• Students at a camp fire

Get ready to connect adventure, culture, field skills, water, wildlife, and more.

One of the awesome benefits of Northland’s summer programs is spending time with and learning from the professionals involved. Some of these people may inspire you as you consider your life path and career. Others will empower you to acknowledge your skills, strength, abilities, and interests. We’ll embark on these opportunities as a group, so prepare yourself to be immersed in this experience.

The following handbook includes details and policies of the program. Please read the entire handbook and have your parent or guardian read it as well.

Arrival & Departure

Plan to arrive between 2–2:30 p.m. on the first day of the session, unless otherwise specified in the confirmation. Check out is at 2 p.m. on the last day of the session. All students must depart between 2–2:30 p.m. Find our map and address here.

It is extremely important to arrive and depart on time. Staff are not available prior or after noted times. A parent or guardian is responsible for transportation to and from Northland College.

If someone other than a parent or legal guardian plans to drop-off or pick-up the participant, we require written permission identifying this person. If changes are necessary, you must notify the program coordinator.

Transportation from Duluth

We can provide round-trip transportation from the Duluth airport or Gogebic Iron County airport for $90. If students need a ride from the airport, please fly in no later than 1 p.m. on the day the session begins. Book a return flight that departs after 2 p.m. on the last day of the program session.

Running Late

If students are running late for the scheduled check-in or departure time, please call the Summer Programs Office at (715) 682-1392 to notify staff (leave a message if necessary).

Participant Driving to Northland

High School students are NOT allowed to drive themselves to Northland College, unless
prearranged with the program coordinator. If permission is granted, the keys of the vehicle will be held by program staff and no access to the vehicle will be allowed during the session.

Early Departure

If a student is asked to depart early for disciplinary action, the parent or guardian is responsible for transportation and must pick-up the student immediately.

On-Campus Check-in

  1. Enter at Northland’s main entrance and follow the road around to the Ponzio Campus Center.
  2. Look for summer program staff to welcome you. We have STAFF printed on our t-shirt back.
  3. Parents or guardians will meet with program staff to:
    1. Review paperwork
    2. Update Medicine Instructions form for student and turn in any medications
    3. Discuss any necessary details about the program and answer questions or concerns
  4. Students will receive a name tag and t-shirt.
  5. Students will be asked to leave any electronics devices with their parent or guardian.

Packing List

Casual dress is appropriate for all programs. Footwear must be worn during all coordinated activities for safety. Items in BOLD are must bring items.

Linens and Personal Items

  • Towel (for shower and swimming)
  • Wash cloth
  • Soap
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Comb or brush
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal hygiene (tampons, etc.)
  • Pillow with pillow case
  • Sleeping bag
  • Extra long twin sheet set


  • Long sleeve and short sleeve shirts
  • Sweatshirt
  • Warm jacket
  • Wind anorak or windbreaker
  • Shorts and pants
  • Quick-drying wind pants
  • Rain gear—we’ll be outside rain or shine
  • Swimsuit
  • Pajamas

Personal Gear

  • Daypack
  • Sunscreen
  • Flashlight or head lamp
  • Personal water bottle
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • Journal
  • Binoculars
  • Field guides


  • Tennis shoes/comfortable hiking shoes
  • Wool/heavy socks
  • Aqua socks, closed sandals, or old shoes
  • Flip flops or sandals

Hand and Head Wear

  • Hat with brim/baseball cap
  • Mittens/gloves (may be surprisingly cold in June and July!)
  • Warm hat

Special Gear (for backpacking and canoeing trips only)

  • Expedition backpack (backpacking)
  • Dry bag (canoeing)

Other Important Items

  • Personal medications (all prescriptions must be turned in at start of your session)
  • A desire to learn
  • A positive attitude (required)
  • A sense of humor

Please DO NOT Pack

  • Tube tops
  • Midriff shirts
  • Muscle shirts
  • Offensive t-shirts or caps

Northland College is not responsible for clothing or personal items that get damaged, lost, or stolen.

Other Items Not to Bring

Tobacco, alcohol, or other non-prescription drugs; weapons of any kind; any personal electronic devices, including cell phones, computers, hand-held games, etc. If these items are in a student’s possession during any session, confiscation and disciplinary action will be taken.

While You're Here


For residential programs, students will sleep in the Forest Lodge Gatehouse or Guesthouse. Students will be assigned to a room—students may specify a roommate. Rooms have twin beds and bunks, dressers or closets, and chairs. Rooms do not lock so please leave valuables at home!

