History of PSOC

Founded on April 14, 1920, the Penn State Outing Club is one of the oldest clubs at Penn State and in the nation. From the first meeting in April to the current day the Outing Club has a long history of outdoor pursuits.

The Penn State Outing Club helped develop several trails in Central Pennsylvania including the Mid-State Trail system. In the Adirondacks there exists a handful of trails bearing the name “PSOC”. The Outing Club is also the direct origin of several clubs and organizations at Penn State and in the community. The Penn State Ski Club has its origins with the Penn State Outing Club, as well as the Ski Patrol.

From helping establish the 261-mile Mid State Trail to annual local river clean-ups, PSOC contributes to the development and protection of local natural resources. Local conservation groups regularly contact the Penn State Outing Club with opportunities for community development and conservation.

With the exception of the second world war, PSOC has been continually active for the 90 years of its existence. The club has evolved in that time. The club was organized to promote showing the beauties of nature that surround Penn State and incidentally developing a healthier and stronger student body. Rebranding in the 1930′s brought about the origins of the Trekking Club, a mostly hiking oriented group. In the early 1950′s the Ski Club and, again renamed, Outing Club merged to form a more powerful entity that would break off the archery club later in the same decade. Eventually the Outing Club would separate all but hiking from the core group, founding several clubs and organizations over the years. In recent years the Outing Club has re-absorbed some of its offspring and now offers a wide range of outdoor sports and recreation, continuing its founding principles.

Every year over 30 trips are organized. In the 90 years PSOC has gone on adventures, members have logged enough miles to hike around the world more than 4 times, paddled enough leagues to cross the Great Lakes twice, and climbed higher than every major peak in the Southern Hemisphere. The Penn State Outing Club continues to pride itself on being the premier student-run adventure organization serving the Penn State community.

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