If you're promoting outdoor course offerings and adventures with a bit of a "kick," it's pretty clever marketing to hire spokes-mules.

And the public has a chance to meet the stars of the awareness campaign. Once again this year, to promote summer programming, University of Montana News Service tells us that a pack train of mules will make their way onto the UM Campus Oval during the noon hour this coming Tuesday, March 29. Their mission is to help raise awareness about the summer course offerings and opportunities, as part of the second annual UM Summer Kickoff.

This will be an appearance of the U.S. Forest Service Northern Region Pack Train, based at the Ninemile Ranger Station. The mules do education events, community service and work for the Forest Service in Montana, Idaho and North Dakota.

The ten-head pack train will circle the Oval and stop for a brief packing demonstration in front of Main Hall. The free Meet the Mules event will run for one hour, and the public is invited to attend. UM News Service says the appearance is a collaboration of sponsorships including the UM Summer Office, the UM College of Humanities & Sciences, the UM Department of Political Science, the University Center, Back Country Horseman and Wild Montana.

But the reason the mules will be paying a visit is to create awareness of the opportunities  students, staff and community members to learn about summer courses being offered by various UM departments and local nonprofit community partners.

Class offerings this summer include “Wilderness Policy and Packing” and a five-day “Wilderness Pack Trip” into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. You can find out more by contacting Becka Simons, Associate Director of UM Summer and Pre-College, Office of the Provost, 406-243-5674, becka.simons@mso.umt.edu.

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