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Grand Winter Adventure: For Grandparents and Grandchildren

Program Number: 6249RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/27/2014 - 1/1/2015; 12/27/2015 - 1/1/2016;
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. Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, the entity that will provide the biking trip during this program, is required by its insurance carrier to obtain a signed liability release waiver from all program participants. Participants must sign the Wolf Ridge liability waiver prior to participating in the Grand Winter Adventure: For Grandparents and Grandchildren. This waiver will be included in the program preparatory materials participants will receive after enrolling in the program and must be returned prior to the program’s commencement.
  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 3:00-4:30 PM.
 Dinner: Dinner served at 5:15 PM in the dining hall. 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 and gluten free meals and accommodations for specific food allergies 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.
 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)
   
 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 and gluten free meals and accommodations for specific food allergies 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.
 Morning: Ojibwe Snowshoe Class - Learn the ancient North American art and skill of snowshoeing. Snowshoe to a recreated Ojibwe site, where you’ll see how to make fire with flint and steel and practice making twine from basswood bark as you listen to native legends. Quarter mile snowshoe.
 Lunch: Lunch served at 12:15 PM.
 Afternoon: Adults and children will spend the afternoon in classes of their own. Adults will enjoy the outdoors to gather current weather data and learn how to put together an accurate weather forecast. After exploring the components that make up the “weather machine,” you will understand cloud formation, pressure systems, and the jet stream. This class has a short walk in it. Children will use a small amount of equipment to build a shelter and fire outdoors in a mock survival setting. They will learn about physical needs, positive attitude and working together. There is a longer walk in this class with 350' elevation gain.
 Dinner: Dinner served at 5:15 PM.
 Evening: Optional activities include dream catchers or owl pellets followed by an evening of storytelling, tea, hot chocolate and cookies.
   
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: Cross Country Skiing - This beginners class takes place on four kilometers of Wolf Ridge ski trails. We supply all equipment at our ski center, a 15 minute walk from the dorm. Learn about equipment, clothing, and techniques and spend at least an hour with an instructor on the trails. Advanced skiers will have the opportunity to cover extra trail. Long walk with 250' elevation gain.
 Lunch: Lunch served at 12:15 NOON.
 Afternoon: Dogsledding Demonstration - Get a taste of the excitement of this unique northern way of life, as a dogsledder joins us for the morning. Indoors, we’ll have an introduction to the history, equipment and background of the sport. Then outdoors, we’ll meet the dogs, learn how to harness them, and ride along as they run a practice loop. Short walk.
 Dinner: Dinner served at 5:15 PM.
 Evening: Group presentation
   
Accommodations: Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Group Classes/Evening Activity
(Tuesday, December 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served at 7:30 AM.
 Morning: Learn what goes on under the ice during the winter. Practice cutting ice from the lake, and try some catch and release fishing. If you wish, take a stroll or snowshoe around the perimeter of beautiful Wolf Lake. Half-mile walk with 250' elevation gain.
 Lunch: Lunch served at 12:15 PM.
 Afternoon: Adults and children will spend the afternoon in classes of their own. Using field guides and binoculars, grandparents will study the amazing diversity of winter birds on the ridge. Learn about the adaptations unique to birds as well as the many struggles they encounter during their migrations. If weather permits, you may band a live bird during class. This class has a short walk. While the adults are learning about the diversity of birds at Wolf Ridge during the winter months, children will study tracks, scat, homes, eat marks and other signs of various creatures. Through games and activities, learn about how and where mammals, birds and insects make their livings. Kids will also get a hands on try at radio telemetry and meeting the birds at Chickadee landing.
 Dinner: Dinner served at 5:15 PM.
 Evening: Optional activities include star lab or block printing.
   
Accommodations: Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Group Classes//Evening Activity
(Wednesday, December 31)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served at 7:30 AM.
 Morning: An indoor rock climbing wall is the perfect place to experience this adventure while learning about equipment, etiquette and safety. All participants will also learn to belay (control the safety ropes). Adults are welcome to climb or to observe from the ground. This is class will be 100% indoors.
 Lunch: Lunch served at 12:15 PM.
 Afternoon: After a short walk to the ropes course, you can face the challenge and excitement of crossing cables and logs 25 feet off the ground, while tied in by safety lines. Adults are welcome to participate on the course or observe from the ground.
 Dinner: Dinner served at 5:15 PM.
 Evening: Join us on the last evening for a wrap-up of the week. We will cover check out procedures, recycling and share memories of our week together before we dance the evening away to “Wild Thyme”. “Wild Thyme,” a folk dance band from Duluth, will conduct a family dance from 7:15-9:30pm on New Year’s Eve. Dances include circle and line dances, all of which are designed for people of all ages with no dancing experience, and all dances are taught.
   
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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