Updated: Nov 13, 2020
By: Jonathan Lumpkin
Over BW Aston Fall Break, many students’ plans were affected because of COVID-19, but Hunters, Gatherers and Travelers (HGT) club moved forward with plans to go on their yearly Fall Break Trip.
HGT is a hiking club on campus that, until three years ago, was an FYSM named Parks and Rocks. It was housed in Hunter Hall, hence the first word of the current name of the club. After the FYSM was removed from the HSU course catalog, members formed the club to ensure the continued pursuit of their mutual passion for hiking.
One of the group’s many traditions is to take a yearly trip over fall break, but because of the pandemic they faced uncertainty regarding the current trip. The executive team met and really didn’t think we would have a Fall Break Trip this year,” said Dan Shaffer, the current chaplain of HGT.
HGT assured the campus prior to their departure that appropriate precautions would be taken to ensure they did not promote the spread of the virus. They decided that vehicles and tents used on the trip were at 50 percent capacity. In the event of someone getting sick, they divided the members into small groups to cut down on a possible spread of the virus.
These groups slept and rode together so that only one group would have to quarantine rather than the whole club if someone were to exhibit symptoms of the virus. They also devoted a tent and car to this worst-case scenario of a group needing to quarantine. Lastly, masks would be worn at all times when members were within six feet of one another.
After discussing these precautions, they received approval from HSU to continue their yearly tradition of enjoying nature, hiking and fellowship.
“Given the current state of the world, and even just our campus with the pandemic, it’s amazing that we’ve been allowed to go on the fall break trip,” said Sydney Graff, a current member of the club.
This fall break, HGT went to Copper Breaks State Park and then Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon in the nation, with the Grand Canyon being the largest. They pitched tents, cooked meals over propane fires, hiked and got to enjoy the Lord’s creation for three days.
Let’s follow HGT’s example, whether we’re on campus or off, and abide by COVID-19 regulations to ensure that we can all be safe together and enjoy each other’s company as safely as possible