2/24/2017 10:51:00 AM CL Middle School students have been taking Wolf Ridge trip for 20 years
Chisago Lakes Middle School sixth graders just completed their 20th annual trip to the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center near Finland, Minnesota. Approximately 250 6th grade students, 120 parent chaperones, and 15 staff members were divided into two groups that each spent three days at Wolf Ridge, where programs focus on environmental sciences, human culture and history, personal growth, team building, and outdoor recreation. Students take six different classes while at Wolf Ridge with each class lasting up to three hours.
Students participated in cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, an Ojibwa culture class on snowshoes, frozen lake study, birding class, indoor rock climbing, team building, a class on winter survival skills, an astronomy class using an inflatable indoor star lab, a night hike, and the challenging adventure ropes course.
It is a trip that students and parents sat they look forward to and look back on with wonderful memories.
Taking students to Wolf Ridge allows us to put students in situations that we simply cannot do back at school. During the challenging adventure ropes experience, for example, students are often put in a position where they are unsure if they can accomplish their goal of getting through the course. With the encouragement of classmates and parent chaperones, most students do make it and enjoy the newly-gained confidence.
The overall goal of Wolf Ridge is to take kids into the north woods for a wilderness experience that will build in each of them a love for the outdoors that will help them learn to care for the environment. The majority of the classes are outside and students learn how to be outside and have fun even if it is really cold! So many lessons, big and small, are part of each of the classes.
As Chisago Lakes Middle School instructors, we value the way students learn how to meet a challenge, how to encourage each other, and how much fun it is to be outside in a Minnesota winter! The Chisago Lakes community has been extremely supportive of this trip over the past 20 years.
We are so happy that our local business community and fire departments have helped us establish a scholarship program that allows all of our students to attend the trip. It is so nice to be able to tell a parent who is struggling with family finances that we have community resources that will help their child attend this special trip.
Our parent volunteers have overwhelmed us with support. Doing a little simple math, we have taken over 5,000 6th grade students to Wolf Ridge and close to half of them was accompanied by a parent to help us chaperone our students. So we have easily had over 2,000 parents also come to Wolf Ridge. Some of our parents have come on repeat trips for each of their children. We have had many parents come two or three times, a few have come with us on four trips, and Clarice Olson of Lindstrom just completed her sixth trip to Wolf Ridge this year!
The staff at Wolf Ridge tells us that many schools have difficulty getting enough parents to commit to the trip. Not so in Chisago Lakes!
So as we mark this milestone with our 20th trip to the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, the 6th grade staff at Chisago Lakes Middle School wants to extend a huge thank you to the entire Chisago Lakes community for all of the support we have received in this endeavor. We truly are one of America’s Best Communities!! Thank you!