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Summer Academic Enrichment Eligible Programs

Program Info
Program: Junior Naturalist - 2 Week
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
Curricular area: Science
Grades Served: 9 , 10 , 11


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 Jr. Naturalists 2-wk Program was created for those campers with a high interest in developing their knowledge and skills surrounding the environment, as well as, their outdoor adventure and recreation skills. The goals and objectives for Jr Naturalists 2-wk Program are to; •Understand the Ecology of Minnesota’s bird population through research and hands on activities •Know the difference between weather forecasting and climate forecasting •Gain knowledge that allows participants to better care for our environment. •Gain a stronger sense of appreciate for Lake Superior and the environment surrounding it •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 Jr. Naturalists 2-wk 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.

Courses and activities for Jr. Naturalists 2-wk Program include; •Climate & Weather Forecasting •Ornithology Research •Bird Banding •Lake Superior Geology •Lake Superior History & Culture •Canoeing •Kayaking •Rock Climbing •Traditional Crafts and Skills •Human Connects to the Environment •Outdoor Cooking •Adventure Ropes •Astronomy •Outdoor Camping •7-day/6-night camping trip to Quetico Canoe Area or Apostle Islands National Lakeshore to explore first hand the geology, culture and natural history of the area

Program Dates

July 21 - August 3, 2019 July 28 - August 10, 2019

All sessions are 2-weeks in length

Can students reside on campus? Yes

Can students commute to campus? No

Can students take online classes?

Estimated residential cost per student
Tuition: $352
Fees: $115
Books: $0
Supplies: $290
Room/Board: $564
Transportation: $379