Lifetime Leisure Skills | Recreational Services
The University of Iowa

The Lifetime Leisure Skills (LLS) department offers classes for academic credit through a unique partnership between Recreational Services and the University College. Credits range from 1 to 4 s.h. per class. These courses are designed to engage students in fun and healthy recreational activities that can be continued beyond college and throughout their lives. Lifetime Leisure Skills courses are open to University of Iowa undergraduate and graduate students.

Course offerings include outdoor recreation activities such as rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, backpacking, biking, and camping to indoor activities that include kickboxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, salsa dancing, and ballroom dancing. LLS courses are appropriate for students at all skill levels.

While the majority of classes take place on campus or in the Iowa City area, several off-campus courses are in the following locations: 

  •  Grand Canyon National Park
  •  Canyonlands National Park
  •  Arches National Park
  •  Zion National Park
  •  Big Bend National Park
  •  Voyageurs National Park
  •  Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  •  Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
  •  Effigy Mounds National Monument
  •  Loess Hills State Forest
  • Yellow River State Forest
  •  Maquoketa Caves State Park
  •  Devil's Lake State Park
  •  Pictured Rocks County Park
  •  Upper Iowa River.

Search LLS classes on MyUI.

Registration 

Registration for all Lifetime Leisure Skills classes takes place on MyUI. To see a list of courses, select the appropriate session/semester and enter “LLS” in the Course Subject line. If you cannot find the class you are looking for, make sure you have the correct session (i.e., semester) selected.

Some classes have course fees. If there is an applicable course fee, it will be charged to your U-Bill. In most cases, fees cover things like transportation, equipment, permits, camping, and food. To see what a course fee covers for a particular class, read the course description for that class.

If needed, you may drop LLS classes on MyUI up to 11:59 PM the day before the first class meeting. You will not be charged the course fee if you drop by this time. The course fee is not refundable if you drop after this time.

If a course is full, you may sign up for the waitlist. Students who have not successfully enrolled before the course begins may attend the first class meeting. If space is available, the instructor will add students to the course on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited due to transportation, equipment, safety, and instruction limitations.

Questions? Please contact Steve Campbell, Departmental Executive Officer at steve-campbell@uiowa.edu or (319) 384-1620.

Dance, Sport, Exercise, and other

Basics of ballroom dancing

Partner Dancing, as with several other activities, requires the use of the body, mind, spirit, and emotions.  There will be seven ballroom dances in which the basic steps are taught.  They are as follows: Fox Trot (2 step), Waltz, Swing (Eastern and Western), Rumba, Meringue, Cha-Cha, and the Tango.  The following elements will be stressed: the dance position, dance motions, basic rhythms, phrasing, and dance expressions.

Beginning through intermediate-level waltz figures, performing a beautiful waltz routine, skills, and knowledge to dance with confidence at any formal dance occasion, for all skill levels.

This class is for beginning to intermediate-level figures in two of the most beautiful and popular dances in the world—foxtrot and tango; for all skill levels.

Beginner- to intermediate-level figures in three of the most popular and energy-charged Latin dances of today—Rhumba, Cha Cha, and Merengue; for all skill levels.

This class teaches the Salsa, the Hustle, Nightclub Two-Step, and the Argentine tango, for all skill levels.

This class teaches Mambo, Samba, Waltz, and the Viennese Waltz, for all skill levels.

Rhythm and Smooth Series is a beginner level class in the following dances: Mambo, Samba, Waltz, and Viennese Waltz. Students will learn how to properly execute beginning figures in each dance, how to Lead and Follow, and proper etiquette involved in social dancing. Additionally, students will learn a brief history, the characteristics, and the musicality of each dance. Attendance will be taken, and new dance figures (dance steps) will be taught in every class. It is important to be on time and attend every class so that you do not fall behind or impede the progress of your classmates.