Boys and girls will be in separate residential areas with a counselor. Students must bring their own sleeping bag, sheets, blankets, and pillow. Bring an extra long twin sheet to cover your mattress (per Wisconsin Health Code).

Injury & Illness

The program coordinator and staff are medically certified. They will use their training and good judgment to make informed decisions about care. If additional medical attention is required, the student will be transported to a nearby medical facility.

It is our goal to provide the same level of care to students that we would provide our own child. Staff will contact the parent or designated emergency person in the following situations:

  1. Off-site medical care—an event which requires a trip to a hospital or medical facility
  2. Change in level of consciousness, i.e. fainting or seizure
  3. Initiation of any prescription medication
  4. Fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or more
  5. A persistent complaint that may require the student to leave the session early


There are insects in the north woods (ants, gnats, mosquitoes, ticks, no-see-ums), pack your repellent.


Residential program meals are served in the Gatehouse at Forest Lodge and prepared by a staff certified in food safety or catered through Northland College’s Chartwells food service. Participants should expect to be involved with some meal preparation and clean up, especially on camping trips. Staff are skilled in providing well-rounded and delicious meals and can accommodate dietary restrictions. Vegetarian and vegan options are available. On field days, brown bag lunches will be provided. Camping trips include breakfasts and dinners cooked over a camp stove or fire, and field lunches.


It is not necessary to bring money; however, there are vending machines on campus. Students are responsible for any money they bring. Northland College is not responsible for lost or stolen money.


Program staff will provide the daily schedule, activities, and updates. Morning and afternoon activities occur daily. Recreation activities occur daily during late afternoon or post-dinner. Evenings culminate with a campfire and reflection of the day’s activities. All students are expected to participate, be respectful to staff and fellow students, dress appropriately, and have fun!


All staff undergo extensive and professional training. Each staff member is certified in CPR, first aid, and lifeguarding. Staff are hired based on their leadership skills, enthusiasm, personality, certifications, decision-making ability, prior experience, respect for the environment, and recreation skills.

Weather & Safety

The weather near Lake Superior can change quickly! Expect temperatures to range from 40–95 degrees Fahrenheit. Students will be outside most of the day—regardless of rain, wind, hot, or cold. Students will be prepared for these conditions if they bring all of the items on the packing list.

If a scheduled activity can be safely facilitated outdoors, then the itinerary will be implemented as planned. Activities will not be canceled due to common weather conditions such as rain, heat, high winds, etc. Occasionally, unpredictable weather conditions, group dynamics, or other circumstances require schedule modifications. These will be handled case by case. Northland College reserves the right to alter scheduled activities or sites if necessary and will supplement alternatives.

Program staff will monitor weather reports and may make changes to the planned itinerary to provide the best experience possible for students.

In the event of a thunderstorm, students will be moved to the nearest safe indoor location and participate in alternative activities. If they are not near a shelter, the group will follow appropriate lightning safety procedures.

In the event of extreme and highly unusual weather conditions or other natural disasters such as flooding, a session day may end early, or be canceled. Refunds will not be provided under these circumstances.

Alternative activities during inclement weather may include the following:

  • Initiative games, team building, or outdoor living skills activities adapted for indoor facilitation
  • Indoor games
  • A visit to a local museum
  • Indoor rock climbing

Ongoing Construction

NOTE: Historic preservation and building renovation are ongoing at Forest Lodge. It is important to follow instructions and remain away from project areas for your protection and safety. Please do not hike off trail or enter any building not utilized by your program.



Students are expected to adhere to all safety instructions. Inappropriate language and actions will not be tolerated. Students are expected to treat staff, instructors, and other students with respect. While at Northland, students represent the integrity of the College. Both staff and students are expected to act friendly, courteous, and professional with the public.

Weapons of any kind, tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs are absolutely not allowed at Northland College. Do not bring them. Students that possess these items will be sent home. Fireworks, lighters, matches, pocket knives, walkie talkies, computers, or other electronic equipment are not allowed during the session.

If a student is asked to leave before the last day of camp due to a disciplinary problem or previous arrangement, a parent or guardian is responsible for transportation, and parent or guardian must arrange to pick-up the student on that day. See Expectation of Conduct in the registration packet.


Dating among students is not allowed. While personal growth and relationships are a part of the experience, we expect everyone to maintain professional relationships. Intimate gestures of any kind by students will not be tolerated and will be asked to refrain or may result in dismissal.

Equipment or Property Damage

Students who intentionally damage Northland College equipment, property, or materials will have to reimburse the cost of the repair. Breakage due to normal wear and tear is an exception. Any incident must be recorded on a damage report and be approved by the Program Coordinator before disciplinary action is taken.

