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Programs Overview

Visitors utilizing Upham Woods for day or residential programs can choose from a wide variety of environmental, outdoor education and recreation programs and activities. Each is taught by a Upham Naturalist and many can be group-led. Browse the links below or scroll down to read about the programs offered at Upham Woods. You may also download the current Upham Woods Program Guide in Adobe PDF format by right clicking the following link and saving to your computer: Program Guide 2014

AQUATICS

Wacky Water Critters

Youth looking thru Microscope

Explore the river habitat at Upham Woods and discover the amazing world of macro-invertebrates. Students will wear rain boots and use nets, stereoscopes, and a dichotomous key to collect, examine, and study aquatic insects and other water critters. These hands-on activities will allow students to learn about animal adaptations, aquatic ecosystems, and the role of aquatic insects in the food chain.

• Combines science and nature in an outdoor classroom.
• Optional Activity: Learn about the importance of indicator species and use a Biotic Index to determine the health of the Wisconsin River.

Length: 1 ½ - 2 hours
Grade Level:
4th - 9th 
Suggested Maximum Participants:
18 (3 per scope)
Meet at: Nature Center
PDF file Lesson Plan for Wacky Water Critters (3 pages, 203 KB)
Wacky Water Critters iPad Lesson Plan (2 pages, 20 KB)
   

ANIMAL ECOLOGY

Animal Signs

Become a detective, investigate animal clues and solve nature’s mysteries. Students will learn about seven categories of animal signs, how to interpret each sign, and why natural history interpretation is an important tool for understanding wildlife. A large portion of this class is spent outside looking for animal signs and tracking animals.

• Great outdoor program!
• Promotes inquiry and investigation.
Length: 1 hour
Grade Level: 1st -  9th
Suggested Maximum Participants: 20
Meet at: Volleyball Court
PDF file Lesson Plan for Animal Signs (3 pages, 204 KB)
Animal Signs iPad Lesson Plan (3 pages, 25 KB)
 

Bat Program

bats Do bats really carry rabies and get stuck in your hair?  This class will answer these questions and more as students explore the fascinating world of the only true flying mammal. Students will explore myths surrounding bats, discover bat adaptations through interactive games, and discuss the importance of bats in the ecosystem.

• Challenges students to look at an animal from a new perspective.
• A great program for evenings and large groups.
Length: 1 hour
Grade Level: 3rd – 12th
Maximum Participants:     30 in Nature Center / 150 in Main Lodge
Meet at: Lodge
PDF file Lesson Plan for Bats (6 pages, 261 KB)
 
 

Beaver Ecology

Discover what life is like as the largest rodent in North America. Students will learn about the physical and behavioral adaptations of beavers, the beaver life cycle, and how beaver behavior affects the lives of other plants and animals in the ecosystem.  Students will also learn about beaver and human interactions.

Offers fun, interactive games!
A great lesson about adaptations!

Length: 1 hour
Grade Level: 2nd - 6th
Suggested Maximum Participants: 25
Meet at: Nature Center
PDF file Lesson Plan for Beavers (5 pages, 245 KB)
 
 

Birds of Wisconsin

Become an ornithologist and discover the fascinating world of birds in your own backyard. Find out what makes a bird a bird and what makes each species unique.  A multimedia presentation and live raptor show will introduce students to Wisconsin’s common birds and tips for identifying them in the wild. Students will also be introduced to some of Wisconsin’s rare birds and their special habitat needs.

• A new alternative to Radical Raptors.
• Great program for evenings and large groups.

Length: 1 hour
Grade Level: 1st -   adult
Maximum Participants:     30 in Nature Center / 150 in Main Lodge
Fee:  Requested donation to maintain raptors.
Meet at: Nature Center / Lodge
PDF icon Lesson Plan for Birds of Wisconsin (4 pages, 229 KB)
 
 

Discovering Owls

Owl image

Through the use of a multimedia presentation and hands-on examples, students will discover the unique adaptations of these nocturnal raptors and the importance of owls in the food web.  Students will also learn how to identify Wisconsin's native owls and mimic owl calls.

Optional activity: Students can dissect their own owl pellet to take home and share.

