Outdoor Adventure students climb Enchanted Rock

Photo courtesy of Reagan Yablon

By Caroline Yablon | Reporter

Students of the Outdoor Adventure LLC embarked on a rock climbing trip Friday evening through Sunday morning at Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg.

The Outdoor Adventure LLC in Penland Residence Hall is a program that invites like-minded first-year students who have a passion for the outdoors to live in the community and go on adventures with one another. Students go on several adventure retreats throughout the school year to experience outdoor living while concentrating on “adventure with a purpose” through the LLC’s mission: responsibility, resilience, rest and relationships.

Enchanted Rock is tucked away in the Texas Hill Country. David Copeland, director of Outdoor Adventure LLC, describes Enchanted Rock as a big huge hunk of granite in the shape of a dome in the middle of Texas.

Students were exploring all the state park has to offer and got the opportunity to hike up the dome and spend some time in solitude while capturing the 360-degree view of the park, as well as climbing and repelling Enchanted Rock.

Prior to the trip, Copeland said the students got belayed certified –– the securing of a person or a safety rope to an anchor point (as during mountain climbing), so that they could belay each other on the excursion.

Copeland tries to incorporate Outdoor Adventures four R’s mission throughout the trips that he takes his students on.

Responsibility: He said students had the responsibility of belaying each other, as well as holding the responsibility of their climber’s safety.

Aledo freshman Meg Lewis said it was not easy practically putting her life in the hands of her belayer, but she said she had to trust the belayer who was bringing her up the rock and down.

Resilience: Copeland explained how students took the challenge of climbing the rock and worked through their difficulties along the way.

“The highlight for me is watching students take on a hard climb and work through it and work through it and find success. Even the students who don’t end up making it to the top, seeing them work through and keep trying, I appreciate the resilience piece,” Copeland said.

Rest: Students specifically designated time to be in solitude on the trip.

“Getting away from the community for a little bit and engaging in some personal reflection, getting away from the responsibilities of school and just having a good physical excursion and good fireside chats,” Copeland said.

Lewis said she really appreciated the time spent in solitude on the trip.

“We hiked up to the summit and we just got 30 minutes to ourselves looking out at nature,” Lewis said.

Relationship: Copeland said students were able to have conversations with one another on the bus ride, encouraged each other to climb and had conversations as a group around the fire.

Enchanted Rock is about 2.5 hours away from Baylor’s campus. Copeland said not to be intimidated by little rock climbing experience, as people of all ages and experience levels can climb this rock –– even children.

For those who don’t have time to take an excursion to climb a literal rock, but would still like experience rock climbing, the Student Life Center (SLC) has multiple rock climbing courses open to students to climb.

“You can literally walk up to the desk and be like ‘I don’t know anything about this, can you introduce me?’ and the staff will be really excited that you’re there and will show you how to do things. They will belay you [and] teach you everything,” Copeland said.

Click here for hours of operation of The Rock at the SLC.