Wolf Ridge Wolf Ridge

Credit Academy Programs

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Entering grades 10-12

Combine outdoor summer fun and adventure with high-level academic learning. Our courses of study focus on freshwater ecology and environmental ethics, culminating with the creation and presentation of scientific research. Courses prepare students to leave Wolf Ridge with a better understanding of Minnesota’s forests and waterways.

Two course options are available for students to earn high school or college academic credits.


freshwater ecology

Credit Academy: Freshwater Ecology

If you are interested in exploring what it is like to be a field scientist, this is the camp for you. Conduct fish surveys alongside natural resource professionals. Paddle from lake to lake researching aquatic habitats of the Boundary Waters (BWCAW). Gain confidence as you present your findings to fellow campers. Leave Wolf Ridge with a better understanding of Minnesota’s waterways and how people can work together to manage and sustain them.  Earn college or high school credit.

  • Classes and activities focus on freshwater ecology
  • Explore the geology of Lake Superior and the North Shore
  • Step back in time and discover the cultural history of the area
  • Study the health of an aquatic ecosystem by performing physical, chemical, and biological tests with teachers and fisheries experts.
  • Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness trip
  • Create and present your own scientific research project

wilderness ethics

Credit Academy: Wilderness Ethics

You will investigate society’s evolving views of wilderness through it’s depiction by artists, writers, and ecologists.  You can create personal art or writing that represents your current environmental and wilderness ethic.  All of this will happen while backpacking the wilderness trails of Isle Royale National Park for 7 days.  On this adventure, you will share spectacular views of Lake Superior, tranquil beach walks, and a chance to see moose in their natural habitat. Learn from naturalists while you travel, spend time with new friends around the campfire, and earn college or high school credit.

  • Classes and activities focus on environmental ethics and land use
  • Examine how land-use choices impact the environment
  • 7-day backpacking trip to Isle Royale National Park
  • Develop your personal ethic regarding land and the environment
  • Meet with researchers and park rangers on Isle Royale National Park

Curriculum and receiving credit

What are the Curriculum, Methods and Materials?

Guided by the Minnesota Graduation Standards, the United States Department of Education Academic Standards, and the National Science Education Standards, Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center creates an experiential, hands-on, inquiry-based program. Classes are small, typically around 12 students, so the instruction can be customized to fit the needs of an individual student. Curriculum and materials have been carefully developed to meet the needs of the program. Materials including, textbooks, journal articles, books, magazines, audio, video, websites, brochures, newspapers, and first-hand experiences are used. Wolf Ridge provides programs that are hands-on, provide direct experiences in nature, and promote the values of personal growth, conservation, stewardship, social understanding, respect, and cooperation.


What does the participant receive?

An official letter grade, a percentage grade, a written evaluation of the student’s proficiency, and a course framework syllabus are sent with the students to give to their school. Students themselves have a portfolio to document their abilities and progress.


What do high schools do with the credit?

Most schools accept the transfer of full credit for your work done at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. Check with your school to see their policies and procedures regarding the transfer of credit.  Wolf Ridge staff can help you make the proper contacts and will give you the information the school will need.


How to get college credit

All participants who would like to receive college credit need to complete and pass the ACCUPLACER test. The ACCUPLACER test is a suite of tests that determines your knowledge in math, reading, and writing as you prepare to enroll in college-level courses. This test is offered multiple locations around the country. For more information, please contact Wolf Ridge at 218-353-7414.

Housing and Meals

A place to kick back and relax.

Campers will be housed in our Summit Lodge. Each room features its own bathroom and shower, bunks beds, and camper gear cubbies. Camp staff also live in the dorm, with one counselor per room. There are cozy gathering spaces for game playing during downtime, plus a grass field just out the door. Kids and staff gather at the near-by campfire ring before meals to sing songs, share stories of their adventures, and learn what the next part of the day will bring. The Summit Lodge is the perfect place to grow the deep, closely-knit community that makes camp so special.

While on trail, campers sleep in single-gender tents.  Wolf Ridge uses 2, 4, and 6 person backcountry tents.

Fuel for your imagination.

Our Food

Whether they’re coming in from a long day outside or getting ready for the day, campers will satisfy their appetites in the Fireplace Dining Room. Food Service Director Chris O’Brien and his staff go above and beyond to produce a choice driven, healthy, hearty meal while creating a sense of community here at Wolf Ridge. Most of our produce is from the Wolf Ridge Organic Farm while meats and other products are sourced as locally as possible.  From-scratch vegan, vegetarian, and meat options are offered at each and every meal.

On trail, campers eat delicious, high-energy foods to fuel their wilderness exploration. Backcountry meals include burritos, alpine pasta, hearty soups, fry bread, pancakes, and oatmeal, with many other possibilities. Special dietary considerations can usually be accommodated.

Special Diets

Our kitchen staff regularly works with participants to meet allergy and dietary concerns. Daily vegan dishes are inherently free of any animal product, including dairy, and are most often gluten-free as well. Individuals with common food allergy and sensitivities, including to dairy or peanuts, will find good, healthy food at each meal that addresses their needs. Our Dining Hall is nut-free. Please note dietary requests, concerns, and preferences when completing camp registration materials.

Community Dinner

After a week full of friendship, fun, and teamwork, on Friday night Wolf Ridge will hold a community celebration dinner and campfire. Campers will gather in the Fireplace Dining Room to enjoy a family-style meal served by the camp directors while celebrating the accomplishments and achievements of their community members.

“It’s about quality. It’s about passion. It’s about good food done well.” – Chris O’Brien


Credit Academy: Freshwater Ecology
July 5 – 25, 2020

Credit Academy: Wilderness Ethics
July 26 – August 8, 2020


Costs and Financial Assistance

Credit Academy: Freshwater Ecology

Credit Academy: Wilderness Ethics

We accept credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express).
The balance of your camp fee is due by June 1st.


Financial Assistance

We are happy to partner with a variety of organizations that are interested in helping you attend Wolf Ridge. Available to those who qualify. You can find details in Resources “For Summer Campers.”

Bring a Friend Discount

Returning campers, when you invite a new camper to Wolf Ridge, you & your friend each get $50 off your camp fee. To take advantage of this special offer, both fill out and mail us “Bring a Friend” forms. You find can this in Resources “For Summer Campers.”

Sibling Discount

Available for multiple campers from the same household (must all be residents of the same household address). Call 218-353-7414 Monday-Friday between 8 and 4:30 for details.

Local Discount

Available for campers whose permanent residence is Lake or Cook County in Minnesota.  To apply for this discount, please call the office at 218-353-7414 Monday-Friday between 8 and 4:30 pm.


Resources: Get Ready for Camp!

Already signed up?

Packing lists and more can be found in Resources “For Summer Campers.”


2020 Youth Camps and Trips have been canceled

Due to health and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, Wolf Ridge will not be having any summer camps or wilderness trips in summer 2020. Our priority during this time is the safety and well being of our participants, staff, and the broader community. We’ve canceled the summer camp and trip programs and offered full refunds to people already registered. Stay tuned for summer camp and trip options in the future! If you have questions about camp, please contact Luciana Ranelli, Youth and Family Programs Director, at luciana.ranelli@wolf-ridge.org.

Wishing you all the best. We hope to see you in Summer 2021!