Our Dogsledding Staff

Wintergreen guide Amy FreemanOur Dogsled Staff and Expert Guides

We are very proud of the "Wintergreen Team," which includes founder/director Paul Schurke, our dogsled guides, our chef, food service and housekeeping staff (and of course our "4-legged" kennel staff!). They are dedicated professionals, most of whom have been with us for many years.

Our guides are not only superbly skilled instructors, but are also gifted naturalists and educators who enjoy sharing northwoods lore with our guests -- about timber wolves, moose & bear, winter stars, northern lights, the Ojibway Indians of this region and the French Voyageurs who once traveled these woods.  Time and again, our guides have been ranked "best in the business."  In fact, our guides Dave & Amy Freeman are rated National Geographic "Adventurers of the Year" and were featured on the NBC Today Show for their "Year in the Wilderness" trek & have authored a new book on their wilderness advocacy adventure.

Our guides are multi-talented: LynnAnne is building her own timber frame home.  Ellen & friend Van run a Community Supported Agriculture farm (CSA) to provide vegetables for our northwoods community (& host a summer "picnic operetta" in their fields!). Becca also runs a CSA with help from guides Meagan & Elliot. Christina is an ordained minister who serves inner-city congregations.  Brian guides summer bicycle trips in Alaska and biked back to Wintergreen from Juneau last fall. Courtney's family lives off-grid deep in the woods. Bria guides mountain climbing trips for the National Outdoor Leadership School. Peter is an Arctic guide in Svalbard, Norway. Wintergreen guide Brian Kaeter

Paul's schedule allows him to spend time with most Wintergreen groups and he is often able to share stories about his arctic expeditions. He is the lead instructor on most of the advanced dogsled camping trips and all of the arctic programs.  Paul received the Explorers Award from the International Center for Exploration, the "Adventurer of the Year" award from Outside Magazine and the Environmental Hero Award from the National Wilderness Society. Paul is also a nationally-recognized speaker whose motivational and adventure talks have been featured by the National Association of Campus Activities.  Learn more about Paul's speaking presentations HERE

In their post-trip evaluations, our Wintergreen guests repeatedly rave about our staff -- and rightly so! Here are a few of the accolades: "our guardian angels," "exhibited the utmost professionalism, skill & good cheer," "extraordinarily caring," "extremely attentive and caring," "totally interested in our having fun & being safe (and never making me feel like a nervous urban mom)," "catered to our every need," "very passionate about what they do," "very respectful of each other, the guests and the dogs," "athlete, educators & entertainers and great cooks too!," "great role models for my kids."

Wintergreen guide Ellen Root

Wintergreen Guides:

Paul, Susan, Bria, Peter & Berit Schurke with Dave Freeman, Amy Voytilla Freeman, Ellen Root, Meagan Jaskela, Isaak Ridge, Brian Kaeter, Joe Gleiter, Luke Kaneb, Virginia Wightman, McKayla Bull, Elliot Diana, Tristan Weisz, Summer Goebel & other occasional staff, interns and guides-in-training.

Guide Profiles:

ELLIOT DIANA Woods craft & camping came naturally to Elliot Diana growing up in New England.  In 8th grade he paddled his region’s “Boundary Waters” counterpart – the Allagash, Maine’s renowned wilderness river system.  At the University of Vermont, he secured an ecology degree and crafted his guide skills leading rock climbing, backpacking and mountain biking trips for the college outdoors club.  He interned with the Wintergreen team the past couple seasons & gained his ‘wings’ as a fully fledged guide this winter.  When he's not in the woods, he's plucking strings -- Elliot plays a mean mandolin and commands an impressive repertoire of folk songs & bluegrass tunes. His favorite sled dog is Pingo and his favorite ice cream is Moose Tracks with it’s irresistible combo of fudge & peanut butter.  


LYNNANNE VESPER  In 1993, when LynnAnne Vesper joined us for a January Interim wilderness dogsled & ski expedition during her senior year of Gustavus Adolphus College, she had no idea how the experience would define her life.  Smitten by the Northwoods & winter, she carved out a life here that (in addition to guiding for Wintergreen for over 20 seasons!) includes an eclectic mix of talents & interests: crafting her own timber frame home from the ground up; learning & teaching Swedish, French & Finnish; performing both wind & string instruments including the nyckelharpa chordophone; writing a newspaper column on low-impact “green living” and, currently, preparing for her next career as a speech-language pathologist. Her boundless curiosity has brought a refreshing, innovative and engaging edge to our ‘end-of-the-road’ community and her superb trail and people skills have made her the “go-to” guide for summer & winter adventures in our border country.  Her favorite Wintergreen dog is Larry, our kennel partriarch, and her favorite ice cream is Rocky Road.


Wintergreen's 4-Legged Staff -- "Our Beloved Doggers!":

Acorn, Agnes, Alice, Alfy, Basil, Bella, Bernie, Betty, Bob, Bowie, Bugsy, Carrot, Cashew, Cedar, Cinnamon, Charlotte, Chill, Chive, Curly, Domino, Douglas, Ethyl, Finegan, Franky, Frazer, Gabriel, Gracy, Hendrix, Hillary, Hobbs, Inga, Inuk, Isis, Jack, Joplin, Juno, Jupiter, Kale, Kayuk, Kazan, Larry, Lena, Lewis, Lomi, Louisa, Lucy, Luna, McKenzie, Millie, Mishka, Mudro, Mullet, Okra, Ole, Pak, Pecan, Pingo, Pippy, Ramona, Ricky, Sage, Sisu, Stoney, Sven, Taiga, Thomas, TinCanMike, Toby, Viggo, Willow, Whoopsy, Yoik (plus 2 new puppies, Frodo & Baggins!)  





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