Fundamentals of Latin/Salsa dancing; musical rhythms, cultural history, postures, technique, basic movements; methods for developing strength, stamina, balance, poise, and partner dancing skills; traditional social behaviors in salsa's cultural context.

This class introduces the students to the fundamentals of Latin/Salsa dancing with its musical rhythms, cultural history, postures, technique, and basic movements. The style for this class is called 'Club Salsa.' Techniques for developing strength, stamina, balance, and partner dancing skills are significant topics. Along with learning to dance, the course comes with 'bonus skills' of improved self-confidence and an understanding of the traditional and expected social behaviors within the cultural context of this dance form.

This class will have an emphasis on mindfulness, breath awareness, and attention to alignment.

This basic Hatha yoga class includes standing, seated, and balancing postures that emphasize mindfulness, breath awareness, and attention to proper alignment.  The poses are combined to generate a rhythm that keeps the natural heat of bodybuilding while developing strength, balance, and stamina.  Included will be information on the origins of Yoga, a breakdown of poses, and how to develop practice. Mantras, guided imagery, and relaxation techniques will also be discussed and practiced.

Basic principles and fundamentals of the golf swing (e.g., full swing, pitching, chipping, putting); opportunity to practice skills at various facilities; history, basic rules, proper golf etiquette, the evolution of golf-related to technology.

A majority of this course will offer insight to the students on the basic principles and fundamentals of the golf swing.  We will have time to spend on the full swing, pitching, chipping, and putting.  Each student will have the opportunity to practice these skills at various facilities, based on the weather.  A smaller portion of this class will be spent learning about the history, some basic rules, proper golf etiquette, and the evolution of golf-related to technology.

Basics of knitting while exploring mindfulness and patience.

This class teaches students how to knit with a focus on practicing mindfulness and patience--skills that can be used and honed throughout life. Students will learn the basics of knitting: terminology, cast-on, knit, purl, color change, and bind-off. They will create beginner projects and advance to a beginner cowl.  Students will also have the opportunity to experience and reflect on the positive effects that knitting can have for those who engage in this craft, especially practicing patience with oneself and with others.

Students will be expected to knit outside of class to make progress on their practice each week. As the final project, each student will complete a beginner cowl. During the last week of class, students and instructors will meet at a local yarn shop to turn in the final project and to take the exam. In addition to knitting, students will complete weekly 1-2 page writing assignments.

Class sessions will consist of knitting, troubleshooting, and discussion.  Knitting support hours will be available throughout the week for students to attend if troubleshooting is needed--days of the week and location TBD. Students must provide their own transportation to class and knitting support hours.

Martial Arts

Basics of kickboxing.

This physically challenging course teaches the fundamentals of kicking, punching, and footwork. No sparring is allowed. Course topics illustrate the differences between competitive kickboxing, martial arts-based classes, and kickboxing as an exercise.

Hand wraps and bag gloves are required. If you do not already have these items, that's okay; suggestions about where to purchase them will be given at the first class.

Aggressive workout utilizing heavy bags, coach's mitts, and other equipment; conducted at moderate to intense pace using competitive kickboxing techniques, training methods, and equipment; kickboxing as a conditioning tool with self-defense as a byproduct; not designed to prepare for competition.

Basics of Tae Kwon Do.

This engaging and energizing course teaches students the physical techniques of Tae Kwon Do as well as its philosophy, ethics, history, and discipline as a martial art. 

A Tae Kwon Do uniform will be required for this course. If you do not already have a uniform, that's okay; suggestions about where to purchase one will be provided during the first class.

Introduction to the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; basic self-defense, positional grappling, submissions, submission defense; No martial arts experience required.

This course introduces students to the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at an introductory level. No prior martial arts experience is required; the course topics include: basic self-defense, positional grappling, submissions, and submission defense.  Evaluation/Grading is based on attendance and participation, several small assignments, and a written final.

