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Summer Academic Enrichment Eligible Programs

Program Info
Program: 2-Week BWCAW Canoe Wilderness Trip
Sponsoring Organization: Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center

Main Contact
Name: Rachel Giemza
Title: Summer Program Director
Address: 6282 Cranberry Road
Finland, MN 55603
Phone: (218) 353-7414
Web Site:
Curricular area: Science
Grades Served: 7 , 8


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 2-wk BWCAW Wilderness 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 2-week program are divided into 4 categories. These categories include leadership, wilderness skills, environmental science knowledge and ethics and risk management. Examples of these goals include: To develop self-reliance, self-confidence and self-respect . To develop the skills needed to be a self-leader, peer leader, designated leader and active follower. To 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. To grow as responsible members of their community by understanding. and practicing the personal skills needed to live and work with fellow participants and staff. Navigate using maps, charts, compass, GPS and landmarks. Develop a sense of place and appreciation by experiencing wilderness and exploring relationships with their surroundings. Develop and articulate a personal environmental ethic. Understand the Scientific Theory and how it can be applied to environmental research. Explore the natural world through observation and application of ecological concepts. Understand land management and environmental issues. Apply Leave No trace skills to camping and travel. Use technical skills, leadership, judgment, and situational awareness to manage risks; Use risk management terminology and models to assess and communicate decisions and actions together as a community. Create and implement contingency


The 2-Week Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness 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 students discover ways to keep learning about their environments for a lifetime.

Courses and activities for the 2-Week Boundary Waters Canoe Program include; Ornithology & Research Weather & Climate Forecasting Plant Ecology Ojibwe Culture Traditional Crafts and Skills Wild Edibles Rock Climbing Geology Adventure Ropes Team Building Northwoods Mammals Environmental Ethics Canoeing Orienteering & Map Skills Backcountry wilderness trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Astronomy

Program Dates

Two Week session, July 28-August 9, 2024

Can students reside on campus? Yes

Can students commute to campus? No

Can students take online classes? No

Estimated residential cost per student
Tuition: $355
Fees: $215
Books: $0
Supplies: $265
Room/Board: $534
Transportation: $271