Length: 1 hour  (1½ hours for owl pellet dissection)
Grade Level: 2nd - 7th
Suggested Maximum Participants: 16
Cost: $3.00/owl pellet if student dissection option used. 1-3 students can dissect one owl pellet.
Meet at: Nature Center
PDF file Lesson Plan for Discovering Owls (4 pages, 217 KB)
 

Predator/Prey

Experience life on the wild side with this interactive game. Students will learn about the food web and population dynamics by becoming predators and prey. A discussion following the game will show the importance of food, water, shelter, and reproduction for species survival in a balanced ecosystem. Upham staff and 6-7 adults are required for this program.

Combines physical activity and nature in an outdoor classroom.
Great for large groups.

Length: 1 hour
Grade Level: 4th - 8th
Maximum Participants: None
Minimum Number of Participants: 25 youth and 5 adults
Meet at: Flag Pole
PDF file Lesson Plan for Predator/Prey (3 pages, 196 KB)
 
 

Radical Raptors

Hawk What better way to learn about birds and conservation than to meet live birds of prey! Students will compare raptors to other birds and learn about the incredible adaptations that make raptors excellent predators. This live raptor presentation will introduce students to human-raptor interactions and the importance of raptors in the ecosystem. Two raptors are housed at Upham Woods and have injuries that prevent them from returning to the wild. Due to the stress on the birds, this program can only be presented once a day. It should not be used as a rotational class. Upham staff is required for this program.

A powerful program and group favorite!
A great program for evenings and large groups.
Length: 1 hour
Grade Level: 1st- adult
Maximum Participants:     30 in Nature Center / 150 in Main Lodge
Fee:  Requested donation to maintain raptors.
Meet at: Nature Center / Lodge
PDF file Lesson Plan for Radical Raptors (6 pages, 244 KB)
 
 

Scales, Scutes & Skins

Do you know the difference between a reptile and an amphibian? Discover the science of herpetology in this interactive program. A live animal show and adaptation game will compare reptile and amphibian adaptations and teach students the important roles these animals play in the environment. Students will learn how to care for and protect Wisconsin’s diverse herps. Upham staff is required for this program.

A memorable live animal show!
A great evening program.

Length: 1-1½ hours
Grade Level: 1st - adult
Suggested Maximum Participants: 20
Meet at: Nature Center
PDF file Lesson Plan for Scales, Scutes, and Skins (8 pages, 288 KB)
 
 

What Makes a Bird a Bird?

Deer

This question is answered through a variety of hands-on activities focused on adaptations. Students will learn about special characteristics that make birds different from all other animals on Earth, while they investigate different physical and behavioral adaptations among bird species. Students will learn how the shape of a bird’s beak both limits and enable a bird to survive in its habitat.

A great lesson about adaptations!
Offers creativity and discovery.

Length: 1- 1½ hours
Grade Level: 2nd - 6th
Suggested Maximum Participants: 20
Meet at: Nature Center
PDF file Lesson Plan for What Makes a Bird (4 pages, 189 KB)
 
 

ARCHEOLOGY

Dell House Dig

Bird

Sift through the sand for artifacts from one of the most infamous sites on the Wisconsin River: the historic Dell House.  This program investigates the cultural history of the Dells area through an exploratory, hands-on history lesson.  Students will paddle a barge to Black Hawk Island where they will learn about the history of the island and the river and conduct an archaeological dig in the water near the Dell House site. Youth should wear swimsuits and bring a towel. Water shoes are recommended for the dig portion of the program. Upham staff is required for this program. Class will be canceled if water flow reaches 14, 000 cfs.

A fun way to discover Wisconsin history!
Offered during June-September.

Length: 2- 2½ hours
Grade Level: 4th - 7th
Suggested Maximum Participants: 16
Meet at: Picnic Tables
PDF file Lesson Plan for Dell House Dig (3 pages, 200 KB)
 
 

Digging Detectives

Become an archeologist and unearth historic artifacts from Upham Woods’ own archeological site. Students will learn excavation techniques and search for artifacts in a quadrant study area. After evidence and data is collected, students will share what they have discovered and discuss the historical importance of their findings. Upham staff is required for this program.

Great hands-on investigation!
This lesson can be used alone or in combination with the Dell House Dig.

Length: 1-1½ hours
Grade Level: 4th - 7th 
Suggested Maximum Participants: 16
Meet at: Lodge Porch
PDF file Lesson Plan for Digging Detectives (4 pages, 195 KB)
 
 

CREATIVE LEARNING

Nature Journaling

Students will begin this program by exploring the history of nature journaling and examining the words of famous writers from the past. They will then create personalized journals using recycled materials. Students will fill their pages during a variety of hands-on activities that encourage them to explore the natural world and their own connections to it.

