Osprey Wilds offers programming for all ages. From virtual after school programs to on-site outdoor learning, there is something for everyone.
Educational Programs for All Ages
wonder, adventure, discovery
Monthly in-person & online events
Share the wonders of nature with your whole family at one of our family programs. Check below for dates.
Join us at 7:00 pm CST the first Wednesday of every month for free family-friendly and educational webinars!
As we watch the days grow longer and the temperature gets colder, it's easy to wonder what animals do in winter. Some animals, like many birds, decide to pack their bags and move to a warmer climate. This is called migration, and it is an amazing phenomenon that often makes us wonder: Do all birds leave Minnesota for the winter? How far can birds travel? Where do they go? How do they navigate? When will they retune?
To kick off our Wednesday Webinars, we decided to answer some of these common questions and even debunk some myths about where birds go in winter!
Join Rock, our Environmental Education Fellow, in learning more about winter birds and migration. Bring your questions and get ready to learn about which birds you can plan to see this winter! Rock has worked as an ornithologist and naturalist for the past five years and will be taking questions from the audience.
Join on the first Sunday of the month to hike and ski with our naturalists. Skis are available. This event is free! There are two sessions, in the morning from 10-12 pm and in the afternoon from 1:30-3:30 pm. Space is limited and registration is required.
Upcoming Family Programs
3:30-4:30 pm CST
After School Programming
Sign up for our virtual after school programs focused on getting outside, creating, and learning. Programs begin the week of November 2 and run through the week of December 7. No class will be held during the week of Thanksgiving. Click on the classes below for description, materials, and age recommendations.
Course Description: What does it mean to really see an object in nature? Train your eye to notice things differently as you recreate the natural world on your pages. Participants will learn how to make observations, set goals, look closer, record information for later use, and how to make their nature journal their own.
Materials: Journal, pencil/pen, colored pencils, place to go outside, magnifying glass (optional), camera (optional)
Suggested age: 8 years old - 18 years old recommended
Course Description: Participants will get a chance to explore nature by learning how to write both creatively. Every week they will create short stories, poems, fictional blurbs, and more to get the creative juices flowing.
Needed Materials: Journal, pen/pencil, camera (optional), your imagination
Recommended age: 11 years old and up
Course Description: Are you looking to get out of the house? But not entirely comfortable with the prep? Let's talk about what you need to be comfortable in the wilderness, maybe with a little history thrown in. We might as well do some fun things while we're at it!
Needed Materials: None
Recommended Age: 11 years old and up
Course Description: Students will get the opportunity to think creatively and to make projects with different guest teachers each week. These projects may require additional materials to actively participate, but all are welcome to watch and practice on their own time. At the end of the class we will have a virtual "museum opening" where students can show off projects they have completed or are still working on to each other and where students can talk about their process and ask any questions they might have. No previous experience necessary; we invite people of all skill levels to participate, learn, and grow!
Recommended Age: 8 years old and up
- Week 1: Make your own comic with Rock! Materials Required: Paper and a Writing Utensil
- Week 2: Weave yourself a Tree of Life with Ashley Materials Required: 1 Willow Branch or a pre-made hoop, at least 1 skein of yarn, other things to decorate with, scissors
- Week 3: Paracord Art with Katrina! Requires: Paracord or similar matieral
- Week 4: Happy Thanksgiving! No classes this week, but please enjoy a virtual Raptors by Family program and share with your family and loved ones this holiday!
- Week 5: Learn to Crochet with Allie! Requires: Red Heart yarn, 5mm (H-8) crochet hook
- Week 6: Virtual Museum Opening / Show and Tell Required Materials: Any creative project you've worked on!
Course Description: Learn different forms of story-based writing through investigation and observation, a range of content about the world around us, and learner-led creativity. Topics include astronomy and mythology, history and journalism, animal signs, folklore, and analysis of arguments.
