The University of Tennessee Outdoor Program, also known as UTOP, has worked for a decade to provide UT students with a way to get involved with outdoor adventure, recreation and education.
Their mission remains unchanged heading into the program's 10th anniversary.
"That's our goal, to get people involved," Sarah Zimmerman, senior in public relations, said. "We want to get as many people outside and enjoying nature as we can."
During the fall semester, UTOP has a wide variety of outdoor trips, all geared towards beginners.
"Our trips are an awesome way to meet people ... to learn about your community and your surroundings and just to be healthier overall," said Zimmerman, who joined UTOP her sophomore year.
Other students have found UTOP to help diversify their college experience.
"For me it was a really cool way to learn different things that I didn't have an opportunity before, which I think is great for people in college," Sarah O'Leary, junior in College Scholars, said.
Starting Monday, Aug. 26, UTOP will hold Welcome Week trips every afternoon this week. Trip activities include caving, white water rafting, sea hiking, hiking and mountain biking. Each trip costs $5 during the first week.
"Among the staff here, we have people who can do everything from rock climbing to biking to kayaking and backpacking and everything," said O'Leary, who has been involved with UTOP since her freshman year. "If you've ever wanted to learn to do anything outdoors, someone is going to help you."
UTOP trip events include day trips, weekend trips, break trips, special events, clinics and women only events.
Some of the highlights this semester include the stargazing hike, which debuted last semester, an Appalachian Trail backpack series and Winter Break trips, such as sea kayaking in the Everglades and a trip to Costa Rica for surfing, hiking and snorkeling. Trip fees vary according to each particular event.
For more information about UTOP, like University of Tennessee Outdoor Program on Facebook. To get involved or to join a trip, students are directed to the UTOP office located at the bottom floor of TRECS.