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Grand Winter Adventure: For Grandparents and Grandchildren

Program Number: 6249RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/27/2014 - 1/1/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Finland, Minnesota
Price starting at: $579.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational; Winter Sports
Intergenerational
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Program intended for grandchildren from 8 - 12 years of age.

Share an unforgettable winter experience with your grandchild in Minnesota's North Woods — one filled with fun hands-on activities and outdoor discovery. Track North Woods animals, learn to find your way in the wilderness and go ice fishing to learn about winter lake ecology. Practice skills long known to Native Americans, meet visitors from the past, and bond over games, crafts, astronomy and much more.




Highlights

• Experience a high ropes course and the rock climbing wall alongside your grandchildren.
• Experience the fun of winter on snowshoes and cross country skis as you explore the snowy environment with local experts.
• Watch a dogsledding demonstration and step aboard a dog sled for a ride through the winter woods.



Activity Particulars

Walking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing up to two miles on rugged trails, frozen ground; elevation changes up to 350 feet. Most classes are outdoors and active, regardless of weather. Expect cold winter temperatures.



Coordinated by Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center.




Finland (USA)

Finland was one of the last areas of Minnesota to be settled due to its rugged isolation, but today, its stunning location on Lake Superior’s north shore attracts visitors who are also interested in the area’s history, ecology and outdoor activities.



Accommodations
Lodge with spacious lobby, dormitory-style bedrooms, wooden bunk beds, table, lockers, private baths. One family per room.
Meals and Lodgings
   Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
  Finland, MN 5 nights
 Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Perched on a ridge overlooking Lake Superior, Wolf Ridge occupies nearly 2,000 acres. Bordered by the tumbling Baptism River, the campus features a meandering creek, two pristine lakes, two high peaks, 18 miles of trail, and a mixed forest of maple, birch and spruce. Abundant wildlife. The facilities include two dormitories, three classroom buildings, a dining hall, a ski chalet, an office, a raptor aviary, a library, two auditoriums, two rock-climbing wallls and two high ropes courses.
  Contact info: 6282 Cranberry Rd
Finland, MN 55603 USA
phone: 218-353-7414
web: www.wolf-ridge.org
  Room amenities: Small table and locker style space for clothing. Private bathroom and shower. Midweek we offer a towel and washcloth exchange. Group refrigerator. Snack room with tea, coffee and evening snacks.
  Facility amenities: Large group dayroom for meeting and playing games. Board games available. Coin washers and dryers. Group refrigerator. Mid week linen exchange.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior:  There is no additional night option.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after:  There is no additional night option.
  Check out time: 9:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 PM at center in Finland, MN. You will be staying at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center that night.
  End of Program:
9:00 AM at center in Finland, MN. You will be staying at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Participants will be asked to sign a health form and liability release.
  Parking availability:
There is unlimited free parking.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Finland, MN
  Nearest city or town:  Finland, Minnesota
  Nearest highway: Scenic Highway 1.
  Nearest airport:  Duluth International Airport (DLH), Duluth, MN.
  From End of Program
  Location: Finland, MN
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Duluth

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Wolf Ridge Van
phone: 218-353-7414
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$50.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

about 1.5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

about 75 miles

   

Van transportation between Duluth and site provided by Wolf Ridge. Call to register at least two weeks in advance. $50 per person one way. Pick up in Duluth is at 1:45 PM (Duluth Depot) and 2:30 PM (Duluth International Airport). Return will depart at 9:00 AM with an 11:00 AM Duluth arrival.

 

Duluth

 

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required
Wolf Ridge
phone: 218-353-7414
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$50
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 

 

Distance:

 

75

   

Wolf Ridge offers two locations for shuttle pick-up. We will pick up participants at the Duluth Depot, a downtown site, at 1:30 pm. This is a convenient spot for participants who arrive the day before or arrive very early at the airport. We will pick up participants at the airport at 2:00pm. On the return trip, we will drop of participants anywhere in Duluth. Please register for the shuttle at least two weeks in advance.

 
Driving Directions
  From the South (Duluth) Highway 61 (The North Shore Drive) from Duluth to Little Marais (watch for the ELC highway sign). At Milepost 66 turn left on to County Road 6 (Little Marais Rd) and go 5 miles (again, watch for the ELC highway sign.) Our well-plowed gravel driveway winds for 3 miles up to the buildings on the ridge.
Elevation Note: 1405 ft is the highest elevation participants will experience.

Equipment Requirements: Please bring appropriate winter boots (not hiking boots) and winter clothes for all weather.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival and Check in
(Saturday, December 27)

Note: Arrival and check in will take place between 3:00 - 4:30. After checking in, you will enjoy a relaxing dinner at 5:15 in our dining hall followed by a large group welcome in the Science Center. Wrapping up our first day at Wolf Ridge, you will enjoy an hour long live animal presentation featuring the Wolf Ridge raptors.



