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Summer Academic Enrichment Eligible Programs

Program Info
Program: Voyageurs
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: 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 Voyageurs program was created for those campers with a high interest in developing their environmental science knowledge and skills, as well as, their outdoor adventure and recreation skills. The goals and objectives for the Voyageurs program are to; •Understand that all living and non-living components of an environment interact with one another to form an ecosystem •Understand that humans have a great ability to alter natural systems •Gain an appreciation of their natural surroundings and take an active role in the conservation and stewardship of our environment. •Describe the role of voyageurs, gentlemen, and Native Americans during the fur trade era. •Demonstrate traditional fire-starting and cooking techniques •Use traditional tools to design and create a voyageur encampment •Evaluate and choose aspects of a voyageur’s life to incorporate into their own lives. •Understand that a complex natural system is more stable than a simple one, and more able to absorb disturbances. •Gather evidence that all living things acquire physical and behavioral adaptations to be successful in their environment. •To develop self-reliance, self-confidence and self-respect •To develop leadership skills to use in their own groups and community. •To develop skills needed to build life-long friendships •To grow individually; to provide situations for each camper to set goals and learn new skills while reflecting on their camp experience. •Experience a sense of community by living, working and experiencing camp with fellow campers and staff •To enrich their spirit, mind and body and gain skills through challenging and fun activities that can be applied in lifelong learning experiences in nature


The Voyageurs Program explores the science of ecosystems, plus relationships between people and their environment. Specifically the Voyageurs will example the cultural history of Minnesota through the eyes of the French Voyageurs and the Ojibwe Culture.

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 students discover ways to keep learning about their environments for a lifetime.

Courses and activities for the Voyageurs Program include; •Stream Ecology •Northwoods Mammal Research •Birds & Raptors •Cultural History – French Voyageurs and Ojibwe Heritage •Rock climbing •Adventure ropes •Team games •Traditional Crafts & Skills •Reading the Landscape using Navigation Skills – GPS, Map & Compass •Canoeing •Overnight Campout

Program Dates

June 23 - 29, 2019 July 7 - 13, 2019 July 14 - 20, 2019 July 21 - 27, 2019 July 28 - August 3, 2019 August 4 - 10, 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: $113
Fees: $83
Books: $0
Supplies: $156
Room/Board: $274
Transportation: $175