Harassment and Sexual Harassment

Offensive speech and conduct will not be tolerated. Harassment includes all unwelcome advances, written or verbal innuendos, threats, insults, or disparaging remarks concerning a person’s gender, national origin, race, creed, color, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, physical or mental disability, or religious beliefs that are offensive to a person associated with the program. Examples include verbal harassment (derogatory comments, demeaning jokes, threats, etc.), physical harassment (unnecessary touching, etc.), and visual harassment (cartoons, gestures, etc.). Sexual harassment is defined as sexual advances and conduct of a sexual nature, and it will not be tolerated. Any student who has a question or concern is encouraged to let program staff know.


Students must be on time for meals, which are served buffet-style in the Gatehouse kitchen. Participants should expect to be involved with meal preparation and clean up, especially on camping trips. Any leftover food is composted on site, and the students will be taught this process. After meals, students may gather outside, but may not hang out in their lodge rooms.

Residential Rooms

Rooms are bunk-style with several students per room. Please be respectful of your roommate(s) and maintain a tidy space. Please leave valuables at home!



Northland College summer programs are designed to primarily serve teens that have independent skills, can follow directions, and work well in a group with their peers. If the student has a disability requiring assistance, or a special need that we should be aware of, please contact the program coordinator at (715) 682-1392.

Cell Phones and Electronics

Students are not to bring cell phones or any personal electronic devices, including music players, hand-held games, etc. These devices should be left at home and will not be tolerated and any time, including during meals or recreation activities.

If a parent has an urgent message to be communicated to their child or to the Instructor of his/her session, they may call the Summer Program Office at (715) 682-1392 to relay that message.

Northland Summer Program staff are required to carry cell phones at all times. Certain activity locations may not have service, and messages will be relayed promptly when possible. If a student has an urgent need to communicate with a parent, program staff will contact a parent to facilitate. If students disregard this policy, staff will hold their item(s) until the end of the session. Item(s) will be returned upon departure.


If a parent or guardian needs to get a hold of their child, please call the Summer Program Office at:

MaryJo Gingras, Program Coordinator
(715) 682-1392

Leave a message if necessary and it will be relayed to the summer staff as quickly as possible.


Northland College takes reasonable precautions to prevent and contain the spread of illness. Please refrain from attending the program if you have a contagious or infectious disease.

Medication for Students

If a student needs to bring medication to Northland College, a parent or guardian must complete the Medicine Instructions form and it must be on file upon check-in. All medications brought to Northland College by a student must be in containers that are clearly labeled to include the name of the student, name of medication, dosage, frequency of administration, and route of administration. All medication prescribed by a physician must be labeled to include the name of the physician, prescription number, date prescribed, possible adverse reactions, the specific conditions when contact should be made with the physician and other special instructions as needed.

The program staff is responsible for storing and administering all medications. No students are allowed to keep any medications in their possession—this includes vitamins.

Northland keeps a sufficient supply of all over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, sore throat and cough medications, and upset-stomach medications. Students are not allowed to have these types of medication in their possession.


Primary medical coverage is required for every student. The parent or guardian is responsible for any medical expenses or transportation costs related to a student’s illness, accident, or departure from the program. The student’s insurance information will be submitted to the medical facility.

Program Partners

For some activities, Northland College employs the services of professional companies, and these companies may require their own volunteer participation agreement to be signed by the student.

Program Cancellation

Northland College reserves the right to cancel any program. In the unlikely event that this would occur, Northland College will refund paid registration fees, or a free session transfer will be available.

Registration Refund

Northland College will not issue any reduced fee, rebates, or refunds for weather conditions, no shows, late arrival, early withdrawal, short-term illness, injury, accident, or dismissal during any of our sessions or expeditions.

Medication Guidelines

Programs conducted under Northland College are required to comply with the newest version of DHS 175, a code intended to address some minimum health and safety standards for the participants attending summer programs.

You have already completed the Medical History Form. That form is designed to obtain crucial information from you regarding the participant’s health condition, allergies, special limitations, medications, etc. If the participant takes medication, you will need to bring it in a marked container per Wisconsin Code DHS 175.19, which states:

“All medications brought to camp by a camper or staff member shall be in containers that are clearly labeled to include the name of the camper or staff member, the name of the medication, the dosage, the frequency of administration and the route of administration. All medication prescribed by a physician shall be labeled to include the name of the prescribing physician, the prescription number, date prescribed, possible adverse reactions, the specific conditions when contact should be made with the physician and other special instructions as needed.”

labeled prescription bottles Individual pills in pill box