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Wolf Ridge

Fabulous Fall Geek-Out


  • 1 of 2

    Discover the hidden migration of Saw-whet owls.

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    Find beautiful agates and learn to finish them from the professionals.

September 27 – 29, 2019

Spend a glorious fall weekend in the company of fellow nature geeks! Expect a weekend of laughter, learning, and beauty with one of our hand-chosen instructors. Each has a passion for their topic, and loves to share what they know with like-minded, curious folks.  Wolf Ridge is spectacular in the fall, and the company will be fantastic.

The weekend begins with Friday night’s dinner, featuring chef-made, locally sourced food from our organic farm, and ends after Sunday’s lunch. The days and evenings are chock full of hands on learning and exploration. Browse below to see activities and specifics of each workshop, then sign up for your favorite. Give your inner nerd a little love!

 

Already know which session you want?

Agate Hunting & Finishing

The Lake Superior Agate–Beautiful, Elusive, Enigmatic

Back by popular demand! Hands-on, activity-oriented introduction to the Lake Superior region’s geology with focuses on volcanism and theories about how agates are formed. Learn tips for hunting for and find Lake Superior Agates in a variety of locations. Use lapidary tools & processes to create a polished pendant necklace and a face polished agate.

Participants will then use agates they have found and/or those provided by the instructor to create a polished pendant necklace and a face polished agate. Lapidary process of cutting, shaping, and polishing will be taught.

Low to medium physical exertion. Ability to hike over a 1 mile trail, along with moving on slanted gravel piles.

Instructors Jim Magnuson and Diane Magnuson

Rock-hounding is more than a hobby for author Jim Magnuson—it’s a serious and rewarding avocation that helps him connect with nature. He has been an avid hunter and student of various gems, minerals and fossils since his childhood, when he first began to hunt for stones in his native state of Illinois. In addition, Jim enjoys sharing his passion not only through showing and gifting some of his finds, but also through writing, another lifelong interest. Throughout Jim’s career as an Information Technology professional, he has developed his technical writing skills while creating new processes that reduce complexity and improve efficiency. These same skills proved to be invaluable when he wrote a guidebook for beginning agate hunters, a project that gave him the confidence to develop a guide to lapidary processes that can be readily used by beginner-to-intermediate hobbyists. Jim is also a member of the Minnesota Mineral Club, and enjoys attending other rock and mineral clubs as a way to further his learning and branch out into other types of agates, gemstones and geology.

To date Jim has authored the following publications: The Storied Agate, The Fairburn Agate of the Black Hills, Agate Hunting Made Easy, Lake Superior Agates – Identify Agates & Imposters (Laminated Field Guide), Emma’s First Agate, Gemstone Tumbling, Cutting, Drilling, & Cabochon Making.

 

Cost

$390 (Includes meals, lodging, instruction and supplies.)

CANCELLATION POLICY

At the time of registration a $150 NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT PER PERSON must be made to hold your session spot. Refund requests must be made in writing and received no later than two weeks prior to the start of the session. All cancellations made less than two weeks prior to the start of the camp session are non-refundable. If cancellation occurs less than two weeks prior to the start of the session a refund, minus the $150 deposit, may be given for the following reasons; an illness or injury, with a doctors note or death in the immediate family.

North Shore Coastal Kayaking

Developing Big Water Kayak Skills and Explore the North Shore Waters

Expand your sea kayaking skills, explore beautiful places, and spend time with fellow paddlers! This workshop is designed primarily for new, beginning, to advanced beginning sea kayakers who are looking to learn and/or practice essential skills for coastal sea kayaking, gain confidence with paddling on larger bodies of water, and explore the beautiful and diverse landscape of the North Shore. The first sessions of the workshop will focus on equipment and skill development, including an American Canoe Association (ACA) accredited course on stroke development and basic rescues. The second day of the workshop features an all-day paddling excursion either along the shoreline of Lake Superior (weather permitting), or on inland waters in the Finland State Forest or Superior National Forest area (foul weather option).

High demand on physical exertion. Over 2 to 3 hrs at a time sitting in a kayak required. No prior experience required. Wet suits and life jackets worn at all times when on water.

 

Instructor David Butcher

David Butcher is the Adventure Programs Coordinator at Wolf Ridge and has been working as a naturalist and wilderness guide for over 10 years. He is an ACA certified Coastal Kayaking Instructor and his teaching experiences include working in parts of Minnesota and upstate New York, as well as guiding wilderness trips in the Boundary Waters, Quetico, Isle Royale, and the Apostle Islands. When he’s not working you might find him sea kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking, cycling, or home-brewing beer.