Land

This course is an introduction to the wonderful world of camping; focus on the development of skills and knowledge of camping equipment, campsite selection and setup, outdoor cooking, useful knots, and minimum impact principles; overnight camping required.

This class engages in the natural history of the Loess Hills of western Iowa, Maquoketa Caves of eastern Iowa, or Effigy Mounds National Monument and Yellow River State Forest of northeastern Iowa; overnight camping required.

Maquoketa Caves:

This class travels to Maquoketa Caves State Park in eastern Iowa to explore its unique geological formations. Maquoketa Caves is one of Iowa's most unique state parks. Its caves, limestone formations, and rugged bluffs provide visitors a chance to "step back" into geological time thousands of years. Caves are all different sizes and shapes. Some can be explored by walking, while others can best be seen by crawling. In any case, a flashlight or headlamp and old clothes and shoes are most helpful. The park contains more caves than any other state park in Iowa. A beautiful trail system links the caves, formations, and overlooks while providing an exciting hiking experience. Trail highlights include the dramatic "Natural Bridge," which stands nearly 50 feet above Raccoon Creek, and the 17-ton "Balanced Rock."

The class will leave Iowa City on Friday afternoon, camp at Maquoketa Caves State Park over the weekend, and return to campus on Sunday afternoon. Friday's departure time coordinates around students' class schedules. The course fee covers camping equipment, park fees, meals while camping, and transportation. Attendance at all class sessions is mandatory. Students will be expected to wear appropriate footwear and clothing.  The instructor will discuss what footwear and clothing is appropriate for this course at the Wednesday evening meeting. 

Effigy Mounds:

This class travels to the Driftless Area of northeastern Iowa to explore Effigy Mounds National Monument. The Effigy Moundbuilders inhabited the Upper Mississippi River Valley in Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota, Southwest Wisconsin, and Northwest Illinois during the Late Woodland period. Beginning around 350 A.D, the Effigy Mound Culture occurs and continues in northeast Iowa until about 1300 A.D. The animal-shaped mounds found at the national monument are thought to have started around 600 AD and continued until the end of the Late Woodland period. The rugged, deeply carved terrain seen in the “Paleozoic Plateau” of Northeast Iowa is so unlike the remainder of the state that the contrast is unmistakable. It is this bedrock dominated terrain that sparked Samuel Calvin, one of Iowa’s best known nineteenth-century geologists to speak of these unexpectedly scenic landscapes as the “Switzerland of Iowa.” See http://www.nps.gov/efmo/ for details regarding the unique geology, biology, and botany of Effigy Mounds National Monument and surrounding areas. Trails will vary in difficulty, and students must be prepared to hike over 7 miles in a day. Students should be prepared to hike and camp in hot, cold, windy, or rainy weather.

The class will leave Iowa City on Friday afternoon, camp at Yellow River State Forest over the weekend, and return to campus on Sunday afternoon. Friday's departure time will be coordinated around students' class schedules. The course fee covers camping equipment, park fees, meals while camping, and transportation. Attendance at all class sessions is mandatory. Students will be expected to wear appropriate footwear and clothing.  The instructor will discuss what footwear and clothing is appropriate for this course at the mandatory Wednesday evening meeting. 

Beginner-level hiking skills; safety and planning; proper care and use of equipment; physically strenuous; overnight camping required.

This class will travel to Devil's Lake State Park for a weekend of hiking and camping while learning about the geological forces that created this Midwest wonder. Located approximately 4 hours from Iowa City in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Devil's Lake State Park boasts over 29 miles of hiking trails of varying length and difficulty. Panoramic vistas abound as students hike to the top of stone bluffs encircling the magnificent lake. This class is beginner-friendly, but will be moderately strenuous at times. Students should prepare for steep climbs/descents and varying weather.

