Off the Grid and Into the Wild

by Kira Weiner

Chapman Students Look to Camping to Get Away from the Stress of Every Day Life

Sophomore strategic and corporate communications major Brenda Cai never thought that she would be the type to go camping.

"I was really skeptical about not having access to wifi and technology for two whole days," Cai said. "To be honest, I wasn’t even sure I’d like camping.” 

However, when Cai’s plans for Easter Weekend fell through, she opted to join her friends on a camping trip to Chilaeo Campground instead of staying in her dorm room. The result refreshed her perspective not only on camping, but on her every day life as well.

Cai went camping with The Club, an unofficial recreational club of Chapman students who plan weekend excursions and adventures. Aside from staying overnight at the Chilao Campground, Cai and her friends also hiked Tar Creek and went cliff jumping at Hermit Falls.  While at first she was skeptical about camping, Cai ended up immensly enjoying her weekend. 

“It was a great way to get exercise, hang out with friends, and get away from technology and every day life.” Cai said. “In the end, it was really refreshing for me.”

Like Cai, sophomore environmental science and policy major Brett Galland and junior kineseology major Kita Gale also enjoyed getting away for a weekend by going camping. Galland and a few of his close friends camped at Joshua Tree for two nights in May, while Gale organized her twenty first birthday celebration in April at Jumbo Rocks Campground, also in Joshua Tree. For both, the weekends were opportunities to get away for a while.

“I’m always getting email notifications, texts, and phone calls,” Galland said. “When I went camping, I didn’t have my phone on. You don’t really need all that stuff all the time, anyway.”

The first night that Galland and his friends arrived at Joshua Tree, they watched the sunset, then woke up the next morning at five to see the sunrise from Ryan Mountain. Gale also cites hiking as one of her favorite parts of her camping experience.

“We climbed to the top of the tallest peaks and sat up there for 20 minutes listening to music and talking and looking out over the desert,” said Gale. “It was so awesome.”

Cai, Galland, and Gale all said that they would go camping again. Gale said that she was happy that of all places, she spent her birthday at Joshua Tree.

“You get to bond so much more around a campfire than other places,” said Gale. “That’s my idea of a celebration.”


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