Updated: Mar 10, 2019
After a week of deadlines, tests and stress, students may feel like they need an escape. Possibly a weekend getaway where they can ski, snowboard or tube all day, warm up in the hot tub and finish the night with a poolside hangout?
The Student Organization for Activity Planning gives students a wide variety of opportunities to make these getaways possible and affordable.
SOAP promotes bringing “good clean fun” to campus such as movies, games, performers and more. Although the majority of its events are based on campus, the organization does several trips a year that get Gulls out of their nest and into new destinations such as the $20 New York day trip, $60 overnight Camelback Mountain Resort Ski Trip and $20 Busch Gardens trip.
This past weekend, SOAP held its annual overnight ski trip in Tannersville, Pennsylvania. Students were provided with a hotel room, could choose between skiing, snowboarding and tubing, and had access to a water park with 13 water slides, surfing simulator and more for the low price of $60.
How can SOAP can make its trip prices so reasonable? Senior Kia Porter, the travel chair of SOAP, explained that students are already paying for these events in their tuition, so they should take advantage of the opportunities.
“SOAP is funded through the school, so the student activities fee in your tuition goes toward the activities we run,” Porter said.
Freshman Marshall Haas, a business management student, found out about the ski trip through the student activities newsletter and decided to go “to meet new people and have the opportunity to do something off campus.”
The highlight of Hass' trip was snowboarding all day. Not only are these trips a great value, but as Hass says, they’re "a great opportunity to socialize with fellow Gulls."
Porter agrees that SOAP events in general, as well as travel trips, are a great way to meet new people and make friends. By sharing new experiences with new people, students can expect to come home with timeless memories and maybe even some new friends, too.
According to Porter, the ski trip and the New York trip seem to be SOAP's most popular and highly anticipated events.
"Year after year they sell out, and many people who have attended the trips in previous years tend to come back," Porter said.
Senior Shannon Rommel is one person who took advantage of the ski trip two years in a row. Comparing last year’s trip to this year’s, Rommel described that “This year was much more organized, although they were both super fun."
Rommel explained that during the 2018 SOAP Ski Trip, there was trouble with some logistical things like transportation and the rooms, but aside from that, Rommel and her peers were able to hit slopes early so they could ski all day and go to the water park at night.
When asked if they would ever do a trip similar to this independently, students expressed their gratitude for the organization.
“The entire trip was only $60, which is incredible, and I’m so glad Salisbury offers opportunities for students like this,” Rommel said.
Similarly, Haas emphasized that “[SOAP] made it super affordable for us to be able to have a hotel room and ski.”
Relating to offering new overnight trips, Porter explained that it depends on what the trip is.
"Something like the ski trip costs thousands of dollars to do, and each trip requires lots of planning, time and funding, but we’re definitely open to new ideas,” Porter said.
Although these trips are a great bargain, many students found the real value for them was in the friendships they made and experiences they shared with their fellow Gulls.
If students would like to participate in SOAP’s future trips such as the “Into the Woods” musical trip on April 6 or the Busch Gardens trip on April 27, look out for CSIL emails or check SOAP's Instagram page for more information @SUsoap.
By MEGAN SOUDER
Featured photo: Megan Souder image.