The class will leave Iowa City on Friday afternoon, camp at Devil's Lake over the weekend, and return to campus on Sunday evening around 6:00 PM. Friday's departure time will be coordinated around students' class schedules. The course fee covers camping equipment, park fees, meals while camping, and transportation. Attendance at all class sessions is mandatory. Students will be expected to wear appropriate footwear and clothing.  The instructor will discuss what footwear and clothing is appropriate for this course at the mandatory Wednesday evening meeting. 

Beginner-level backpacking skills; essential map reading, proper packing and planning, equipment and clothing selection; physically strenuous; overnight camping required.

Remote, multi-day, backcountry camping skills; proper packing and planning; backcountry nutrition; topographic map reading; equipment and clothing selection; very physically strenuous; overnight camping required.

 

Experience the Appalachian Mountains via the Foothills Trail, a 76-mile National Recreation Trail located on the border of North and South Carolina. For several days and nights, students will hike through the mountains and see a mix of breathtaking views, serene lakes, raging rivers, and majestic waterfalls.

Please note that this class will be very physically strenuous; a good level of physical fitness will go a long way! Individuals with health concerns - particularly of the heart and lung variety - should take serious consideration before registering. Students will hike up to 10-15 miles per day on challenging terrain, ascending and descending in elevation, while carrying backpacks weighing upwards of 50 pounds. Camping will be primitive and remote. Weather in this region is unpredictable during the early spring and can be extreme. That being said, this class does not require prior backpacking experience or technical skill - beginners are welcome!

Course fees cover transportation, meals while camping, permit/access/camping fees, and backpacking/camping equipment.

This class with teach the basics of orienteering, including map and compass skill at the Macbride Nature Recreation Area.

 

This active and applicable course introduces students to the basic orienteering skills needed to use a map and compass in outdoor settings effectively. Topics will include: reading a topographical map, properly using a compass, how to shoot, and follow a field bearing, triangulation, and route finding. Students will put their new-found knowledge to the test at the Macbride Nature and Recreation Area, which boasts 485 beautiful acres of woodlands, wetlands, prairies, and lakefront. This class is beginner-friendly and may be moderately strenuous at times. 

The weekend portion of the class involves two single-day field experiences (Saturday and Sunday) and does not include or require overnight camping. Attendance at all class meetings is mandatory. Students must provide their own transportation and food. More details will be given in the first class meeting.

This class involves extensive navigation and camping skills in a remote wilderness. There will be a focus on map and compass skills such as declination, bearings, triangulation, topographical map reading, situational awareness, and backcountry camping skills. This course can be very physically strenuous.

This class was formerly called "Land Navigation." Students will learn basic and advanced land navigation techniques while backpacking in the breathtaking Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument of southern Utah. The goal is to provide students with the tools and confidence to undertake solo, and small group trips into unfamiliar terrain by planning routes and determining locations using topographic maps and compass. Among the skills learned will be: reading a topographic map, proper use of a compass, determining location using triangulation, terrain navigation, and overnight backpacking skills. GPS technology will be introduced if time allows.

Please note that this class will be very physically strenuous; a good level of physical fitness will go a long way! Individuals with health concerns - particularly of the heart and lung variety - should take serious consideration before registering. Students will hike up to 10-15 miles per day on challenging terrain, ascending and descending in elevation, while carrying backpacks weighing upwards of 50 pounds. Camping will be primitive and remote. That being said, this class does not require prior backpacking experience or technical skill - beginners are welcome!

Course fees cover transportation, meals while camping, permit/access/camping fees, and backpacking/camping equipment.

This course involves the exploration of various team-building methods and typical characteristics of successful teams through the use of the UI Challenge Course. There is a strong emphasis on cooperative group work and discussions.

This class gives students first-hand insight into what constitutes "good teamwork" and how to apply this knowledge to the "teams" of their own lives - whether it be at a job, in a student organization, within social circles, or in their own families. Through participation in the UI Challenge Course, students will experience a variety of group-centered activities and challenges. On Saturday, the focus will be on the low ropes course, which involves cooperative group games and team challenges. On Sunday, students will have the opportunity to challenge themselves on the 30-foot-tall high ropes course. Throughout the weekend, themes of teamwork, group dynamics, and leadership are explored in a fun and active setting.

