When mid-November comes, The Master’s College men look forward to their annual Men’s Camping Trip. Promotion across campus includes setting up a campfire outside the cafeteria: the smoky scent drawing men to sign up for a weekend in the woods. Annual events on the trip include cooking over an open fire, hatchet throwing contests and sleeping under the stars.
As the stories from the men’s trip circulate, women on TMC’s campus wonder about the possibility of beginning a women’s camping trip.
Stephanie LaFerriere, Resident Director for the C.W. Smith Hall women, said she believes the men’s trip is unique to them because it allows them the opportunity to build relationships with each other without the typical distractions of campus life.
Stories accompany pictures on social media, focusing on the unique cuisine: scrambled eggs, sock coffee and lots of hot dogs. The trip spans three days and two nights, requiring planning and cooperation, skills that LaFerriere believes help the men bond.
“I think it is really cool to see the guys have a special moment where they get to just be men,” LaFerriere said, “whether it’s from just doing events that we probably wouldn’t think are normal, but the bonding that happens. I think that is really cool to hear back about.”
Kaitlyn Phillips, a senior kinesiology student, agrees that the camping trip is something the men look forward to, not only for the sock coffee.
“I think it’s a lot of fun for them,” she said, “I think that girls can have one too.”
Closely related to the outcomes of the men’s trip, the purpose of a women’s camping trip would allow women to get off campus and experience the outdoors while building into each other through worship and devotionals.
Although LaFerriere has heard of many mini-camping trips already occurring among the girls in her dorm, she thinks there is definitely interest among the women to start an annual trip.
“For girls, I think because we are so relational and love spending time with each other, those things happen a lot more naturally,” she said.
Phillips hopes an annual trip will allow all the campus women to come together and use their gifts to serve one another. When asked about perceived obstacles for the trip, Phillips sees the only opposition as people not putting in the time to plan it.
For sophomore liberal studies student Kelsey Crichton, not having an accessible bathroom is a tough reality.
“Girls are high maintenance,” she said with a chuckle.
Phillips would like to see a trip take place for the spring 2016 semester, before she graduates.
“We can build off of what the guys have done,” she said. “That will make it a lot easier.”
By Desiree Teichroeb