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Hoof On: Learn how to get more involved with the Wisconsin Hoofers

The Hoofers hallway at Memorial Union.

Oh how time flies when you’re having fun!

This year, 2021, the Wisconsin Hoofers are celebrating 90 years of adventure, fun and exploration. 

Now is the perfect time to learn more about what Hoofers has to offer, how you can join, and what makes being a Hoofer so great. 

The Wisconsin Hoofers consists of six clubs, the Mountaineering Club, the Outing Club, the Riding Club, the Sailing Club, the Scuba Club, and the Ski and Snowboard Club. 

Each club has individual memberships,  trips, and schedules. 

To be eligible to join a Hoofers club, you must be either a UW-Madison student (considered a student member) or a Wisconsin Union Member (memberships are available to purchase here). Membership in each club is a separate purchase, and there’s no limit on the number of clubs you can join. Want to join them all? Go for it!

While some clubs have collegiate competitions open only to students, most of the clubs have mixed membership, such as the Hoofers Sailing Club, whose membership includes 40-50% non-students. 

Here is an inside look at what makes each Hoofer’s Club so special:

Ski and Snowboard Club:

The UW-Madison Ski and Snowboard Club is open to students and Union Members with the purchase of a $45 membership pass. By joining the club, members gain access to the club’s trips which include discounted lift tickets, lessons, and rentals. 

Rail Jam, an event during Winter Carnival, took place at the Memorial Union Terrace on February 8, 2020. Photographed by Sam Scribner.

The club also provides transportation to and from the hills and is a great way to meet new people! Beginning second semester there will be three trips each week out to Tyrol Basin, a local ski hill outside of Madison. 

Some trips the SnS Club is planning for the upcoming year include a winter break trip to Crested Butte, CO, heading to Mount Bohemia in the UP in March, and Jackson Hole, WY, for Spring Break. The fun never stops for this snow-loving group!

Ski and Snowboard Club President Isabel Ullrich says her favorite part of the club is the amazing community the members create. 

“My favorite memory as a member of SNS is going to Mount Bohemia my sophomore year (2020). It was my first time at Mount Bohemia and I was blown away at how good the skiing was despite us being in the Midwest. I got to know a lot of the other members on that trip and truly felt like I found my friends in college!” 

Look here for more information on upcoming trips, how to join, and member benefits.

Mountaineering Club:

“Ready to learn the ropes of climbing? Rock on.”

The Mountaineering Club holds a booth at the Winter Carnival for lake front ice climbing.

The Hoofers Mountaineering Club is open to people of any skill level, whether you are looking to climb the rock walls of local Madison gyms or hoping to travel the country in search of the best, most challenging climbs. This winter break the club will be travelling on a climbing trip to Puerto Rico!

 A membership with the Mountaineering Club also includes discounts on climbing walls and gear. 

If you are looking for a more competitive setting, the club also offers the opportunity to join the UW Climbing Team!

So bring your adventurous side out to play and look for more information here

Outing Club:

The Hoofer Outing Club is a great place for members looking to connect and create memories adventuring across the U.S. In the past, the club has travelled to places like Pictured Rocks on the South shore of Lake Superior and a week-long spring break trip to backpack in the Blue Range Primitive Area in Southern Arizona. 

The Wisconsin Outing Club goes snow shoeing on Lake Mendota.

Some upcoming trips that members can look forward to this year include going to Northern Wisconsin for a cross country skiing weekend, and a number of spring break trips including a whitewater kayaking trip to the Nantahala Outdoor Center, a canoe trip to the Florida Everglades, backpacking trips throughout the South West, and more!

For Outing Club President Forrest Ahrens, his favorite part of the club is the incredible people that he has met and the skills they’ve taught him in the outdoors.

For more information and how to join, click here

Riding Club:

The Hoofer Riding Club strives to provide fun and affordable horsemanship to all its members. Through the club, members are able to take lessons, partake in jumping and dressage events, and join the Wisconsin Equestrian Team through tryouts. This is a great way to try something new, further your passion for the equestrian sport, and spend lots of time with the amazing horses. 

The Equestrian Team holds tryouts at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. Members are not required to have any experience and all are welcome to try out!

Put your foot in the stirrup and check out this amazing club

Scuba Club:

Whether you’re an experienced scuba diver or looking to try something new, the Scuba Club is ready to welcome you! 

Lifetime, annual and student members can become part of the Scuba club by purchasing a membership, however upon becoming a member you will have to become Scuba certified. Members are able to do this through one of the many FREE certification classes the club offers for its new members. 

In the past, the Scuba Club has taken trips to places ranging from Red Granite Quarry to dive trips in Florida and California. 

For Scuba Club President, Grace Roper, one of her favorite parts of the club is hearing all the members’ unique diving experiences and learning from one another. 

Roper’s current favorite memory is from the Hoofers underwater pumpkin carving dive this past semester. “We carved out all our pumpkins and got our gear ready, but it was extremely windy out on Mendota. The group that went out kept getting pushed around which doesn’t mix well with the knives for carving the pumpkins. But it was still extremely fun to be out there with all of the members and everyone’s attitudes were so positive about the whole experience.”

For more info on how to join, check out the Scuba Club website here

Sailing Club: 

On September 20, 2019 the Tong Family Marina Celebration occurred at the Hoofers lakefront. The event celebrated the first season of the Tong Family Marina. Photographed by Andy Manis.

The Hoofer Sailing Club is the perfect place for those who love the water and are looking to learn or continue their sailing careers. For UW Sailing Club members, the majority have learned techniques and instruction through the club’s FREE lessons, no experience necessary! 

Whether you are looking to sail recreationally or competitively, the club has all the means to meet your needs, including the opportunity to join the UW Sailing Team!

So get your ropes ready and click here to learn more

Joining Hoofers is a great way to make memories, enjoy new experiences and meet more people!

Hoof on!

Author: Emily Rohloff

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