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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Students take it to the extreme

Extreme Society about to hit the slopes during their ski trip to Utah. Photo contributed.

With one eye on nabbing the best deals and the other on an upcoming ski jump, Tim McCall ’15 and Emily Stuchiner ’15 make big things happen in the Grinnell Extreme Society (GES). Since its formation last fall, GES has found its way to the powdered ski slopes of Utah, deep caves of eastern Iowa and the local skate part.

“No one integrates the extreme ethos like us,” McCall said.

The Extreme Society fills a dire need on campus for students who thrive on the adrenaline rush of cliff diving, spelunking and all manner of other similar activities.

“It’s a core group,” Stuchiner said. “A lot of clubs have people come and go, [but] we have a large mailing list and the people who show up are the same people who do our events.”

These events vary by season. When GES was formed, the first thing they did—after buying skateboards with money from the Student Programming Committee (SPC)—was go spelunking in Maquoketa Caves State Park in Jackson County, Iowa.

“We went right when the leaves were changing colors,” McCall recalled. “It was gorgeous.”

The biggest rushes so far have not come from crawling in caves or nailing kick flips, though, but from skiing Powder Mountain, Utah during the first week of spring break last year.

“The spring break trip has become a capstone event,” Stuchiner said.

Though the trip was a year ago, the pair fondly remembers bringing Grinnellians to hit Utah’s slopes. Fortunately, there were no injuries, save for some sun irritation.

Extreme Society about to hit the slopes during their ski trip to Utah. Photo contributed.
Extreme Society about to hit the slopes during their ski trip to Utah.
Photo contributed.

“Nathan Kim [’16] sunburned his eyeballs because he didn’t have goggles,” Stuchiner said. “So the whites of his eyes were red and he looked like the devil.”

One should not be misled by the group’s seemingly carefree ethos, however, as behind their devil-may-care attitude is the business acumen of a Fortunate 500 CEO. The high costs associated with many of the activities that GES participates in require them to always be on the lookout for deals, which they are adept at finding. Case in point, those who went on the Utah trip only paid 30 dollars per day for lift tickets and 15 dollars per night for lodging.

“Every time we plan something we do our best to get the best deals,” McCall said. “We have to be creative.”

Ingenuity is especially needed this semester, as GES received substantially less money from the SPC than they had requested—750 dollars rather than the 2,600 they had hoped for.

“We were prepared to get like 1,000 dollars,” McCall said. “So I don’t feel like we’re asking for too much … Maybe we can go back and get more as [other] people don’t use their budgets.”

GES is skiing at Seven Oaks in Boone, Iowa this weekend, but because of budgetary restrictions will not be taking a trip over spring break. Instead, Stuchiner and McCall connected with a friend’s mother to get a discount at a resort in Colorado for a private trip with other members of GES. When it gets warmer, they plan to have camping trips and return to Maquoketa Caves.

“Also we may go to Lake Red Rock for cliff jumping,” Stuchiner added.

No other club offers as many opportunities for breathtaking stunts as the Grinnell Extreme Society. To McCall and Stuchiner, at the end of the day, the group is about having fun.

“It’s nice to give people the resources and pointers to get them started,” McCall said. “I’m not expecting to have Tony Hawks coming out of here, just as long as someone picks up a hobby.”

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