Attendance at all sessions is mandatory. The weekend portion of the class involves two single-day field experiences (Saturday and Sunday) and does not include or require overnight camping. The course is located on the Ashton Cross-Country Course, just west of the Hawkeye Recreation Fields. Directions will be given at the first class meeting. Students must provide their own transportation, food, and water.

Leadership theories, group dynamics, expedition logistics, outdoor leadership skills, risk management, indoor and outdoor classroom sessions, overnight camping required; technical skill development may include backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, bike touring, general camping.

This course focuses on leadership theories and their applications in outdoor recreation experiences. Through a combination of indoor and outdoor class sessions, students will gain an understanding of critical factors that contribute to successful group endeavors.

The culminating experience of this course is an 8-day class expedition that will take place on May 20-27, 2020. There will also be two-weekend trips required during the regular semester (April 4-5 and May 1-3). The locations for these experiences will be determined at a later time. Past expeditions have included locations such as Grand Canyon National Park (AZ), Big Bend National Park (TX), Canyonlands National Park (UT), Arches National Park (UT), Labyrinth Canyon of the Green River (UT), Buffalo National River (AR), Voyageurs National Park (MN), Superior Hiking Trail (MN), and the Namekagon River (WI). 

Students will be expected to teach leadership or outdoor skills lessons to their peers, participate as "leader of the day," and take responsibility for a portion of the logistical planning for the various field experiences.

 

Students must be willing to participate in outdoor recreation activities and spend a significant amount of time outdoors. The course will be physically strenuous at times.

This course will include the utilization of indoor and outdoor climbing classrooms, comprehensive introduction to physical techniques of rock climbing, mechanical skills of belaying, proper usage of personal protective equipment, and common climbing terminology.

This comprehensive course spends Saturday teaching students the basics of rock climbing on the Rec's indoor climbing wall before heading out to Pictured Rocks County Park on Sunday to climb the limestone bluffs. If the weather does not allow for an outdoor climbing session, both days will be spent at the indoor climbing wall instead. This course is beginner-friendly, but will be moderately strenuous at times. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be eligible to obtain a UI Climbing Wall belay approval card. 

The course fee covers climbing equipment and transportation to the outdoor climbing location.  Students must provide their own food and activity appropriate clothing. Attendance at all class meetings is mandatory.

Expands on skills learned in LLS:1200; requires current belay card for UI Campus Recreation and Wellness Center climbing wall; overnight camping required.

Intermediate Rock Climbing will expand on skills learned in Introduction to Rock Climbing and allow students to improve their outdoor climbing techniques. In this class, students will venture to Devil's Lake State Park in Wisconsin to climb its famed quartzite rock. Panoramic vistas abound as students climb stone towers encircling the magnificent lake.
The class will leave Iowa City on Friday afternoon, camp at Devil's Lake over the weekend, and return to campus on Sunday evening around 6:00 PM. Friday's departure time will be coordinated around students' class schedules. The course fee covers camping and climbing equipment, park fees, meals while camping, and transportation. Attendance at all class sessions is mandatory. This class can be strenuous at times.

Multiweek conditioning program for improving rock climbing skills; warming up and stretching, movement and technique, mental fitness, strength, power, endurance training, and goal setting; requires current belay card for UI Campus Recreation and Wellness Center climbing wall.

This course will cover the basics of bicycling for recreation, riding techniques, essential bicycle maintenance, and rules of the road. Students must already know how to ride a bike. This course is taught on Johnson County area roads and trail systems and can be physically strenuous.

