LEC aims to fund scholarships for four low-income elementary- and middle-school students to attend the three-day educational retreat with their classmates. Student scholarships include transportation to and from the center, room and board, and an educational program tailored to individual class size and grade level with team-building exercises, outdoor exploration, and problem-solving excursions. Each excursion will include different activities, with fifth- and seventh-grade students exploring the wilderness through mapping and geocaching, learning about beavers and bog ecology, and sleeping in cabins. The Laurentian Journey will teach seventh-grade students about orienteering, survival techniques, and group decision-making in the woods, with time for journaling and reflection.
Scaling an icy waterfall, kayaking on Lake Superior waves, and driving a horse-drawn sleigh. These are just some of the experiences Positive Energy Outdoors offers their guests. By providing access to these and other outdoor adventures, people are encouraged to explore the natural world in new ways. Co-founders Stephanie Love and Blake Cazier use their backgrounds in outdoor education to provide unique animal-powered excursions such as dog sledding and wagon rides, along with people-powered rock climbing and kayaking tours and instruction.
Gander Mountain Academy updates its lessons in gun safety, handling, and marksmanship with virtual shooting technology that was once only available to military and law-enforcement agencies. The ladies-only basic fundamentals class gives women a foundation in the mechanics of handguns and how to use them safely. Students start by winnowing down the right type of gun for their needs, be they self-defense, hunting, or reclaiming the garage from infestations of gremlins. Next, instructors with callused trigger fingers explain the safety rules of handguns, compare ammunition options, and demonstrate proper grip, stance, and trigger control.
MN Surf Co. is intent on converting Minnesota's richest natural resource—water—into pure adrenaline. The company has two locations in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and both stock a wide variety of vessels and apparel to make days on the water exciting, stylish, and safe. First-timers can get their feet wet by renting a paddleboard, wake surfer, wakeboard, or kayak for up to seven days. MN Surf Co. also sells boards, plus wetsuits and tees suited for the beach.
Set on the banks of Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota, High Banks Resort is a nice spot to fish, hike, or simply enjoy the great outdoors all year long. There's a spacious marina with dockside fueling stations and plenty of space for visitors to tie up their own boats or rafts made out of foam noodles; it's also possible to rent boats from the resort. In the summer and fall, it's popular to troll the sparkling waters for perch and walleye.
Owners Rick and Kim Leonhardt, who purchased the property in 2004, emphasize what they call the “little extras” in each guest's stay. They keep furnished log cabins tidy, warm, and stocked with all the comforts of home, including kitchen supplies, freshly laundered linens, and handmade quilts. The lodge contains a bar area with a pool table and stone fireplace, plus a restaurant that serves home-cooked meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.