Utilizes writing and artistic skills and promotes self-reflection.
Encourages recycling.

Program Length: 1-1 ½ hours
Grade Level: 4th - 12th
Suggested Maximum Participants: 20
PDF file Nature Journaling Lesson Plan (2 pages, 188 KB)
Nature Journaling iPad Lesson (2 pages, 24 KB)
 

Think Green

Recycle

Waste not; want not.  Empower your students with the knowledge of the 3 R’s:  reduce, reuse and recycle. An interactive game will encourage students to use critical thinking skills to determine the fate of their so-called “garbage” and put the 3 R’s into action by creating recycled paper to take home. Students will also learn about composting and explore Upham Woods’ new compost bins.

Promotes sustainable living and conservation.
Provides a craft made from recycled materials.

Program Length: 1½ hours
Grade Level: 4th - 8th
Suggested Maximum Participants: 16
Meet at: Nature Center
PDF file Lesson Plan for Think Green (3 pages, 185 KB)
 
 

SENSORY AWARENESS

Make Sense of Nature

Discover Upham Woods through all five senses and develop a sense of wonder in nature. Blindfolded students must identify natural objects and effectively communicate their experiences of heightened sensitivity. Students will explore the woods on a scavenger hunt and learn about sensory adaptations that help animals survive.

A great program for younger students!

Length: 1 hour
Grade Level: 1st- 5th
Suggested Maximum Participants: 15
Meet at: Nature Center
PDF file Lesson Plan for Making Sense of Nature (3 pages, 255 KB)
 
 

SERVICE LEARNING

Upham Woods Service Project

Promote environmental stewardship and empower youth to get involved at Upham Woods.  Improvement projects will help develop and maintain Upham Woods’ trails, facilities and grounds. Youth will be given an age-appropriate improvement project to work on during a 1-1½ hour time period. Upham staff or group adults may lead these activities. Supervision must be provided by at least 2 group adults. Please contact Upham Woods to determine a project that is appropriate for your group.

Awesome way to promote environmental stewardship and empower youth!
Specific activities that meet the needs of Upham and the group can be arranged, such as, wood chipping, invasive species eradication, general camp clean up.  Contact the Program Coordinator for more information.

Length: 1-1½ hour
Grade Level: 4th - adult
Suggested Maximum Participants: 20
No Lesson Plan at this Time
 
 

CULTURAL HISTORY

Voyageur Program

Wisconsin Map

Become a voyageur and paddle a 34-foot replica of a voyageur canoe from the French Fur Trade era on the Wisconsin River.  Students will learn about the people that made the fur trade possible and the role that each culture played as trappers, traders, and travelers.  Adults and youth are required to wear PFD's.This program requires Upham staff and will be canceled if water flow reaches 14,000 cfs. Available April – October.

A popular Wisconsin history lesson.
Promotes teamwork through paddling.

Minimum Length of Program: 1-2½ hours (1 hour if only canoeing)
Grade Level: 1st - adult
Maximum Participants: 20 (19 youth + 1 adult)
Meet at: Picnic Tables
PDF file Lesson Plan for Voyageur (5 pages, 251 KB)
 
 

Life of a Logger

Logger

Travel back in time to an 1858 Wisconsin logging camp.  The camp cook will transform students from green jacks into experienced lumberjacks through pictures, stories, songs and dances. Students will learn about the dress, work and play of 19th century lumberjacks.

A popular Wisconsin history lesson.
A great program for evenings and large groups.

Length of Program: 1 hour
Grade Level: 5th - adult
Maximum Participants: 150
Meet at: Lodge
PDF file Lesson Plan for Life of a Logger (6 pages, 256 KB)
 
 

FORESTRY

Tree Identification

Logger

Ever wonder…what is that tree growing in your backyard? Become a dendrologist, a tree expert!  Students will discover the different uses among Wisconsin’s tree species and the importance of tree identification. Students will learn about tree structure: leaves, bark, twigs, buds, and tree shape. They will then use a dichotomous key to explore and identify the many trees at Upham Woods. 

Develops decision making skills.
Great for Forestry Scout Badges!

