Once every year, on a Wednesday a couple weeks into fall semseter, all classes during the day are canceled for students to attend the GU tradition that is “All College Hike.” The event is just as the name says, a hike done by all of the college. All students, faculty, staff, and members of the community that want to participate meet at Whitlock chapel in the morning to bike, run, walk, rollerblade, skateboard, horseback ride, or use whatever mode of transportation they choose and make the near six-mile journey to Durley Camp. This unique experience is not mandatory, but those who don't attend miss out on neat stuff such as lunch, a free t-shirt, games, and just plain fun!
The three biggest mysteries of All College Hike are will it rain, what ridiculous article of clothing is the women’s basketball team going to wear this year, and will the food be any good. This year, All College Hike took place on September 12th. As expected, hundreds gathered on the corner of College Ave. and Elm St. as President Filby’s voice echoed encouragement followed by the marching band sounding the GU Alma Mater. The cross country and track stars led the pack, Coach Mulholland's wellness students meandered behind, the Women’s Basketball athletes hurried along in their old man polos, and all others enjoyed the journey. Fortunately, we were blessed with clear skies all day long!
Hannah Krukewitt on the Women’s basketball team said, “I really liked the community atmosphere it (All College Hike) gives to students. Running it was tough, but it allowed us to come together as a team. When you get there, you just get this sense of togetherness as a university. It is such a cool tradition, and if you didn’t go this year, you should go next year!”
Upon arrival, all were welcomed by the Cheer and Dance Team’s enthusiastic cheers and a healthy snack of apples and bananas served by the Men’s Basketball crew. As Fresh Ideas and faulty volunteers prepared a scrumptious meal, all hikers spread themselves out participating in lawn games, sand volleyball, waterfront activities such as canoeing, and outdoor basketball. The majority of attendees entered the building to experience one of the most extensive opportunities fair ever known to GU All College Hike. Each person motivated to earn their free tee shirt visited at least 5 booths to accumulate stickers that are required to receive the shirt.
The first-year professor, Dr. Paul Alvord said, "What I liked most about it (All Collge Hike) was that it was virtually impossible not to stop and think how much God has blessed us. I love all the traditions that Greenville holds. There is a reason so many people have close ties to this place, and I believe the traditions are a big piece of that."
Once the clock hit 11:30, the lunch line grew to an enormous length. Tummies were growling! Soon enough, all were fed delicious meats, baked beans, and chips and were satisfied. And of course, we can’t forget about cookies for dessert! Last on the agenda was a worship service led by one of GU’s Pursuit bands. The GU community lifted their voices and hearts and thanked the Lord for such a beautiful day, spectacular event, and the established tradition of All College Hike. This was followed by an encouraging message from Pastor Shane Bishop, from Christ Church in Fairview Heights, IL. Part of his powerful message included these words, “Here’s what I’m going to take a stand on (1) the existence of an active God, (2) the centrality of Christ for salvation; I don’t think Jesus is a way among ways, I think Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, (3) the authority of scripture, and (4) the mission of the church.”
If you missed out on this awesome day, take Krukewitt’s advice and attend the hike next year!