The Penn State Outing Club was formed in 1920 so that students could go on adventures outside. Now, in 2018, that club is being told by school officials that they can’t go outside anymore because it’s too dangerous. Let’s stop now to take a moment to pray for our future.
Maybe I should give Penn State the benefit of the doubt. There has to be more to this story. Perhaps one of those “one call, that’s all” type lawyers with commercials on TV and his face plastered on the side of busses got to them and won a massive lawsuit because one of the members of the birdwatching club got mud in his dad’s Bentley.
I just can’t do it. This is crazy but sadly, it’s consistent with the craziness of our age, especially as seen on college campuses.
I was in an outdoors class when I was in college. We crawled through caves, walked on ropes 60 feet off the ground, and sat in circles in the middle of the woods and got philosophical about stalagmites. None of us ever got hurt. The closest I came to any discomfort was witnessing the amount of people in the class who wore socks with their sandals.
At the time I thought this class was just three easy credit hours that would boost my pathetic GPA. It was but it was so much more. It was challenging. And it taught me about working together with others and facing fears. I wouldn’t have learned any of those things without the danger of being outdoors. So of course the outdoors are dangerous. That’s what’s so fun about being outside.
But what will the Penn State Outing Club do now that they aren’t allowed to wander into the wild? Here are a few suggestions that are much safer.
There’s nothing like the cool breeze of the air conditioner blowing through your hair as you stand ankle deep in a Teen Titans Go swimming pool and cast your magnetic line in hopes of catching a metal fish.
2. Fort Building.
You haven’t truly lived until you’ve built a fort out of blankets and cushions from the couch. Most folks have to grow out of this and move on to the bigger and better things of the fourth grade but this is your chance, Nittany Lions, to relive your childhood adventures. Just be very careful. Sometimes couche cushions have zippers that are easily exposed. If one were to hit a student during the inevitable collapse of the fort, it could cause a minor scrape and severe trauma. The administration would be wise to have some coloring books and therapy kittens on hand in case of an emergency.
3. Hydration Stations.
All of this fun is sure to make students thirsty but we can’t have them braving the outdoors in search of the nearest coffee shop or tropical smoothie establishment. No worries. The Dean of the School of Safety could have his staff come in the night before to fill ice trays up with grape juice. By mid-afternoon of the next day, when students are really worn out from a tough day of indoor activities, those frozen cubes of grape goodness will be just what the doctor ordered. WARNING: Make sure that the grape juice is ethically obtained from free range grapes that were only treated with butterfly saliva and no harmful chemicals.
One more thing.
While Penn State is on the safety kick, the least they could do is be consistent. If it’s really safety that they value, they should stop allowing their football players to make the yearly trip down to Tampa for the Outback Bowl where they are routinely embarrassed by an SEC opponent.
Now that’s an edict that the entire country can get behind.