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Sunday, April 21
The Indiana Daily Student

Outdoor Appeal

Event aims to educate on outdoor opportunities

A revised version of Spiderman is on the move. \nIU physician Brent Nielsen is negotiating the 40-foot climbing tower at Bradford Woods Outdoor Center during the second annual IU Outdoor Day 2002 held on Saturday.\nThe free event was sponsored by Bradford Woods Outdoor Center, IU Outdoor Adventures, Outdoor Recreation and Resource Management Option and the Cline Foundation. Its purpose was not to raise money for the programs but to educate the community about their existence.\nNielsen, already an outdoor enthusiast, had come out with his wife, Elisa, looking for a challenge. \nHis sports watch glints in the sunlight and his harness strains against his thighs as he lifts himself up to the next foothold. With his arms splayed against the wall and fingers curled around the resin handholds, he peers up the last 20 feet to get an idea of where his boots will move next.\nThis move would be considerably easier to make if the wall wasn't tilting backwards. Out of the towers' four walls -- the 60, 80, 90 degree and the "overhang" -- Nielsen is now working on the overhang, which angles back midway up the wall.\nAfter considerable protest from his forearms, Nielsen repels down from the physical and mental challenge of the wall with the intent to try it again later. \n"For recreational purposes, you just climb," said Jufer Villanueva, a professional field instructor. "For challenge and therapeutic purposes, we make the wall a metaphor for seeing and reaching your goals. It just gives you a different perspective."\nAlthough not all activities were as challenging as the climbing tower, IU Outdoor Day provided many outdoor activities that appealed to almost everyone: hiking, canoeing, fishing, eagle watching, hay rides, kayaking, compass skills, crafts and wild edibles.\n"Bradford Woods isn't open to the public, so we wanted to get the community involved and help them understand what it is that we do here," staff member James Rogers said. \nWhile the weather couldn't have been more beautiful for IU Outdoor Day, the date selected could've been better. The event vied for attention with the Hilly Hundred and Jill Behrman's Run for the Endzone. \nJohn Deckard, manager of sales and marketing, said one of Bradford Woods' goals is to get more IU students involved with the program, which is designed to educate people about the environment, adventure, recreation and leadership programs\n"IU students are a huge community and we look to serve them," Deckard said. "Athletes, advocacy groups, Greek organizations, departments all come here and we're looking to extend that."\nBoth students and families turned out for Outdoor Day, looking for fun.\nChristine Milne said she drove 40 minutes from Greenwood, Ind., to attend the event with her husband, daughter and her daughter's friend.\nFirst and foremost on their agenda was the universal ropes course, a series of suspended rope activities like the "wobbly bridge" and "cable crossing" that is supervised by staff members.\nThe four said the ropes were a little scary but mostly fun, although Milne laughed about how she chickened-out on the cable crossing. \n"We're just here to have a good time," Milne said. "We don't get to do stuff like this together very often so we jumped at the opportunity"

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