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Pamela Gaboury climbs the rope ladder at the Outdoor Pursuits zip line at The Ridges on Sept. 30. (FILE)

Dads Weekend to feature adventurous activities

It is no secret that Ohio University is a school that supports and encourages family relationships. 

Four weekends out of the academic year, family members are invited to visit and reconnect with their students. These weekends are dedicated to mothers, fathers, siblings and parents. 

The next family weekend is Dads Weekend, which will be held Friday through Sunday. Dads from all around come to visit and see what their college students are up to. 

“I think all special family weekends are super important because they give each students extended family a chance to come back and spend some time with them, and also the students can kind of show off their campus and share things they do day-to-day,” Liz Pahl, associate director of event management, said. 

OU Outdoor Pursuits will be hosting three different events this weekend, including stargazing and a campfire at The Ridges both Friday and Saturday night. An astronomy professor will be there to give an interpretation in the new observatory. 

There will also be a day hike on Saturday and Sunday, which goes to Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve in Hocking Hills State Park. The third event that Outdoor Pursuits will host its zip lining on Saturday and Sunday at The Ridges. Participants will climb a 40-foot tower and glide down 300 feet of zip line. 

“I think that it is a very memorable way to spend every family weekend,” Judd Walker, assistant director of Outdoor Pursuits, said. “Athens is a great place to visit any time of year. These activities are things that we don’t offer all the time, so if you’re looking to add a special event when one of your family members is visiting, this is a great way. If you climb a 40-foot tower and ride down 300 feet of zip line with your dad, you’re going to remember that.” 

Walker has been working in the Outdoor Pursuits organization for four years, and he said these activities have been, and will continue to be, offered during every family weekend. 

In addition, Alden Library will host mini golf this weekend. An outside company that travels all over the country and turns libraries into mini golf courses will assemble the course. The course will cover the first, third and fourth floors of Alden and consist obstacles. The library staff created its own teams, and each team will decorate its hole with a different theme. At the end of the course, golfers will be asked to vote on which hole they liked the best, and whichever group’s hole has the most votes will receive the “golden putter” award. 

Snacks will be provided, including breakfast foods in the morning, treats throughout the day and popcorn in the afternoon. Proceeds will go to the Ohio University Student Research and Creative Activity Expo, which takes place in the spring.

The mini golf course has come to Alden on Dads Weekend for the past several years. However, Jen Harvey, who recently was named the library events coordinator, will be experiencing her first year of putting on this event. 

“I find this event to be a great opportunity for students to show their dads where they spend their time studying, but in a fun way,” Harvey said. “Students spend long hours here, so they should be able to show their dads around the place without just walking through and pointing at their usual study areas.” 


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