Length of Program: 1-1½ hours
Grade Level: 4th and higher
Suggested Maximum Participants: 20
Meet at: Nature Center
PDF document IconLesson Plan for Tree Identification (2 pages, 174 KB)

Tree ID iPad Lesson Plan (1 page, 15 KB)

 
 

Tree Friends

Get to know a tree! Students will use their senses to discover the wonderful world of trees. Students will work together to actively model a tree’s structure and read Dr. Suess’ The Lorax. Students will then participate in a thought-provoking discussion on how the story and trees relate to their lives.

Explore the Nature Center’s Tree of Life.
Good program for younger students.

Length of Program: 1½ hours
Grade Level: 2nd – 5th
Suggested Maximum Participants: 20
Meet at: Nature Center
PDF file Icon Lesson Plan for Tree Friends (5 pages, 234 KB)
 
 

NIGHT PROGRAMS

Campfires

Tree

A large, stadium seating campfire circle provides a great atmosphere for all ages! Campfires will actively involve students in silly skits, songs, and stories. Groups may start and lead campfires or request Upham staff assistance. We now have added a second, smaller campfire circle behind the Nature Center.

Often the most memorable part of camp experience!

Length: Maximum 1 hour if Naturalist led
Maximum Participants: 150
Meet at: Campfire Circle
PDF file Lesson Plan for Campfires (1 pages, 99 KB)
 
 

Circle Dances

Students will Hokey-Pokey, Chicken Dance, Limbo, and Sally Down the Alley. Karaoke is possible if you bring a Karaoke CD! Circle Dances can be group led or facilitated by a Naturalist. Also available during the day.

A great physical way to end the day!
Good socializing opportunities.

Length: 1 hour, if Naturalist led
Grade Level: 2nd - 8th
Maximum Participants: None
Meet at: Lodge or Volleyball Court
No Lesson Plan at this Time
 
 

Exploring the Night Sky

Investigate the many mysteries of the night sky. Using a unique blend of science and mythology, students will identify key stars and constellations, the phases of the moon, and the importance of Earth’s rotation. Includes interactive activities, lessons may occur indoors/outdoors or a combination of both. A vibrant slideshow is used if there is inclement weather or cloudy skies.

Introduces students to stories of other cultures.
Gives students a sense of where Earth fits into the great, wide universe.

Length of Program: 1- 1½  hours
Grade Level: 4th - adult
Maximum Participants: 150
Meet at: Lodge
PDF file Lesson Plan for Explore the Night Sky - Spring/Summer (5 pages, 253 KB)
PFD icon Lesson Plan for Explore the Night Sky - Winter Version (8 pages, 414 KB)
Exploring the Night Sky iPad Lesson Plan (4 pages, 27 KB)
 
 

Night Hikes

Experience a fun and exciting hike through Upham Woods at night and learn about the special adaptations of nocturnal animals. Sensory awareness activities during the hike will teach students how to better use their night vision and other senses to navigate more comfortably in the dark. Remember to wear warm clothes and closed-toed shoes and turn your flashlights off.

A nighttime favorite!
Instills an appreciation for the night.

Length: ½ - 1½ hours
Grade Level: 3rd - adult
Suggested Maximum Participants: 15
PFD icon Lesson Plan for Night Hikes (5 pages, 316 KB)
 
 

FUN WITH THE ELEMENTS

The Water Cycle

Rain Cloud

Ever wonder where your drinking water comes from? Students will learn about the water cycle by embarking on an Incredible Journey as water molecules (adapted from Project WET), and write a story about the places they have been and how they got there. Students will learn the definitions of evaporation, condensation, transpiration, precipitation, and infiltration. Visual aids will display the amount of water accessible to humans and the degree of human dependence on water. Discussion will give students the opportunity to learn how to take action to conserve our resources!  

Optional activity: Students will observe how groundwater moves using a groundwater model and discuss human impacts on the water cycle.

Length: 1- 1½ hours
Grade Level: 3rd - 8th
Suggested Maximum Participants: 25
Meet at: Nature Center
PDF file Lesson Plan for Water Cycle (7 pages, 260 KB)
 
 

OUTDOOR PURSUITS

Archery

Rain Cloud

Work on your Katniss skills and learn how to safely use basic archery equipment. Students will practice shooting aluminum shaft arrows with adjustable tension compound bows at standard archery targets. An adult experienced in Archery may lead this activity provided an Upham Woods staff has oriented them.

Great class to boost student confidence.

