Since 1997, Wintergreen has offered this very special parent-child experience -- for pairs involving a parent (mother or father or grandparent) and daughter or son (ages 7-12). It ranks among our popular trips. For school scheduling convenience, this special itinerary is offered over both MLK school holiday weekend and President's
Each parent-child pair gets their own dogteam to enjoy 3 days of dogsledding together (and their own private double bedroom in our lodge). Each group includes 4 or 5 pairs. Each trip date can accommodate up to 2 groups so, depending upon registrations, we can sometimes arrange separate parent-daughter and parent-son itineraries.
We call these trips a "Wintergreen Workshop" because in addition to dogsledding each day, each evening the kids (and parents if they like!) enjoy group games and workshops with a focus of journaling, campcrafts and storytelling. The itinerary of these trips is similar to our 4-night "Good" dogsled vacations with the added fun and learning of the evening games and workshop.
An extraordinary experience to share with your child! As one father participant noted: "This was by far the best experience I've ever shared with my daughter. Our relationship took a quantum leap & so did her confidence!"
- each parent-child pair gets to mush their own team of our friendly Eskimo dogs on beautiful wilderness trails
- each pair gets to feed & care for their dogs as much as they'd like (and help with the puppy pen as well!)
- each trip typically includes 4-5 parent-child pairs and 2-3 Wintergreen guides
- includes 3 days of guided dogsledding with visits to sites of scenic, historic and wildlife interest
- includes 4 nights at Wintergreen Lodge or 4 nights at Timber Trail Lodge's Diamond Willow retreat
- private double-occupancy bedroom provided for each pair, bathrooms are shared
- indoor lunch 1st day; campfire trailside lunches on other days plus snack & beverage breaks
- dinners generally prepared by our professional chef, served family-style
- evening socializing around the fireplace, group games, journaling and northwoods stories with your guides
- creative writing, storytelling & campcrafts workshops
- optional chance to try snowshoeing, skiing, ski-jouring and our traditional Finnish sauna
- a special welcoming dinner on your first night and send-off brunch on the final "Musher's Graduation" morning
- free tickets to view timber wolves in a woodland enclosure at Ely's International Wolf Center
- rental clothing & boots available as need in both adults and kids sizes
Sample Itinerary (may vary with trip dates)DAY 1: Arrive in Ely mid to late afternoon by car or airport taxi shuttle. Stop at Wintergreen store for any rental clothing needs, continue to lodge (Wintergreen or Timber Trail's Diamond Willow retreat) for check-in and site tour. Meet your guides, dogs & other parents & daughters. Welcoming dinner at 6 pm followed by trip orientation session and clothing check. "Dear Diary" tips on journaling session and map & compass campcrafts class. Optional night visit to the kennel (a chance to 'howl' with your dogs at the moon and watch for northern lights!)
DAY 2: Sunrise kennel care (optional) followed by breakfast and "Dogsledding 101" training. The big moment arrives as your guides help you launch your team and accompany you on a dogsled training trip. Lunch in lodge, skills review and rest break. "The Creative Muse" session on how to think like a writer and tell a good story. Afternoon dogsled trip. Return to lodge 4-5 pm. Treat & water your dogs. R&R. Dinner. Writing exercise and shared readings and northwoods stories. Free time for games and socializing around the fireplace.
DAY 3: Kennel care & breakfast. Depart on full day of mushing with trailside campfire lunch and rest stops at scenic sites. Wintergreen guides accompany your group on skis, providing tune-up tips on your mushing skills and sharing natural history info along the route. Trailside campfire lunch with campcraft fire-building workshop. Return to lodge mid-afternoon. Treat & water your dogs. R&R. 6 pm dinner. Campcrafts workshop on northwoods navigation and knots. Optional fireplace stories and/or 'film fest' to view the National Geographic documentaries on Wintergreen adventures.
DAY 4: Now that everyone "knows the ropes," the guides will plan the day based upon group interests with such choices as easy or challenging trails and a longer or shorter routes. Scenic stops might include the 'ice cave,' the Murphys Falls overlook, the river bluff, the old growth forest and you may opt to include time for skiing/snowshoeing or to try "ski-jouring" (being towed on skis by a sled dog). Arrive at next lodge mid to late afternoon. Dog treats. R&R. Celebration dinner. Shared readings from everyone's journals. Optional evening activities: campfire gathering and/or Finnish-style sauna followed by the traditional "roll in the snow" or dip through the hole in ice! OR van shuttle to International Wolf Center for their Saturday evening "What's for Dinner?" program to observe the wolves feeding OR fireside arctic stories with Wintergreen director Paul Schurke.
DAY 5: Kennel care, "bon voyage" breakfast buffet, "Mushers Graduation" event, kennel visit to bid your dogs adieu, check-out mid to late morning (or earlier if your travel plans require). Visit Ely's International Wolf Center, tickets compliments of Wintergreen (winter hours: 10-4 Sat/Sun and other days when pre-arranged by Wintergreen).