Tired of getting socks for Christmas? Eastern’s Adventure Programs gives you the opportunity to ask for something more exciting.
This spring break the Adventure Program is taking 10 students to Canada to learn how to dogsled, Tommy Willis, senior assistant director of Adventure Programs, said.
Registration for the trip is open. Students must put down a $200 dollar deposit to save their spot upon signing up and then must pay the remaining $450 dollar fee for the trip. The total cost for the trip is $650.
“We wanted to get the word out in advance so interested students could have time to save up money,” student trip leader Laura Staley said.
Though the price tag may be a bit high for some, the experiences that students gain on the trip will be once in a lifetime.
“I’ve been before, and it’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever done,” Willis said.
The trip will consist of 10 students, three student trip leaders and two guides.
The trip begins March 11, 2018, when the group takes the Campus Rec van to Canada, camping out for one night before exploring Niagara Falls and crossing into Canada, Willis said.
Because students will be in another country, they will need to have their passports with them.
When students get to Canada, they will be learning the intricacies of dog sledding.
“Students will be paired up, so it would be fun to sign up with a friend,” Willis said.
One student will be lead musher (the person who will be leading the dogs) while the other will sit in the sled. The students can switch throughout the day, Willis said.
Once paired, the guides will teach everyone sledding commands. Each group of two will have six dogs that the students must feed, water and lay hay out for at night.
One of the main guides will take the lead, followed by the students. The secondary guide will follow behind, Willis said.
“You will probably fall over in the snow, it happens,” Willis said.
Dogsledding can be physically tough. Students and guides will have to get out and push the sleds up hill.
“The dogs will look back at you and let you know they know you are not pulling your weight,” Willis said.
Students will then be shown the football field sized area where they keep their dogs. All of the dogs are rescues, and after a few years of work, the dogs are available for adoption, Willis said.
“Everyone on the bus would have to be OK with it but I would not be opposed to bringing home some dogs,” Willis said.
The guides will also cook meals for the students and show them tricks to obtain fresh water from frozen ponds.
“Students should bring plenty of extra water bottles,” Staley said.
Even though the Canadian nights may have temperatures in the teens, students will have wood burning stoves to keep them warm in their tents, Willis said.
The group may get the opportunity to revisit Niagara Falls and stay in a hotel room on the trip back home. Students will be back on Eastern’s campus March 16.
“We really just want to get students outside and enjoying life,” Willis said.
If students are interested in being a part of this trip, they can sign up at the front desk of the Rec Center or online at rec.eku.edu/adventure-trips.