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When Wisconsin Hoofers had its first meeting in 1931, there were seven people present. Modeling itself on the Dartmouth Outing Club (which formed in 1909), Hoofers espoused a mission to inspire Badgers to explore the great outdoors — and to provide easy access to equipment such as skis, tents, canoes … you name it. Today the organization, housed within the Outdoor UW section of the Wisconsin Union, has more than 2,500 members who participate in its six different clubs. Hoofers Ski and Snowboard is the oldest club: it actually started as the Badger Ski Club in the 1920s. (It was famous for the giant Observatory Hill ski jump.) The next two clubs were the Hoofer Riding Club and the Hoofer Sailing Club, which both started in 1939. The sailing club currently has some 1,000 members, but it hit its highest point in 1974, when it had 3,000 — making it the largest university sailing club in the country. Two more clubs were incorporated under the Hoofers umbrella in the ’40s: the Outing Club in 1945 and the Mountaineering Club in 1949. The newest addition to the Hoofers family came in 1976, when the Scuba Club was formed.

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