Length: 1 hour
Grade Level: 4th - adult
Suggested Maximum Participants: 16 (1 adult req.)
Meet at: Welcome Center Porch
Fee: None, but we accept donations for equipment upkeep
PDF icon Lesson Plan for Archery (3 pages, 207 KB)
 
 

Black Hawk Island Hikes

Hiker

Paddle a barge to our 210 acre island, where students can crawl through sandstone caves, visit historic sites on the Wisconsin River, witness forest succession and much more. Naturalists will lead students on an interpretive journey discovering the important natural and cultural history of Black Hawk Island. Groups may request hikes with a special focus or specific destinations prior to arrival at camp. All participants MUST wear closed-toed shoes (no sandals). This class will be canceled if water flow reaches 14,000 cfs or in the case of very high winds.  Available April – October.

Extremely popular program for all ages!
Students learn teamwork, natural and cultural history, and respect for the environment.

Length: 3 hours; 2 hours suggested MINIMUM
Grade Level: K - adult
Suggested Maximum Participants: 20 per facilitator.  Barge capacity = 42.
Meet at: Picnic Tables
PDF icon Lesson Plan for Blackhawk Island Hike (13 pages, 542 KB)
Black Hawk Island iPad Lesson Plan (3 pages, 24 KB)
 

Canoeing

Hiker

Get up close and personal with amazing rock formations, search the shores for native wildlife, and learn natural and cultural history while traveling along the beautiful Wisconsin River. Students will receive instruction on land about paddling techniques, safely entering and exiting a canoe, and how to work as a team to steer before embarking on a wonderful journey of discovery.  Youth and adults must wear PFD's at all times.  A ratio of 1 adult to 8 youth is required and these adults must canoe with group. An experienced adult may lead this class provided they attend an orientation given by Upham staff.  Upham staff will serve as lifeguard unless group provides their own lifeguard. This class will be canceled if water flow reaches 12,000 cfs.

Wonderful teamwork experience!
Memorable and exciting outdoor activity.

Length: 1.5 hour MINIMUM / Suggested 2 hours
Grade Level: 4th - adult
Maximum Participants: 28 (requires 4 adults); 3 people/canoe maximum, 2 minimum.
Meet at: Volleyball Court
PDF icon Lesson Plan for Canoeing (5 pages, 148 KB)
 
 

North Shore Hikes

See the spectacular scenery of the Wisconsin Dells, including a small waterfall, sandstone cliffs, and caves as naturalists lead students on an interpretive hike along the North Shore Trail. Closed toed shoes are required.

Good alternative to Black Hawk Island Hike.

Length: 2 hours MIN. - 3 hours recommended
Grade Level: 4th - adult
Suggested Maximum Participants: 20 (with at least 2 adults)
Meet at: Front Parking Lot
No Lesson Plan at this Time
 

Orienteering 1 and ATR Courses

Through classroom and field activities, students will receive instruction on the use of a compass and hands-on experience traveling through Upham Woods’ circle compass course and/or our new and more advanced ATR (located Across The Road) course. Students will work in groups to take bearings and walk a straight line to the correct points on their pre-determined course. Long pants and close-toed shoes are recommended.

Great supervised teamwork activity!
Hands-on outdoor experience using a compass.

Length: 1-2 hours
Grade Level : 3rd - 8th
Suggested Maximum Participants: 18
Meet at: Nature Center
Lesson Plan for Orienteering 1 (3 pages, 205 KB)
 
 

Orienteering 2

Compass Image

Bushwhack your way through Black Hawk Island with compass in hand.   Students will paddle a barge to Black Hawk Island, review compass use, and work in teams to complete a pre-determined orienteering course with limited adult supervision. Students will use two-way radios to remain in constant contact with the instructor. This program must be conducted on Black Hawk Island.  Upham staff is required for this program. Class will be canceled if water flow reaches 14, 000 cfs. Available April – October.

Encourages teamwork within small groups.
Geared toward older students and builds on Orienteering I.

Length: 2-3 hours
Grade Level: 5th -12th
Maximum Participants: 16
Meet at: Picnic Tables
PDF iconLesson Plan for Orienteering 2 (4 pages, 194 KB)
 
 

Outdoor Survival

Tent

Have you ever been lost in the woods and didn’t know what to do?  Through this hands-on program, students will learn the Seven Basic Human Survival Needs and how to avoid survival situations by being prepared.  Students will then use critical thinking skills to determine how they would survive in a survival scenario.  Finally, students will learn the important aspects of shelter building and fire safety and work in small groups to build their own shelters and fires.  This lesson will be geared toward the groups age and the current season.

