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Hilltop Commemorates 40 Years at Wolf Ridge

Hilltop Commemorates 40 Years at Wolf Ridge

Click on the above image for more pics from previous trips to Wolf Ridge

April 11, 2019 — This year marks Hilltop Primary School’s 40th year of visiting Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. To commemorate this significant milestone,  Hilltop Wolf Ridge program directors Craig and Theresa Schmidt have set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to purchase a special gift item, yet to be determined, to donate to Wolf Ridge in Hilltop’s honor.

“We want to share our thanks and our excitement of this amazing run of fun and learning,” said Craig Schmidt.

It was 40 years ago when Tom Osborn and Doug Hage approached the principal of Hilltop, Wayne Smith, to discuss the first ever trip to Camp Isabella (now Wolf Ridge) in Finland, Minnesota. From there, the rest is history. Osborn and Hage were the first to brainstorm ideas on how to fund the program for children. That’s how the Wolf Ridge fundraisers started and have continued through the years.

Directors over the years have included Osborn, Hage, Bonnie Campbell, Galen Miller, Beth Harstad, Jim Annis, Sherry Anderly and now the Schmidts. Superintendent Kevin Borg has attended Wolf Ridge in support of the program and celebration of other milestones. Hilltop Principal Mike Moch spends part of the week with the students each year at Wolf Ridge and is also a strong supporter of the program.

The fourth-graders’ Wolf Ridge trip has become a rite of passage, with many students even remembering the trip in graduation speeches. Every student has a favorite memory from Wolf Ridge – whether it’s climbing the rock wall, visiting the swamp, making dream catchers, going canoeing or mastering the challenge of the rope course. For many, the trip marks the first trip away from home where lifelong memories are made.

The Schmidts welcome both donations and ideas for a gift item to donate to Wolf Ridge. It could be a decorative item or something to add to the curriculum. Visit to make a donation.

Hilltop fourth-graders will visit Wolf Ridge May 20-24. Shirley Hills fourth-graders will make the trip May 13-17.

Wolf Ridge is a nationally respected and accredited K-12 school and residential learning center. The educational activities immerse participants in nature exploration, cultural history, outdoor skills, team-building, and personal growth.