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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 9, 2008

Touch the Earth program offers outdoor cooking, kayaking and skiing classes

The Touch the Earth Outdoor Recreation and Education Program is offering a series of classes where outdoor enthusiasts can master cooking, kayaking and ski waxing in a fun and safe environment.

Registration has started for the classes, which are held at the Outdoor Rental Center in the University of Iowa's Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex at 2820 Prairie Meadow Dr., off Mormon Trek Boulevard in Iowa City. The programs are open to UI students, faculty, and staff, and the general public. Classes start this month and continue through May 2009.

The Touch the Earth program, part of UI Recreational Services, has provided outdoor recreation and education programs for over three decades. The goal of Touch the Earth, through experienced-based learning, is to offer safe outdoor recreation that is educational and promotes the environment.

The 2008-09 educational programs include:

--During the Outdoor Cooking Series participants can learn how to cook dinner and dessert outdoors with a Dutch oven, a one-burner back county stove or foil packets on an open fire. Classes are $20 each including food. They are held on selected Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m. Classes include: One Burner Dinner and Dessert, Tuesday, Sept. 23, and April 21; Foil Dinner and Dessert, Oct. 7, and May 5; Dutch Oven Dinner and Dessert, April 7.

--At the Kayaking Rolling Series and open pool sessions, kayakers will learn the skills used to paddle and roll in white water, with each lesson building off of previously learned skills. This hands-on training series is a prerequisite to a white water kayaking adventure trip to the southeastern states in June 2009.

The kayaking sessions are held in the UI Field House Pool. The fall Kayaking Rolling Series meets Sundays, Nov. 2, 9, 16 (register by Oct. 26). The spring Kayaking Rolling Series meets Feb. 1, 8, 15, 2009 (register by Jan. 25).

Open Kayaking Pool Sessions are Jan. 25 and Feb. 25, with a $5 drop-in fee. Open pool sessions are for people who wish to continue practicing their skills after the rolling series. The open sessions also provide an opportunity for people who might be interested in the rolling series to get in a kayak and test it out.

--Basic Ski Waxing Clinic, Dec. 15 and Jan. 26, at the Outdoor Rental Center. Participants will learn the art of waxing cross-country skis at this free event.

--Moonlight Ski and S'Mores, Feb. 6, at the Macbride Nature Recreation Area (MNRA). Cross-country skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts can explore the moonlit trails at MNRA. Participants will also enjoy s'mores and hot chocolate around a campfire. The event is free and registration is not necessary.

Most sessions have a registration deadline, usually about a week before the event. For prices and more details about the programs, see or contact the Outdoor Rental Center at 319-384-1225.

STORY SOURCE: University News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 370, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dave Patton, Recreational Services 319-384-1223,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,