Encourages teamwork within small groups.
Hands-on program with real-world applications!
Great Winter Activity!

Length: 2 hours
Grade Level: 4th - 12th 
Suggested Maximum Participants: 20
Meet at: Nature Center
PDF iconLesson Plan for Outdoor Survival (6 pages, 265 KB)
 
 

Swimming

Swimmer

Youth may swim in the Wisconsin River from June to August. An Upham staff lifeguard must be present.  There must be one lifeguard present for every 25 swimmers with a maximum of 50 swimmers at a time.  The group may provide the 2nd lifeguard. Lifeguards must provide proof of certification. Each group must schedule a swim test prior to the scheduled swim time; swim tests are required before free swims or water carnivals. A ratio of 1 adult: 10 swimmers must be maintained at all times. Swimming will be canceled if river flow exceeds 12, 000 cfs or water temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grade Level: 1st - adult
Maximum Participants: 50
No Lesson Plan at this Time
 

TEAMBUILDING

Group Initiatives

These fun and exciting group activities foster teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. All group initiatives will be played on the sand playing field or volleyball court. Depending on the number of facilitators available, multiple groups can participate at the same time. Students are asked to wear closed-toed shoes for this program.

Good alternative to Peanut Butter Mountain for younger students.
A fun, energizing program!

Length: 1-2 hours
Grade Level: 1st - adult
Suggested Maximum Participants: 25 per facilitator
Meet at: Flag Pole
PDF file Lesson Plan for Group Initiatives (15 pages, 349 KB)
 
 

Peanut Butter Mountain: Team Building Challenge Course

Peanut Butter Mountain (PBM) is Upham Woods’ challenge course. Participants will work on communication, teamwork, trust, body language, and other group processes while participating in challenging group initiatives and low elements. Each program starts with several ground group initiatives and then progresses up to the challenge course. All participants MUST wear closed-toed shoes (no sandals). PBM programs can only be facilitated by an Upham Woods staff member or a certified adult leader.

Extremely Popular Program for all ages!
Students enjoy learning to work together.

Length: 2-3 hours recommended; 1½ hours MIN.
Grade Level: 4th - adult (Group Initiatives is recommended for youth in 1st -3rd grade).
Suggested Maximum Participants: 15 per facilitator (1 adult must accompany each group).
Meet at: Flag Pole
No Lesson Plan at this Time.
 
 

The Amazing Upham Race

The Amazing Upham Race is a fast-paced, camp-wide interactive teamwork challenge in the style of the reality TV show The Amazing Race. Teams must solve teamwork or problem-solving challenges to get their next clue. Your group will be required to supply adults for supervision and to staff some of the challenge locations. Also, Upham naturalist preparation time is required for this class so your group will not have the use of one of your Upham naturalists for one hour prior to the scheduled start of the class. Call for more information on course choices and scheduling requirements.

4 courses from which to choose, progressing in difficulty, complexity and length of time.
Exciting large group teamwork adventure.

Length: 1½ -3 hours
Grade Level: 4th - Adult
Suggested Maximum Participants: 30 -135
Meet at: Flag Pole
No Lesson Plan at this Time
 
 

ENERGY EDUCATION

Look for updated program offerings coming soon!

 

WINTER FUN

Cross Country Skiing

Cross Country Skier Nordic skiing has gained popularity as a sport and is now enjoyed by millions of people across the planet for fun, recreation, winter exercise and travel! Students will be introduced to skiing equipment, techniques and have the opportunity to practice on our mainland ski trails. If time permits, students will also learn some of the history, classification and evolution of skiing equipment. An experienced adult with an equipment orientation can lead this activity. Students should come prepared with warm clothing. This activity is available only during winter months and may be cancelled due to inadequate snowfall.
Length: 1 hour MINIMUM
Grade Level: 2nd - adult
Maximum Participants: 25 sets of boots, skis & poles are available.
Meet at: Craft Building
PDF file Lesson Plan for Cross Country Skiing (4 pages, 212 KB)
 
 

Broomball

Join in on the excitement! Similar to hockey, broomball is fast, fun and a great outdoor winter activity. The game is played on a “rink” with 5 players plus a goalie on each team trying to score against the other team. The players run on the rink surface while using a "broom" to control the ball and score. Substituting players throughout the game allows larger groups to enjoy this unique sport, too. Broomball develops teamwork and good sportsmanship. Participants are required to wear the provided helmets while playing.
Length: ½ hour – 1 hour
Grade Level: 3rd - adult 
Suggested Maximum Participants: 12 players on the rink at one time.
Meet at: Lodge Porch
PDF file Lesson Plan for Broomball (2 pages, 84 KB)
 
