When I visited Charlottesville for the first time, what immediately caught my attention was how naturally beautiful it is. The Blue Ridge Mountains stand strong in the distance, serving as an ever-present backdrop, while acres of farmland surround you with peaceful simplicity and magnetic charm.
So when I decided to make Charlottesville my home, one of the first things I wanted to do was get outside and explore. I wanted to see those elusive mountains up close, and I wanted to meet people who enjoy and appreciate the outdoors as much as I do.
With a quick Google search for outdoor groups in the area, I stumbled across the Outdoor Adventure Social Club (OASC). After reading through their action-packed calendar and seeing how affordable it is for a membership, I signed up online, dusted off my hiking boots and hit the trails.
Since becoming a member, I’ve gone on a number of scenic hikes (great exercise, too) and I’ve gotten to know many outdoor enthusiasts who are always up for a new adventure. I’ve still only scratched the surface of what OASC has to offer. There is literally an activity for everyone – from climbing workshops for beginners, to whitewater kayaking and SCUBA lessons. Horseback riding, mountain biking, caving, skiing…if it takes place outside, OASC has done or will do it. Group members also gather during the week for sports like wallyball (volleyball + walls) and racquetball, and there is the occasional potluck dinner or game night. New adventures are added to the calendar every day, so there is never a shortage of fun activities to choose from.
OASC has more than 250 members from varying age groups, abilities and interests, and they are very welcoming to new members. Trip leaders know the lay of the land and have years of experience under their belts, keeping the safety of members in mind at all times.
Says longtime member Ari Daniels,
“OASC was originally just a way for me to get outdoors, get the exercise I’d been missing for a few years and meet some folks who like the same kinds of activities that I enjoy. What I didn’t expect was just how much of a connection I’d make with these people. The club has been outdoor adventures, indoor social activities, meaningful volunteer involvement, educational opportunities, perspective and idea sharing, and the type of networking that has led me to my career and education path. OASC has fanned the flame of my true passions, and formed some of the most important connections I’ve ever had.”
Chances are you’ve seen the sandwich board on the Downtown Mall advertising OASC and thought, “That looks fun, maybe I should check it out.” I’m here to tell you that, yes, you should. You won’t regret it.
See you outside!