For a printable version of our Winter Curriculum, click here.

Cross Country Skiing | Winter Survival Competition | Campfire Cooking | Snow Shoeing | SnowSchool

Cross Country Skiing (1.25 - 4 Hours)

This activity can be done alone, or in conjunction with winter survival competition.

Students learn the art of cross country skiing to explore the winter trails of the Fertile Sand Hills. Full ski equipment (poles, boots, and skis) is supplied for this activity, and rental fees are waived. Participation may be limited by equipment available.

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Winter Survival Competition (1.25 - 1.5 Hours)

This activity is typically done in conjunction with cross country skiing

If they live in Minnesota, chances are good that your students will be faced with some degree of winter survival situation in their lifetime.  During this activity, students will learn about the effects of cold on the human body, the body’s basic needs in a survival situation, and the art of fire-building.  They will be divided into teams and given a limited set of equipment, then “stranded” in the wilderness, where they will need to work cooperatively to meet some basic winter survival requirements. 

During the cold Minnesota winters, could you survive with just:

  • a tarp
  • 10 matches
  • 1 foam pad
  • 2-5 pieces of rope
  • packet of hot chocolate
  • piece of tin foil
  • a candle





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Campfire Cooking (1.25 - 4 Hours)

Many groups who visit the Nature Center choose to cook their meals over an open camp fire!  Teams of learners can plan various aspects of the meal, from the beverage to the appetizer, and from the main dish to the dessert.  Just remember, whatever you choose to cook must be done without the use of a stove or microwave oven! Or instead, what is better than a simple meal of hot dogs and S’Mores over an open fire?!

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Snow Shoeing - New in 2011!

Beginning in winter 2011, students will be able to strap on a pair of snow shoes to study the Fertile Sand Hill's winter ecology! Many activities are being planned and may include such things as identifying tracks, measuring snow depth, and analyzing the snow pack for water content. Stay tuned for more information!

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SnowSchool - New in 2012!

AELC is now a part of a nationally recognized group called SnowSchool. SnowSchool is an environmental education program of the Winter Wildlands Alliance SnowSchool and is an unforgettable winter field trip that combines real science with    hands-on learning. Bundled up and fitted with snowshoes, kids venture out into America's winter wildlands to discover the wonders of the winter environment.

The AELC now has access to some new curriculum dealing with winter ecology and has purchased 20 pairs of snow shoes, poles and flotation tails to use with school groups who participate in the SnowSchool program.

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