 

Snowshoeing

Snow shoer

An experienced adult should lead this activity. Upham staff will check equipment in and out, as well as provide a short orientation on proper snowshoe use, how to move effectively in snowshoes, and what to do after a fall.  If snow conditions permit, groups may snowshoe the North Shore Trail. Students should come prepared with warm clothing. This activity is available only during winter months and may be cancelled due to inadequate snowfall.

A fun experience for the novice winter adventurer!

Length: 1 hour MINIMUM
Grade Level: 2nd - adult
Maximum Participants: 22 pairs of snowshoes available.
Meet at: Craft Building
PDF file Lesson Plan for Snowshoeing (2 pages, 95 KB)
 
 

Toboggan Run

Tobogganing

Youth will have the opportunity to toboggan down our unique wooden toboggan run. This activity is available only during winter months and may be cancelled due to inadequate snowfall. This program requires Upham staff, and only Upham Woods’ toboggans may be used on the toboggan run. All participants must wear a hat, gloves/mittens, and an Upham provided protective helmet.

A special experience that students will love!

Length: 1 hour minimum; 2 hours maximum.
Grade Level: 3rd - adult
Maximum Participants: 25 (2 adults are REQUIRED.) Maximum of 4 students per toboggan. At least three toboggans will be available for use.
Meet at: Back Parking Lot - Behind the Welcome Center
PDF file Lesson Plan for Toboggan Science (2 pages, 169 KB)
 
 

Other Winter Classes/Activities Possibilities

While these classes are popular year round, they are also a good choice for outdoor winter activities.

Outdoor Survival
Animal Signs
Peanut Butter Mountain
North Shore Hike
The Amazing Upham Race

 
 

OUTPOST TRIPS

Adventure Graphic

Did you know Upham Woods offers adventure education trips? For a small fee we will outfit your group with gear, food and expertise to experience the wild side of Upham Woods. We offer day trips as well as overnight adventures. Some options:

  • Devil’s Lake Outpost
  • Mirror Lake Outpost
  • Canoe Down the Wisconsin, Juneau County Park
  • Canoe Down the Wisconsin, Two Rivers Adventure
  • Blackhawk Island Base Camp Canoeing

Group size is limited to 20-30 participants, depending on the adventure. We can transport canoes and gear but not participants. Click here to be directed to the Outpost forms page and more information!

Rock Climbing at Devil's Lake State Park

Upham Woods will not be offering rock climbing programs in 2014. Groups interested in incorporating rock climbing as part of their base camp or outpost programs are encouraged to contact rock climbing outfitters in Wisconsin Dells or Baraboo. Below is a list of providers for rock climbing programs at Devils Lake State Park:

Devils Lake Climbing Guides
2018 Jenifer Street, Madison, WI 53704
608-556-1135

Vertical Illusions Adventure Center

933 Hwy 12/16
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
608-253-2500

Sauk County 4-H Rock Climbing Project (weekend day trips only)

Leaders, Ann & Jeff VogtSchaller

608-434-4887
anntrees@hotmail.com
vogtschaller@gmail.com

Adventures In Climbing

630-464-4593

Vertical Adventure Guides

708-341-3255

info@verticaladventure.org

Midwest Mountain Guides, LLC

steve@midwestmountainguides.com
608-386-1310

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

Consider extending the educational content of your field trip! The organizations below provide additional information and educational programming on the historic, natural and cultural history of the Wisconsin Dells region. To add an educational program before or after your Upham Woods trip, contact each organization for more information and reference your Upham Woods experience.

