UMD Recreational Sports Outdoor Program Providing Opportunities for Students, Community

This Summer the Program will Expand Its Offerings to Your Camping Destination

DULUTH, Minn – Over the past year, many have turned to the outdoors as a source of solace amid a global health crisis and other stressors in our everyday lives.

“It’s perfect. I couldn’t be any more grateful,” said Hannah Holmberg, a senior at UMD.

It’s a source of gratitude only Mother Nature can provide.

“We have three extra days this semester that we don’t usually have,” said Melody David-McKnight, sea kayaking coordinator for UMD Recreational Sports Outdoor Program.

For a group of six UMD students, extra days on the academic calendar create opportunities on the open water.

“We go over basic paddle strokes, how to fit a kayak, and I like to get them on the water as quickly as I can,” said David-McKnight.

David-McKnight knows a thing or two when it comes to sea kayaking on the great Gitche Gumee.

“If you don’t know the rules of the nautical road and the ways boats move around each other, you can get yourself into a lot of trouble here,” said David-McKnight.

She’s using her experience and title with the UMD Rec Sports Outdoor Program to help others unwind and rejuvenate.

“It’s really rewarding and it creates a great canvas for getting to know people in a real genuine way,” said David-McKnight.

“It’s just nice to be connected to the water. It helps bring me peace when there’s a lot of stress going on with school sometimes, and it’s just nice to feel one with the environment,” said Holmberg.

After a year of unknown, the open water can provide a relaxing experience and new opportunity for future adventures.

“I leave and I just feel so much more at peace and just happier with how everything is going. I have hope,” said Holmberg.

Starting this summer, the UMD Rec Sports Outdoor Program could be coming to a lake near you.

“We have an exciting new program offering this summer. We can join you on your family camping trip for a day. If you’re going camping and you want to add kayaking, call us up and we’ll get you scheduled,” said David-McKnight.

The team is excited to branch out and connect with residents in the community, providing a service and memories that’ll last a lifetime.

“There’s no teacher like the natural world,” said David-McKnight.

“If you have an opportunity to paddle and to get out there and try it, skill level doesn’t matter. We love to introduce people to the water and to get them involved,” said Holmberg.

The new program this summer will allow for a trained instructor to spend four hours with you and your family or friends on the open water.

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