Students will participate in two, 20-25 mile bike rides (40-50 miles total) in the greater Iowa City area. The class will leave from the Outdoor Rental Center (west campus) on both Saturday and Sunday. Before leaving campus, the instructor will teach students the basics of bicycle safety and mechanics. This class is beginner-friendly, but will be physically strenuous at times and may involve riding in adverse conditions such as wind, rain, and cold. 

Attendance at all class meetings is mandatory. The weekend portion of the course involves two single-day field experiences (Saturday and Sunday) and does not include or require overnight camping. A multi-speed bicycle and helmet are required for this course. Road bikes are preferred. Equipment can be rented at Recreational Services' Outdoor Rental Center (2820 Prairie Meadow Dr.) while supplies last. Students are expected to come prepared with weather-appropriate clothing. 

This course will teach the basics of mountain bicycling, riding techniques, essential bicycle maintenance, and trail etiquette. This course utilizes the Sugar Bottom recreation trail system.

This fun, fast-paced class teaches students the fundamentals of mountain biking techniques, bike anatomy, and trail stewardship. Utilizing the Sugar Bottom off-road trail system as our classroom, the course will ride and explore its winding and weaving trails through pine groves, deep ravines, and prairie meadows. Officially designated as a National Recreation Trail in 2013, Sugar Bottom trail boasts 13 miles of one-way ("single-track") looped routes to provide a continuous riding experience of varying difficulty levels. This class is beginner-friendly, but will be moderately strenuous at times. 

Attendance at all class meetings is mandatory. The weekend portion of the course involves two, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Saturday-Sunday, single-day field experiences, and does not include or require overnight camping. A multi-speed mountain bike and helmet are required for this course. These items can be rented at Recreational Services' Outdoor Rental Center (2820 Prairie Meadow Dr.) while supplies last. Students are responsible for their own transportation to the trail system and food for each day.

This course teaches the techniques of off-road running, local running trails in and around Iowa City. There is an emphasis on proper training, clothing, equipment, and nutrition, due to how physically strenuous this course can be. No experience is required.

This class is an engaging and energizing introduction to trail running. Whether taking this class to learn more about the sport or to spice up an exercise routine, students will learn proper trail running techniques on a wide variety of quality, local trails in Iowa City and surrounding areas. 

Students should come to class, having built a good running foundation as this class is strenuous. However, students can run at their own pace. The first class session will meet in the classroom listed on MyUI. The remaining classes will meet at the instructor's designated location for the day.

This course focuses on the fundamental skills for successfully growing vegetables and herbs outdoors and in containers.

This course teaches the fundamental skills for successfully designing and establishing fruit trees, berry bushes, and perennial herbs in ways that emulate a healthy woodland ecosystem and enrich our interaction with nature.

Learn to design a beautiful, resilient, edible landscape of fruit trees, berry bushes, and perennial herbs that maximizes its benefit to people and enhances our local environment. A core focus is the creation of elegant, mutualistic relationships between plants, wildlife, and people, all working in harmony to eat and thrive.

Through fun, hands-on projects and field trips, design and establish patches of Midwest orchard crops while putting much of the maintenance burden onto Mother Nature’s muscular back. Thoroughly assess a site to understand its natural yields, identify rainwater flow patterns to create a self-watering landscape, understand how to use nature’s principles to build healthy soil and minimize energy inputs, and establish a garden with minimal effort.

While principles learned can be applied to a landscape of any size, design activities will center around small, residential sites.

The underlying framework for the class is permaculture (permanent agriculture): the harmonious integration of landscape and people, providing food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs sustainably and ethically.

Only organic methods of weed and pest management will be learned; no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers will be used.

Water

This course covers the basics of flatwater tandem canoeing, paddle strokes, canoe anatomy, water safety at the Macbride Nature Recreation Area.

A comprehensive introduction to canoeing, this course provides students with a solid foundation of paddling skills and knowledge. Utilizing beautiful Lake Macbride as our classroom, students will have the opportunity to learn and practice fundamental paddle strokes in both the stern (rear) and bow (front) positions to improve their canoeing ability. Assignments outside of class meeting times will be required for the successful completion of the course. This class is beginner-friendly and may be moderately strenuous at times.