Aldo Leopold Foundation: Come learn about one of Wisconsin's foremost conservationists at the site that inspired his most well known work, A SandCounty Almanac. Tour options include guided tours of the Aldo Leopold Shack and Farm (a National Historic Landmark) and the LEED-Platinum-rated Leopold center. For more information, please call The Aldo Leopold Foundation at 608-355-0279 or visit www.aldoleopold.org 

Suggested Length: 1-3 hours. Travel time from Upham Woods is about  20 minutes.
Grade Level:
Middle School-Adult  
Maximum Participants:
20 per tour
Cost:
All fees are per participant. Middle School/High School students $5.00, College students/Seniors $8.00, Adults $10.00

ALF Logo

H. H. Bennett Studio Tour

Learn more about the unique history of the Dells area with a trip to the H. H. Bennett Studio in downtown Wisconsin Dells. Participants will get a full tour of the studio- which is stunning, interactive, and very informative. Upham Woods has many Bennett pictures hanging in our main lodge and this tour would be a great addition to any Upham visit. To schedule, contact the H. H. Bennett Studio at 608-253-3523 or hhbennett@wisconsinhistory.org

Suggested Length: Tours are 1 hour, 15 minutes. Travel time from Upham Woods is about 7 minutes.
Grade Level:
K - Adult
Maximum Participants:
30 per tour
Cost:
A donation of $2.50 per participant for youth groups and $5.50 for adult groups is suggested and appreciated (made to the H. H. Bennett Studio- a Wisconsin Historic Site).

International Crane Foundation

For over 40 years, the International Crane Foundation (ICF) has been working to protect the 15 crane species of the world and the ecosystems on which they depend. Experience these beautiful birds, as you take a private tour with a naturalist. Photograph endangered Whooping Cranes, observe Crowned Cranes dancing, and discover our innovate approach to conservation. To schedule a field trip, contact ICF at 608-356-9462 ext. 127 or email us at naturalist@savingcranes.org . Groups are responsible for their own transportation.

Suggested Length: 1-2 hrs. Our facilities are ADA accessible, but our exhibits are outdoors, so be sure to dress for the weather. Tours occur rain or shine. Travel time from Upham Woods is about 20minutes.
Grade Level:
K - Adult
Maximum Participants:
100 people
Cost:
Pre-scheduled tour fees include $2.00 student/ $7.00 adult.

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Jet Boat Adventure

If you like your boat rides super-fast and super-wet, take a ride on the wild side of the Wisconsin River aboard one of our Jet Boats. Our 1,200 horse power jet boats propel you through the towering formations of the Upper Dells, blending amazing scenery with awesome slides, spinouts and power stops. Climb aboard and prepare for liftoff! To schedule, contact Stephanie at 608-254-8555 or groups@dellsboats.com . Our Jet Boats can pick your group up at Camp Upham Woods’ docks on the south side of Blackhawk Island or we can provide a complimentary shuttle pick up.

Suggested Length: 50 minutes
Grade Level:
Recommended for ages 4 and above
Maximum Participants:
50-55 on one jet boat or 110 at one time on two jet boats
Cost:
$8.75 per student age 4-18 and chaperones, one per 20 ride free; tax exempt rate

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Upper Dells Boat Tour

More than a classic river cruise of the Wisconsin River, it’s a dramatic journey through incredible scenery, fascinating history and colorful legend. Enjoy unparalleled views of towering pine-covered bluffs and majestic rock formations carved by nature. Two exclusive shorelandings provide the opportunity to explore prehistoric passageways at Witches Gulch and witness the signature trademark of the Dells – the dog leap at Stand Rock! To schedule, contact Stephanie at 608-254-8555 or groups@dellsboats.com. We will gladly provide a complimentary shuttle pick up to and from camp.

Suggested Length:  2 hours, 7 minutes travel time each way.
Grade Level:
All ages
Maximum Participants:
250 passengers
Cost:
$8.75 per student age 4-18 and chaperones, one per 20 ride free; tax exempt rate

Upper Dells Boat

Wisconsin Duck Tour

Climb aboard an Original Wisconsin Duck and experience all the scenic beauty and natural wonders of the area with plenty of fun and adventure along the way. Let our experienced and knowledgeable pilots wind you through miles of exclusive wilderness trails and take you into the beautiful Lower Dells of the Wisconsin River where you’ll see the unique sandstone cliffs and rock formations that made the Dells famous. To schedule, contact Stephanie at 608-254-8751 or Stephanie@wisconsinducktours.com. We will gladly offer a complimentary Duck Shuttle pick up to and from camp.

Suggested Length: 1 hour tour, 10 minutes travel time each way.
Grade Level:
All ages
Maximum Participants:
No maximum number, 20-21 people per Duck. For larger groups, Ducks will load together and be about 2-5 minutes apart on the tour.
Cost:
$8.75 per student age 4-18 and chaperones, one per 20 ride free; tax exempt rate

Wisconsin Duck