 

Cost

$405 (Includes meals, lodging, instruction, and kayaking equipment.)

CANCELLATION POLICY

At the time of registration a $150 NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT PER PERSON must be made to hold your session spot. Refund requests must be made in writing and received no later than two weeks prior to the start of the session. All cancellations made less than two weeks prior to the start of the camp session are non-refundable. If cancellation occurs less than two weeks prior to the start of the session a refund, minus the $150 deposit, may be given for the following reasons; an illness or injury, with a doctors note or death in the immediate family.

$50 discount if you bring your own kayak! If you bring your own, it must meet the following criteria:

  • “touring” style kayak
    16 foot length minimum
    separate, water-tight bulkheads

North Shore Geology Exploration

The Rock Lovers Guide to the North Shore

Do you look for interesting rocks on every beach or gravel road and want to discover their story? Are you an agate or Thomsonite seeker? Do you wonder about all those rock faces you see as you drive heading north on Highway 61? If you answered yes to any of those questions, this adventure is just for you!

Explore the North Shore of Lake Superior’s fascinating geologic history, by picking rocks, sorting and figuring out who’s who in the rock world. Investigate key geologic features, figure out which way is up in ancient lava flows, and find out how geology connects to other natural features and events. We will learn the basics of recognizing the different rock types of the North Shore, decipher lava flows and all their layers, and visit a number of unique geologic sites. We will both hike and carpool to locations on Wolf Ridge’s main and Lake Superior campuses and to select locations along the North Shore. Rocks don’t mind being wet, so we will brave whatever Mother Nature dishes out for weather! There’s lots to see and explore on this geologic adventure.By the time you leave you will have a much better idea of how Lake Superior came to be, and you will be able to recognize all sorts of features along Highway 61. A trip up the North Shore will never be the same again, and you will know some of the stories in the stones.

Participants should be prepared to make a few hikes on uneven trail surfaces, and rocky beaches up to a mile one way with moderate exertion.

 

Instructor Margie Menzies and Carrie Anderson

Margie is a lifelong naturalist, educator and lover of rocks and all things of the natural world. She spent years in the formal classroom as a science teacher, but has abandoned the indoors for the great outdoor classroom. Margie is the naturalist at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center on the North Shore in Schroeder, she is the Hawk Ridge Program Director, at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth, and sometimes finds time to supervise student teachers or teach a course as adjunct faculty for the UMD Education Department. She teaches Master Naturalist Courses for Minnesota Extension at Sugarloaf and North House Folk School, in Grand Marais. A long time ago, she used to think Geology was boring- but has long since been snared by the lure of the stories in stone and these days teaching about the Geology of the North Shore is one of her favorite pastimes. She loves learning and sharing the natural world with people of all ages.

Carrie is a naturalist at Wolf Ridge and a big fan of rocks. She is the curriculum coordinator for Wolf Ridge’s Geology class.

Cost

$355 (Includes meals, lodging, and instruction.)

CANCELLATION POLICY

At the time of registration a $150 NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT PER PERSON must be made to hold your session spot. Refund requests must be made in writing and received no later than two weeks prior to the start of the session. All cancellations made less than two weeks prior to the start of the camp session are non-refundable. If cancellation occurs less than two weeks prior to the start of the session a refund, minus the $150 deposit, may be given for the following reasons; an illness or injury, with a doctors note or death in the immediate family.

Saw-whet Owl Banding

The Unseen Migration

Hands-on,  activity-oriented introduction to fall raptor banding focusing on owls migrating down the Lake Superior corridor. The emphasis will be on Northern Saw-whet owls, however, we will spend time talking about other species (i.e. Long-eared, Boreal and Great Grey owls) that use this flyway. Workshop participants will receive fundamental and focused instruction on how to capture, handle, age, and process owls. Time will also be spent talking about other owl monitoring techniques used in the Minnesota.

Lower physical exertion. Standing and kneeling and sitting required.

