It was a wolf, I tell you!
Several events over the past few weeks have turned my thoughts to the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. Wolf Ridge is an environmental school located on 2000 acres above Lake Superior. The outdoor education classes focus on ecology, science, human culture, team building recreation and personal growth. Each February, for the past six years I’ve taken a group of fourth and fifth graders up North to this marvelous place. I have countless wonderful memories (indeed, the photo at the top of my blog page was taken after my team successfully made hot chocolate during a Basic Survival class!). As it happens, the fifth graders from PCCS will be up north the same week as the ARTech students are there in February.
A few weeks ago, I was up in Duluth chaperoning the nordic ski team and spotted a Snowshoe Hare next to a ski trail. I have learned about these elusive creatures in Wolf Ridge classes, but never spotted one in the wild before.
Then, just last weekend, I was out skiing on the farm with my son when we saw this large German Shepherd dog-like beast bounded out in front of us. It wasn’t a dog though – Miles and I reckon we saw a wolf. Unlikely perhaps, everyone I’ve talked to scoffingly dismisses our sighting as a coyote! I’ve been in many classes about wolves up at the center – enough to know it would be unusual, but not impossible, to see one this far south.
And finally, this extreme cold! I love how the Wolf Ridge staff would have u tackle all activities, no matter how cold the temps up there. I even spent one insanely cold night sleeping out in an ice hut! You just gear up and go. I’ve stood on a platform on the ropes course for two hours hooking kids into a harness on a day as bitter as the one which closed our school today.
Sarah, veteran of Wolf Ridge and Manito-Wish trips, is making preparations to take ARTech students on the school’s annual excursion to Finland, Minnesota. The trip is open to any ARTech student in the high school and middle school. I’m so glad she does this for our school, and that ARTech continues to place a high value on environmental education. Parents, I would strongly encourage you to give your child at least one opportunity to visit this place. The memories they will make and the experiences they will have are priceless. Sarah is still accepting applications for the trip – forms can be picked up at the front desk or you can email Sarah with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org The trip takes place February 4 – 6.