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Summer Academic Enrichment Eligible Programs

Program Info
Program: Discoverers
Sponsoring Organization: Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center

Main Contact
Name: Rachel Giemza
Title: Summer Program Director
Address: 6282 Cranberry Road, Wolf Ridge ELC
Finland, MN 55603
Phone: (218) 353-7414
Web Site:
Curricular area: Science
Grades Served: 3 , 4


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 Discoverers Program was created for those first time participants with a high interest in developing their knowledge and skills surrounding Minnesota’s ecosystems, as well as their outdoor adventure and recreation skills. The goals and objectives for Discoverers Program are; To describe the difference between herbivores, carnivores and omnivores Learn the importance of the food pyramid and food web in relationship to amphibians and reptiles Identify the many roles and importance of seeds in our society, past and present. Briefly describe the history of seeds as it pertains to human culture. Define hybrid, heirloom and genetically engineered seeds. Examine their food purchasing habits and suggest possible environmental and personal health impacts of their choices. 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 Discoverers 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 Discoverers include; Animal Ecology Amphibian Research Art in Nature Organic Farming Culture and History Canoeing Rock Climbing Traditional Crafts and Skills Human Connects to Farming Outdoor Cooking Adventure Ropes History of the North Shore Environmental Ethics Team Building

Program Dates

One Week Sessions July 7-12, 2024 July 21-26, 2024 July 28-August 2, 2024 August 4-9, 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: $137
Fees: $60
Books: $0
Supplies: $100
Room/Board: $274
Transportation: $151