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Summer Academic Enrichment Eligible Programs

Program Info
Program: Camp Ichthyology fish
Sponsoring Organization: Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center

Main Contact
Name: Jenny Bushmaker
Title: Program Director
Address: 6282 Cranberry Road
Finland, MN 55603
Phone: (218) 353-7414
Fax: (218) 353-7762
Curricular area: Science
Grades Served: 5 , 6


Our teaching philosophy is simple: learning happens best when one experiences it. Lives it. Breathes it. Hands-on activities combined with an unbelievably beautiful campus make our living laboratory the kind of educational experience you can’t get anywhere else.

The Camp Fish was created for those campers with a high interest in developing their knowledge and skills surrounding Minnesota’s freshwater ecosystems, as well as, their outdoor adventure and recreation skills. The goals and objectives for Camp Fish Program are; •To describe the difference between herbivores, carnivores and omnivores •Learn the importance of the food pyramid and food web in relationship to lake ecology •Name the aquatic life zones found in Minnesota lakes and streams •Understand the importance of water quality •Identify the common fishes of Minnesota •Learn about non-native invasive species and how they impact the environment •Through the use of Minnesota Game Laws, develop a stewardship plan for action in regards to fishing •Develop a personal environmental ethic •Understand land management and environmental issues •Apply Leave No trace skills to camping and travel. •Understand that humans have a great ability to alter natural systems •Develop self-reliance, self-confidence and self-respect •Develop the skills needed to be a self-leader, peer leader, designated leader and active follower •Grow individually; to provide situations for each camper to set goals and learn new skills while reflecting on their camp experience. •Gain the skills needed to display a tolerance for adversity and uncertainty •Grow as responsible members of their community by understanding and practicing the personal skills needed to live and work with fellow participants and staff.


The Camp Fish Program explores the science of ecosystems, plus relationships between people and their environment. We encourage participants to consider how their values and behaviors can influence and ultimately impact the world around them. Our curriculum and activities provide hands-on, memorable experiences that involve the whole person and address multiple learning styles.

We choose curricular content based on the local, natural and cultural history of Minnesota, as well as broader environmental issues. Science-based classes provide opportunities to learn more about our planet and how it works; cultural history classes give a glimpse of the way our predecessors interacted with local ecosystems to create a life for themselves; current event classes help us to understand emerging issues; personal growth and team-building classes develop skills for meeting personal and group challenges; and outdoor skill classes help participants discover ways to keep learning about their environments for a lifetime.

In Minnesota, stream trout, walleyes and northern pike are plentiful. Knowing where the fish are comes with a thorough understanding of aquatic data that is provided by the DNR, but that other times must be collected and assessed by the angler turned citizen scientist. Lake and stream habitat assessment will be an area of focus for this course as will ethics and the natural history of each of these species of interest. Participants will record and assess data on a number of area lakes and streams before applying what they have learned as anglers.

Courses and activities for Camp Fish include; •Weather & Climate Forecasting •Freshwater Ecology •Ojibwe Culture •Traditional Crafts and Skills •Research Techniques and Skills •Rock Climbing •Northern Minnesota Geology •Adventure Ropes •Team Building •Environmental Ethics •Canoeing •Orienteering & Map Skills •3-day/2-night overnight trip to do research on lakes in the Superior National Forest

Program Dates

July 7 - 13, 2019 August 11 - 17, 2019

Can students reside on campus? Yes

Can students commute to campus? No

Can students take online classes?

Estimated residential cost per student
Tuition: $146
Fees: $29
Books: $0
Supplies: $185
Room/Board: $273
Transportation: $222