MIT Outing Club (MITOC)
"MITOC members are students, staff, alumni, and faculty from MIT and the greater academic community who come together for year-round outdoor recreation in the company of other enthusiasts. MITOC members hike, climb, ski, bike, camp, tramp, backpack, snowshoe, and canoe to the highest, widest, most scenic vistas in New England and beyond." --MITOC website
I joined MITOC as a regular member towards the end of my college career. I participated as a student in their month-long winter school, in which volunteer members teach skills needed to enjoy outdoor winter sports, such as hiking, skiing, and ice climbing. Lectures were held twice a week for four weeks, and topics ranged from what clothes to wear to basic winter rescue skills. Every weekend, club leaders held trips involving many different outdoor sports. I went hiking, glissading (fancy word for sliding downhill on your bottom, see picture below at right), and cross-country skiing with the club.
MITOC allowed me to see beautiful views, spend time with fun people, escape the urban life of Boston/Cambridge, and occasionally see the stars. I also participated in winter school to teach myself how to love the winter, in case I was going to stay on the east coast for awhile. Although I did have a lot of fun, I gave up on that goal and decided to move to Berkeley, CA. I figure I can always go to Lake Tahoe in the winter if I am especially craving the snow...