Photo taken by: Lana Lucin
“Living Life on the EDGE”
By: Jacob Greene
Blame it all on her roots, she showed up in snow boots.
Freshman Lana Lucin had never been an outdoorsy person, but now she is. Unprepared and unshaken Lucin stepped out of her comfort zone in snow boots.
The EDGE program was an outdoor leadership experience that took place before school started in September, 2022. It was created for new students who were interested in Simpson University's Outdoor Leadership program. The program also gave students the opportunity to get a weeklong head start on creating friendships with people before school started.
Dr. Scott Barnett, Associate Professor of Outdoor Leadership at Simpson University, said that,
“It [the EDGE program] was designed mostly to help freshman transition into their time at Simpson. I’ve seen a lot of people come out with really good friendships, really good community, but also getting a sense confidence and strength as they have gone into the wilderness and taken on these challenges.”
Lucin did just that, coming back from the EDGE program with good community, ready to start her freshman year.
“We are all actually cool friends now,” Lucin said.
Lucin is used to being around boys. She is the middle child, with 2 brothers close in age, and two sisters. So, for Lucin being around all boys for a week during the EDGE program was nothing new.
“I’d say from 6 grade under [I was a tomboy], 7th to 8th grade, whatever, but from sophomore on, I flipped a switch and was pretty girly,” said Lucin.
The previous time Lucin found herself being on an outdoor trip was in 5th grade with her outdoor education class. A week before school, she was outside of her comfort zone, enjoying a week in the great outdoors.
The EDGE program entailed two days camping, three days rafting, and two days backpacking. It took place at Kidder Creek Campsite and the Russian River. Everyone that took part in the program came back the Friday of Welcome Weekend.
Although Lucin came home with blisters, she still loved her experience. The blisters came from wearing snow boots, rather than traditional hiking boots.
“A few days before, me and my mom went to go buy me shoes, and I ended up buying a pair of shoes. I come there, get ready for the first day of hiking, and all the boys are like, ‘Why are you wearing snow boots?’”
Despite the lowlights of blisters and a flipped white-water raft, the trip was all worth it. Lucin’s highlights included when she saw her very first waterfall and that she grew closer to God. Lucin explained,
“It was a really amazing experience…it was a different connection, getting to be outside and truly seeing His creation, I feel like it really helped my relationship with Him.”
Lucin highly recommends doing the EDGE program for students. When asked how much she recommends doing the program Lucin said,
“Oh, my–100%, like a 100%, it was just so amazing, an amazing detox before school, my relationship with God–I had a whole new aspect of it.”
Lucin hopes that next year, if they do it again, instead of 5 people, 10 people will go. She also voiced her opinion about the program and how she would love to do it again.
Students who participated in the EDGE program received 3 credits, but for Lucin credit is not necessarily a factor for her experience.
“I would love to do it again next year…even if I was to get only one credit for it,” Lucin said.
Dr. Barnett stated that the Outdoor Leadership Department is making the EDGE program available for current students toward the end of this school year. Keep your eyes peeled, Red Hawks! Not only will it be available for current students, but also, it will be cheaper than the previous $650.
If you are looking to live life on the EDGE--keep your eyes peeled for announcements about the program. Simpson University offers degrees in Outdoor Leadership and has many amazing opportunities offered through their program. If you are interested in Outdoor Leadership or outdoor events, contact Dr. Scott Barnett by email or during his office hours.