Class trips like the annual 7th-8th grade trip to Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center are a cornerstone of progressive education. Middle schoolers spend an autumn week in northern Minnesota immersed in nature exploration, cultural history, outdoor skills, team-building, and personal growth. Parent volunteer Wendy Lutter shares their adventures.

Early Monday morning, Friends School of Minnesota 7th and 8th graders, FSMN staff and parent volunteers made the trip north to Wolf Ridge ELC.  We stopped at Tettegouche State Park for an extended lunch break.

Lunch stop at Tettegouche State Park.

The fall colors were beautiful and it was a warm sunny day.  Everyone hiked the half mile into the falls. After a long bus ride, it was great to stretch our legs, skip rocks, and explore the stream.

We arrived at Wolf Ridge before dinner (which is early here at 5:00 every day!)  The kids settled into dorm rooms and checked the place out.  We finished the evening with night games and a story by Shane.

The first full day at Wolf Ridge started with KP duties (Kitchen Patrol or Kitchen Party). Wolf Ridge can keep the costs down by having the schools do the kitchen work – and it’s fun to work together.

Classes today included Skyview Ropes Course, Small Mammals, Stream Studies and Voyageurs. The kids are doing great in their groups and challenging themselves.

Voyageurs teachers
Voyageurs class
Skyview ropes course

The weather so far has cooperated. Sunny skies and warm temps combined with yellow and red leaves still on most of the trees is making a beautiful backdrop. We hear snow is on the way for Thursday and Friday so we will get to see it all.

We closed out the night with a viewing through a powerful telescope where we saw the moon in beautiful detail.  A naturalist told us a great story about the constellations. Everyone should sleep well tonight.