Butterflyweed at Eagle Bluff

The BWCAW: Past, Present and Future / March 3

Steve Piragis, Co-Founder of Piragis Northwoods Company

Follow along on a word and slide expedition through the lakes and portages of the Boundary Waters as narrated by one of Ely’s marginally OK camp cooks and just above average fishermen. Steve Piragis has been paddling the BWCAW with his wife Nancy for over 40 years and has outfitted more than a few folks to discover the magic in the granite of the Precambrian shield. Paddle with them up the Voyageur Highway to discover lakes so pure you can dip a cup to drink and miles of wild shores with never a cabin or a float plane or a motor boat.

A land set apart is a good way to describe the Boundary Waters. Geologic forces have left a unique lake scape of nearly a thousand lakes when combined with the Quetico Park on the Canadian side. Always a political hotbed of controversy, the BWCA Wilderness is again in the news as big international mining interests now see profits in the copper and nickel ores found just outside its borders. We’ll outline the reasoning why we oppose this type of development in this place.   


Menu: Lake and Trail food featuring walleye, smoked meat, hard cheese, dried fruits and vegetables

In Search of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker / April 7

Jim Fitzpatrick, Emeritus Executive Director of Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center 

Is the Ivory-billed Woodpecker still in existence? Join us as Jim Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center unveils his insights on one of the largest woodpeckers in the world. The current population status on this amazing creature is highly controversial; to the point where whether any remain is uncertain. See the past research projects and make the determination for yourself and adopt the "I Believe" phrase to help the process. You choose!


Menu: Obscure Food Pairings featuring chicken and waffles, chili with cinnamon rolls and more interesting combinations


A new option this year!

Lodging is on-site in our dormitory. If you are interested, you have the option to add this on to your admission ticket when registering. 

Room and Suite Features:     

> Private toilet and shower
> Two side-by-side sinks
> Gear storage cubbies
> Handicap accessible rooms available 
> Linens and towels provided

Additional Dormitory Amenities:

> Climate controlled rooms
> Two large lobby spaces with wood-burning fireplaces
> Lounge with refrigerator, microwave, sink and coffee maker
> Wireless Internet 
> Elevator