Attendance at all sessions is mandatory. The weekend portion of the class involves two single-day field experiences (Saturday and Sunday) and does not include or require overnight camping. Canoeing equipment is provided. Participants must provide their own transportation, appropriate attire, and food on both days.

This course teaches the fundamentals of tandem canoeing on moving water, basic paddling strokes, canoe anatomy, hydrology, and river safety. Overnight camping required.

This class will spend two days canoeing down the Upper Iowa River, the only river in the state of Iowa eligible for the coveted National Wild & Scenic federal designation. Known for its rugged limestone bluffs, tall trees, and abundant wildlife, the Upper Iowa is one of the best rivers for paddling in Iowa. The trip will include two nights of tent camping at a well maintained and scenic campground with a large campfire to gather around each night.

Your course fee covers canoeing and camping equipment, food while camping, campsite fees, and transportation. This class is beginner-friendly, but will be moderately strenuous at times.

Attendance at all class meetings is mandatory. 

How to plan and pack for multiday canoeing expeditions; Leave No Trace primitive camping; paddling skills in loaded canoes; reading river/lake maps; portaging techniques; rescue techniques; overnight camping required.

Spend your Spring Break in the far reaches of West Texas at Big Bend National Park! Learn proper skills for expedition-style canoeing and camping as you paddle through the beautiful Boquillas Canyon of the Rio Grande. Explore slot canyons, soak in natural hot springs, and gaze up at the stars in one of the darkest skies in the United States. 

Please note that this class will be physically strenuous; a good level of physical fitness will go a long way! Students will paddle up to 15 miles per day in heavily loaded canoes. Camping will be primitive and remote. That being said, this class does not require prior canoeing experience or technical skill - beginners are welcome!

Course fees cover transportation, meals while camping, permit/access/camping fees, and canoeing/camping equipment.

This course teaches the basics of sea kayaking using solo and tandem boats at the Macbride Nature Recreation Area.

A comprehensive introduction to sea kayaking, this course provides students with a solid foundation of paddling skills and knowledge. Utilizing beautiful Lake Macbride as our classroom, students will have the opportunity to learn and practice fundamental paddle strokes and techniques to improve their kayaking ability. This class is beginner-friendly and may be moderately strenuous at times.

Attendance at all sessions is mandatory. The weekend portion of the class involves two single-day field experiences (Saturday and Sunday) and does not include or require overnight camping. Kayaking equipment is provided. Participants must provide their own transportation, appropriate attire, and food on both days.

This course involves a multi-day sea kayaking expedition, primitive camping, paddling skills in loaded kayaks, reading river/lake maps, and rescue techniques.

A remote wilderness adventure, this spring break class travels to the wild west for a week of sea kayaking and exploration on beautiful Lake Powell in southern Utah! Paddle, hike, and camp while learning new skills and bonding with classmates. 

Please note that this class will be physically strenuous; a good level of physical fitness will go a long way! Students will paddle several miles per day, in potentially challenging conditions, using heavily loaded kayaks. Camping will be primitive and remote. 

Course fees cover transportation, meals while camping, permit/access/camping fees, and kayaking/camping equipment.

This course serves as an introduction to paddleboarding skills on flat, calm water, the paddling environment, board and paddle control, standing and balancing, personal preparation, and safety.

A comprehensive introduction to stand up paddleboarding, this course provides students with a solid foundation of paddling skills and knowledge. Utilizing beautiful Lake Macbride as our classroom, students will have the opportunity to learn and practice fundamental paddle strokes and techniques to improve their paddling ability. This class is beginner-friendly and may be moderately strenuous at times.

Attendance at all sessions is mandatory. The weekend portion of the class involves two single-day field experiences (Saturday and Sunday) and does not include or require overnight camping. Paddleboards and related equipment are provided. Participants must provide their own transportation, appropriate attire, and food on both days.