   
 Afternoon: Plan to arrive between 3:00-5:00 PM. Check-in will take place at the office.
 Dinner: Dinner served at 5:00 PM in the dining hall.
 Evening: Group welcome, introduction games and campfire.
   
Accommodations: Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Group Classes/Evening Activity
(Sunday, December 28)

Note: Step back in-time 200 years with the Ojibwe by snowshoeing, hearing traditional Ojibwe stories and learning about the importance the winter season played in their culture. After filling up on a nutritious lunch, the afternoon is time for adults to dive deep into the science behind winter while the children practice their fire and shelter building in winter survival. Dinner will be a welcome meal to relax with friends before choosing between various indoor activities for the evening.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served at 7:30 AM. All meals are cafeteria style. Children (and adults!) are welcome to join in helping out in the kitchen for all meals. While we cannot change our menu for specific dietary requirements, you are welcome to visit with our cooks about simple requests. Vegetarian meals are available upon prior request. Those on a prescribed diet may bring their own food, store it in the cooler and prepare it with a microwave. We are able to accommodate specific food allergies with prior notice.
 Morning: Grandparents and grandchildren are assigned together in activity groups for daytime classes. Classes are three hours long. Each group will participate in identical classes during the week, but in a different order. A complete listing of class descriptions will be sent upon registration. Classes include: Adventure Ropes, Rock Climbing, Cross-Country Skiing, Ojibwe Snowshoe, Animal Tracking and more.
 Lunch: Lunch served at 12:15 PM.
 Afternoon: Afternoon classes.
 Dinner: Dinner served at 5:15 PM.
 Evening: Optional activities such as Star Lab, Block Printing, and Paper Making. Afterwards, entire group will get together for a naturalist presentation.
   
Accommodations: Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Group Classes/Evening Activity
(Monday, December 29)

Note: Today is a day to explore various modes of winter transportation. In the morning we will enjoy cross country skiing over through the forests of Wolf Ridge. The afternoon will sure to be the highlight of the Grand Winter Adventure as we go dogsledding with award winning dogsledding duo Ward and Colleen Wallin. The Wallin's have raced in the Can-Am, UP 200, Beargrease, Portage Passage, Mid-Minnesota, Apostle Island, Great Trail, White Oak, Esslinger, Mail Run and the Wolf Track.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served at 7:30 AM.
 Morning: Morning cross country skiing class
 Lunch: Lunch served at 12:15 NOON.
 Afternoon: Afternoon dogsledding demonstration
 Dinner: Dinner served at 5:15 PM.
 Evening: Group program.
   
Accommodations: Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Group Classes/Evening Activity
(Tuesday, December 30)

Note: What happens to the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota during the winter? During the morning, we will examine this question by researching Wolf Lake through ice fishing, research experiments and ice cutting. After warming our bodies with a nutritious lunch, the afternoon is time for adults to learn about birds while the children practice their animal tracking skills. Dinner will be a welcome meal to relax with friends before choosing between various indoor activities for the evening.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served at 7:30 AM.
 Morning: Morning class. Groups rotate.
 Lunch: Lunch served at 12:15 PM.
 Afternoon: Afternoon class.
 Dinner: Dinner served at 5:15 PM.
 Evening: Group program.
   
Accommodations: Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Group Classes//Evening Activity
(Wednesday, December 31)

Note: Our last full day at Wolf Ridge is filled with adventure. From rock climbing to adventure ropes, this is sure to be a day to remember. We will wrap up the evening and welcome the new year while dancing with Wild Thyme, a traditional folk band.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served at 7:30 AM.
 Morning: Morning class. Groups rotate.
 Lunch: Lunch served at 12:15 PM.
 Afternoon: Afternoon class. Shortened "adult only class" and a full three hour "kid only class."
 Dinner: Dinner served at 5:15 PM.
 Evening: After a brief closing, a family folk dance will be held in our auditorium.
   
Accommodations: Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Departure
(Thursday, January 1)

Note: Today we have to say goodbye to our new friends. Check out from Wolf Ridge is at 9 am.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served at 7:30 AM.
 Morning: Participants who have signed up for van transportation will depart at 9:00 AM (arrival at Duluth International airport by 11:00 AM.) Other participants are asked to move out of their rooms by 9:00 AM.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Finland, MN Wolf Ridge ELC
Free-time options include hiking, ice fishing (also done during class), reading and games. A snack is provided every evening, and hot drinks are available in the dorm at all times. For additional information, visit www.wolf-ridge.org
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Birds of Minnesota Field Guide, Second Edition


Author: Stan Tekiela


Geology on display: Geology and scenery of Minnesota's North Shore state parks


Author: John C Green


Minnesota’s Natural Heritage: An Ecological Perspective


Author: John Tester


Ojibwe in Minnesota (People Of Minnesota)


Author: Anton Treuer


The Superior North Shore: A Natural History of Lake Superior's Northern Lands and Waters


Author: Thomas F. Waters


The Voyageur


Author: Grace Lee Nute




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