Recommended age: 10 years old ad up
Course Description: Embark on an epic adventure with other kids in an easy to learn role-playing game. As a team, they will work together to overcome countless challenges as they uncover the secrets of the Lost King's Tomb. Success depends on their cooperation, creative thinking, and the ability to overcome obstacles in the face of unknown dangers. This is a great opportunity for kids to practice working in group settings, developing your voice as a leader and as a team member, and to challenge yourself in a low-risk high-fun environment. No experience necessary, just two six-sided dice, some paper, and a writing utensil!
Materials Needed: Six-sided dice, paper, writing utensil
Recommended age: 8-12 years old
Course Description: Ever wonder about the animals in your neighborhood that you see or hear all the time? Would you like to know more about how to determine the animals that have been wondering around their house and what they are doing? Learn about Minnesota wildlife, biomes, animal tracking, and more. Meet different Osprey Wilds Animal Ambassadors throughout the course.
Needed Materials: Journal (optional)
Recommended age: 8 years old and up
Course Description: Each week will be spent creating and rehearsing, with the final week being a live performance. Participants will gain skills in public speaking and self-expression, be able to create and share original content, and participate in a cumulative group production of a short play.
Needed Materials: None
Recommended age: any!
year-round learning experiences
Lifelong learners can enjoy a variety of educational programs focused on a diverse range of topics. Check below for upcoming programs and dates.
Women's Wellness Weekend
Renew, Relax, Rediscover. Osprey Wilds’ beautifully varied landscapes provide the perfect setting for this all-inclusive holistic adventure. Spend this weekend with your friends or take the opportunity to get away by yourself, meet new people, and learn new skills. Choose from a variety of physical, mental, and spiritual activities, book a massage or energy healing session, or just relax and take in nature
Dinners at the Lake
From fall through spring, we offer a number of Dinners at the Lake (usually on Saturday) – start out with wine and appetizers, then enjoy a wonderful banquet meal served in our beautiful lakeside dining hall, followed by an interesting nature-focused keynote presentation
Road Scholar® Programs
Founded as Elderhostel in the summer of 1975, Road Scholar® began as a learning program conceived to combine not-for-credit classes with inexpensive lodging for adults ages 50+. They are a diverse community of knowledge seekers and explorers, united in the belief that lifelong learning is a vital part of overall wellbeing. Throughout the year, Osprey Wilds holds several Road Scholar learning adventures.
Hamline University EE Courses
Our unique location in east central Minnesota offers a wonderfully diverse area to learn about the environment, and our comfortable accommodations make the experience even more enjoyable. Lifelong learners can enroll, on an audit basis, in our various Hamline University courses (Graduate Professional Development Program – Continuing Studies).
Upcoming Adult Programs
- November 5 @ 7:00 pm - November 19 @ 8:00 pm
- November 13 @ 4:00 pm - November 15 @ 1:00 pm
- December 13 @ 4:00 pm - December 18 @ 10:00 am
- January 24, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - January 29, 2021 @ 10:00 am
undergraduate, graduate, and teacher training
A wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and teacher training opportunities are offered at Osprey Wilds. We also serve as a field campus for many teacher training opportunities through Hamline University’s Center for Global Environmental Education and offer graduate courses tailored to educators seeking either a Certificate or Master’s Degree in Environmental Education.
January Interim: Wolves & Northwoods Carnivores – Predator Ecology
The grey wolf has long excited the human imagination. Minnesota, with approximately 2200 wolves, is home to the largest and only continuous population of wolves in the lower 48 states. It is a center for wolf research. During this course, we work on two wolf projects: one to determine pack numbers, territories, and behavior through tracking surveys near Ely, MN. The second, to determine wolf pack size, territory, and the impacts of prey species on the historic Jonvick Deer Yard along the North Shore of Lake Superior (Lutsen, MN). We also collect data on Canada lynx in the area in cooperation with the Superior National Forest.
Hamline University EE Courses
Our unique location in east central Minnesota offers a wonderfully diverse area to learn about the environment, and our comfortable accommodations make the experience even more enjoyable. Throughout the year, we offer a number of Hamline University environmental educations courses through their Graduate Professional Development Program (Continuing Studies).