Basics of Scuba diving. Seven weeks.

The SCUBA class teaches the basics of scuba diving. The student will learn in both the classroom and a confined water (pool) training environment. Both academic and limited water presentations will be held each night the class meets.

Course Objectives:
· To provide the student with the knowledge and skills to safely enjoy scuba diving.
· To enable the student to plan and conduct recreational scuba dives independently.
· To gain limited experience in the diving environment under normal open water diving conditions.
· To prepare the student for Open Water Diver certification by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).

Course Requirements:
· Attend all classroom (Knowledge Development) sessions.
· Complete and hand in knowledge reviews at the end of each Knowledge Development module.
· Demonstrate understanding of Knowledge Development topics by scoring a minimum of 75% on all weekly quizzes and Final Exam.
· Demonstrate mastery of all required water skills in the weekly confined water training.
· Also, certification as a PADI Open Water Diver requires the successful completion of four open water training dives. The cost of these dives is included in the course fee. The time and place are to be determined. The student is responsible for travel, lodging, and lake entry fees as required.

Course Topics:
· Diving Equipment
· Diving Practices
· The Underwater Environment
· Diving Physics
· Diving Physiology & Medical Aspects
· Diving Emergencies
· Dive Planning
· Diving Activities
· Diving Skills

This course involves participation in five scuba diving specialty activities.

The Advanced Open Water Scuba class is an excellent way to continue your scuba diving experience. You will learn the basics of Deep Diving, of Underwater Navigation, and your selection of other opportunities, including Night Diving, Underwater Naturalist, Underwater Photography, and more! This course will explore the wonders of the north Florida springs - windows into the Florida aquifer - with some of the most transparent waters to be found.

The course fee includes all materials, equipment, transportation, and lodging. Students must pay for their own food. 

Winter

How to successfully and comfortably camp in cold, harsh conditions; snow shelters, hydration, meal preparation, clothing needs; snowshoe/ski travel with sleds (as conditions permit).

This course will be a basic primer in the skills necessary to camp outside in the winter. Students will spend two days and one night camping out at Macbride Nature Recreation Area north of Iowa City. Topics include: winter weather clothing, winter camping gear, nutrition and hydration, hypothermia and frostbite, winter shelters (quinzees and snowpits), and possibly snowshoeing. 

Camping equipment and food will be provided. Students must provide their own winter weather clothing, footwear, and transportation to Macbride Nature Recreation Area. Appropriate clothing, footwear, and carpool options will be discussed during the first class meeting. Attendance at all class sessions is mandatory.

Basics of snowshoeing; physically strenuous.

Participants will learn basic techniques of snowshoeing, including ascending, descending, and traversing on some somewhat challenging terrain.  The snowshoe adventure will take place on the scenic trails and Northwoods area of Giants Ridge Resort, located in northern Minnesota. No experience needed, but essential aerobic conditioning is recommended.

Course fee includes transportation, lodging, and equipment. 

The course fee is not refundable.

This course covers the basics of cross-country skiing in northern Wisconsin.

Students will learn the basics of cross-country skiing at Giants Ridge Resort located in the Northwoods of Minnesota.  Cross-country skiing is a very aerobic active sport but can be enjoyed by individuals of all fitness levels and ages.  Students will ski UP and DOWN hills and will be outside in potentially frigid weather. This course is strenuous.

Course fee includes transportation, equipment, lodging, and ski passes.

The first day on snow will consist of lessons in the morning, followed by a break for lunch.  The afternoon session is designed to perfect what was learned in the morning.  Students will be allowed to free ski later in the day.

The second day on snow will consist of an on-snow review and additional instruction, followed by a written test and an instructor evaluation.

Contact Us

NameTitleEmailPhone
Steve Campbell
Assistant Director, UI Challenge Course & Lifetime Leisure Skills