Fall Retreats


    Fall Retreats 2018

    September 24 – 28


    Each fall, OWL students engage in a four-day intensive experience. The objective of these fall retreats is to begin the school year with an experience that will build lasting friendships and provide the foundation for future collaborative fieldwork. Below is a summary of what will happen at each grade level. More information will be available at goal-setting conferences. Starting this year, there is a flat fee of $120 for all experiences.

    *Partial scholarships are available upon request. Contact Dave Gundale (651-293-8670/dave.gundale@spps.org).

    Fall Retreats Week is a huge undertaking and spreads our staff very thin. Parent chaperones are needed for each grade level for both overnight and daily trips. Please consider taking the time to help us make these trips a success. Contact Dave Gundale (651-293-8670/dave.gundale@spps.org

    Please use this link to see a slideshow of the highlights from this year's Fall Retreats. 

    Grade 6-7 Overnight Trip

    Two-day, one overnight to Baker Near-Wilderness Settlement in Maple Plain, MN. This will be an action-packed 2 days of canoeing, archery, cooperative games, rock climbing and more! 7th graders will attend September 27-28 and the 6th graders will go on September 29-30.


    Grade 6-7 Fieldwork

    During the other two days (when students are not at Baker Park), 6-7 grade students will conduct fieldwork for their respective Learning Expeditions. Details are below.


    Grade 6 Wonderstruck Expedition

    Day 1 (Sept 27): Camp 6: Middle School Orientation at OWL

    *6th Grade Family Meeting on Tuesday, September 27 from 6-7:30 PM. You will meet with 6th grade staff to introduce the year and what to expect for students starting middle school.

    Day 2 (Sept 28): Museum Fieldwork: students will learn about the different ways museums convey information and engage the visitor.


    Grade 7 Community Expedition

    Day 1 (Sept 29): Vacant Lot Case Study—Students will begin their study of the vacant lot that OWL and Humboldt purchased from the city. *7th Grade Family Meeting on Thursday, September 29 from 6-7:30 PM. You will meet with 7th grade staff to introduce the year and what to expect for students starting middle school.

    Day 2 (Sept 30): Green Line LRT Tour – Students will study how the new train route has both enhanced and connected as well as divided and harmed the community, especially comparing it with the construction of Interstate 94 fifty years ago.


    Grade 8: THE RIVER: Upper Mississippi Expedition to Lake Itasca

    The eighth graders’ expedition will focus on the Mississippi River, so their fall retreat is a visit to where it all begins. From September 27-30, students will be exploring and canoeing the headwaters while camping nearby for four days and three nights. Our partner for this adventure is Wilderness Inquiry.


    Grade 9: SERVICE-O-RAMA:

    1. A) A two-day, overnight Service Adventure at YMCA Camp St. Croix, Hudson, WI. This will be an action-packed 2 days of SERVICE: building firewood sheds, hauling firewood, trail repair, white pine bud capping, exotic species removal, exterior painting. And ADVENTURE: Rock climbing, canoeing, high ropes course, fishing and swimming. *Students will be overnight at Audubon either Sept 27 or 29.
    2. B) Two days at Indian Mounds Park and the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary doing restoration service work. Students will be identifying the species present in the parks and removing invasive species.


    Grades 10 : College Tours!

    A series of daily visits to colleges and universities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Colleges we plan on visiting (depending on scheduling) may include: Gustavus Adolphus, Minnesota State—Mankato, University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Hamline University, University of Wisconsin—Stout, University of Wisconsin—River Falls, St. Olaf College and Carleton College. *Families are invited to join us on these trips free of charge. Please contact Counselor Jolene Yang jolene.yang@spps.org if you would like to attend.


    Grade 11: Service Adventure to YMCA Camp DuNord (*Junior Trip-- Monday after school-Thursday Sept 26-29. Friday 9/30 is at OWL doing college search work) A four day, three night trip Camp DuNord in Ely, MN. We will be working on a variety of maintenance and cleaning projects around this wilderness camp on the shores of Burntside Lake. Students will have two 3 hour work sessions each day, followed by time to canoe, hike, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. We will stay in group cabins.


    Grade 12: St. Croix River Trip and College Applications (*Senior Fall Retreat is the entire week: Monday – Friday 9/26-30) A two-day, one overnight Senior Insight Leadership Retreat with Voyageur Outward Bound School on the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. We will kick off senior year with teambuilding, canoeing and camping. The other three days of the week, we will work on college essays and applications at OWL. *Seniors will be overnight either Monday, Sept 26 or Thursday, Sept 29.





Student Survey: 2016 Fall Retreat

  • Click here to take the OWL Student Survey on 2016 Fall Retreats.  Thanks!