from both past and current students that participate is that it made them feel connected to the university,” Ramaeker said. “Some have even said that it was their reason for being here!” 

Ramaeker said it is essential for the group to be identified as a family where every student is encouraged to strive for success.

The group meets about a week before each outing to break the ice and develop trust between one another.

An important aspect of Aztec Adventures is the organization’s emphasis on sustainability.

“We promote sustainable travel,” Ramaeker said. “We are guided by the principles of the Leave No Trace organization, which help to preserve and conserve the natural areas in which we recreate in.”

Aztec Adventures utilizes the equipment of sustainable local manufactures.

They also opt for vegetarian meals in order to reduce not only the intake of processed foods but also the potential litter that often comes with them. These meals are often made from the products of the college community garden located on campus.

“We aim to be organic and wholesome all the way through,” Ramaeker said.

This food and equipment are both provided.

“Bring yourself and a positive attitude,” Ramaeker said. “We do the rest.”

Past adventures include trips to Yosemite, Joshua Tree, The Grand Canyon and Zion National Park with many more to come during the spring semester.

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