** NOTE this bird banding is weather dependent. Alternative raptor-related programming will be offered if it is raining at night. Take heart – we haven’t been rained out on the Fab Fall weekend yet!**

Instructors Dave Grosshuesch and Peter Harris

Dave Grosshuesch’s enthusiasm and knowledge of birds has few equals. He has worked as a passerine and raptor bander and raptor counter for Hawk Ridge Observatory in Duluth Minnesota. He currently works for the United States Forest Service as a wildlife biologist. Dave holds a master bird-banding license and currently runs a MAPS station in the summer months and a owl banding station in the fall. Not only does Dave participate in the collection of bird-banding data, but he also analyses the data and employs it in his job with the Superior National Forest in Tofte, MN.

Peter Harris coordinates research and science projects Wolf Ridge. He supervises the Center’s bird banding programs, and has been banding and providing education around the science of bird banding for over 30 years. Over his career, countless students have been able to get up close and personal with songbirds and raptors. Pete is a graduate of the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities.

 

Cost

$340 (Includes meals, lodging, and instruction. Note this is a 3 night stay – program ends Monday, October 1 after lunch.)

CANCELLATION POLICY

At the time of registration a $150 NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT PER PERSON must be made to hold your session spot. Refund requests must be made in writing and received no later than two weeks prior to the start of the session. All cancellations made less than two weeks prior to the start of the camp session are non-refundable. If cancellation occurs less than two weeks prior to the start of the session a refund, minus the $150 deposit, may be given for the following reasons; an illness or injury, with a doctors note or death in the immediate family.

Wolf Ridge Sampler

Wolf Ridge Highlights

Experience the excitement of traveling back to the time of the Voyageur and paddle a Montreal canoe. Climb a rock wall. Hike to an overlook on the Superior Hiking Trail. View the beautiful fall colors. Seek out north woods wildlife and plant communities. Enthusiastic Wolf Ridge naturalists will guide your adventures as you experience for yourself why Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center is so memorable to the adults and children who attend with their school or through one of our summer camps.

Medium demand on physical exertion. Ability to hike over a mile on irregular terrain, along with canoeing required.

 

Cost

$325 (Includes meals, lodging, and instruction.)

CANCELLATION POLICY

At the time of registration a $150 NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT PER PERSON must be made to hold your session spot. Refund requests must be made in writing and received no later than two weeks prior to the start of the session. All cancellations made less than two weeks prior to the start of the camp session are non-refundable. If cancellation occurs less than two weeks prior to the start of the session a refund, minus the $150 deposit, may be given for the following reasons; an illness or injury, with a doctors note or death in the immediate family.

 

Meals: Fuel for your imagination.

We take great pride in our daily meals.  Whether families are coming in from a day spent outside, or getting ready for the day, everyone will find choices to satisfy their appetites in the Lake Superior Dining Room.

Chris O’Brien, our food service director, believes “we should all be fed well, every meal, every day.” From-scratch vegan, vegetarian and meat dishes are available at each and every meal. Vegan dishes are inherently free of any animal product, including dairy, and are most often gluten free as well. All dietary requests are addressed and often the menu is adjusted to reflect the needs and wants of our clients. Those with common food allergy and sensitivities, including to dairy or peanuts, will find good, healthy food that addresses their needs. Fresh fruit, veggies, and homemade breads are available all day, in addition to coffee and tea.

Chris and his staff go above and beyond to meet our guests needs and work hard 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 and our meats and other products are sourced as locally as possible. It’s about quality. It’s about passion. It’s about good food done well.

Learn more about our dining hall and see sample menus.

 

Lodging: A place to kick back and relax.

Fabulous Fall Weekend participants will be housed in the new Margaret A. Cargill (MAC) Lodge. Common areas feature great views of the fall maples, comfortable furniture, tables for games, a small kitchen with sink, microwave and refrigerator. A large stone fireplace is located on the main floor.

MAC Lodge accommodations are divided into suites. Each suite includes two bedrooms, a shared common space with a sink, and separate toilet and shower rooms. Those who want more privacy can close the sliding door to their bedroom. Each bedroom contains two bunkbeds and can sleep one to four people. Up to 6 people share a suite.  If you choose to pay for a single bedroom, you will have a private sleeping space, and will share a bathroom and shower with 1-3 suite-mates. Groups of four or may may request to share a suite.

The newly remodeled MAC lodge is one of the most sustainably-designed buildings in the nation. It is one of only 45 in the world to be seeking full Living Building Challenge certification. Learn more about the Living Building Challenge at our dedicated project website at http://wolfridgelivingbuildingchallenge.org/.

 

Sign up!

Once you have decided on a session, sign up via our online registration site. If you have questions or prefer to sign up by phone, call 218-353-7414, Monday – Friday 8-4:30.