By Danielle Hefferan
Danielle primarily works with Wolf Ridge's Naturalist Training Program where she seeks to support naturalists in their professional development and maintain the integrity of Wolf Ridge's awesome learning experiences! She enjoys playing with her cats and being with great people.
I was so lucky to work with North Cedar Academy at Wolf Ridge in April!
This was my first in-person teaching since… Well, a long time. I was a little awkward but I think that is okay. We kept all of our classes outside and wore our masks if we weren’t able to socially distance (like checking equipment to get on the Ropes Course!) And since the group was a boarding school and already a pandemic pod, their time in the dorms was just like if they were back at school. A perfect match.
North Cedar Academy is a boarding school located in Ladysmith, Wisconsin that serves American and International students who are looking to earn college credits while finishing their high school degrees. The conversations we had while walking to and from the Superior View Hike overlook were full of depth and perspective.
In planning the trip, lead teacher Hattie (a past Wolf Ridge naturalist!) and I were so hopeful canoeing would be possible… but alas the last weekend in April is an unpredictable time in the Northwoods. We were greeted by snow and chilly days but the ropes course still brought us all out of our shells.
A real highlight of the trip was Sarah from the Wolf Ridge farm putting together a team of folks to make pizza for the group. Wood-fired pizza was a new cuisine to many and called for a lot of photo documentation! Students even brought basil from their school gardens to add.
Teaching a group during a pandemic was definitely different. I noticed through masks it was harder for me to get everyone’s names on the first go without any lip-reading–but that is a welcome trade-off to keeping us all happy and healthy and outside together! And it turns out the best part of the trip for many… a gorgeous sunset. Sometimes it’s the simple things visitors have time to slow down and appreciate during their stay at Wolf Ridge.