Winter Workshop

Awaken the Wonder: Play, Create & Educate

January 20-22, 2017        Treehaven, Tomahawk, WIWWlogo

Play: Move. Act. Pretend. Laugh. Personify.  Imagine.   Promote the importance of beneficial play for learning about our natural world through activities that encourage open exploration, inquiry, and problem solving.

Create: Build. Design. Craft. Hatch. Initiate. Produce.  Absorb your Winter Workshop experience through hands-on sessions that require thoughtfulness, planning, and your personal creativity.

Educate:  Foster. Enlighten. Inspire. Coach. Develop. Discover.  Satisfy the lifelong learner in yourself, whether an EE veteran or a sprouting student, open your mind to see, experience and acquire something new.

 WAEE Winter Workshop 2017 a Huge Success!!

Thank you to everyone who supported the 2017 Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education Winter Workshop held at the UWSP Treehaven campus in Tomahawk.  The weekend brought in 108 participants (from 3 different states!), was supported by several generous sponsors, and planned with the help of an incredible workshop committee.   The theme this year was “Awaken the Wonder: Play, Create & Educate” – there was a little bit of all this going on all weekend!  Our wonderful sponsors included Treehaven, Conserve School and Concordia University.

It was a weekend packed full of informative presentations, inspiring workshops, several networking opportunities and lots of fun!  While the weather was quite uncooperative, temps in the 40’s and rain, that didn’t slow down the professional development going on inside and out.  Thank you to all of the presenters that took the time to share their hard work and knowledge, 25 different learning opportunities throughout the weekend gave participants plenty to choose from, sometimes having to make hard decisions on which ones to attend!

Our featured speaker this year was the incomparable Ken Leinbach, executive director of the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee, WI.  You know you are going to have an exciting discussion when the speaker enters the room on a unicycle!  His discussion, “Play with a Capital “P” was both informative and inspirational.  He discussed the meaning of life based on the letter “P” and how we all can connect to this idea through environmental education.

The annual WAEE Winter Workshop would not be complete without some of its traditional (if not infamous) components: the wonderful Brutal Gourmet meal and Nertz Tournament.  Once again, the Brutal Gourmet gathered the best ‘meat’ he could find out in the wild and provided a fun and yummy meal- participants are involved from start to finish as they prepare, cook over a fire, and enjoy their Saturday night dinner.  A huge thank you to the Brutal Gourmet for all his time and effort to continue this winter workshop tradition!  If you are not familiar, Nertz is a highly competitive (and fun!) card game that is a staple in Saturday night’s activities.  Winners this year were Anne and Tom Pearce, who generously donated their winnings back to WAEE to support future workshops and scholarships.  Congratulations to Anne and Tom- thank you for your donation!bernie-thompson

Saturday evening festivities continued after the intense Nertz game and were generously sponsored by the Minocqua Brewing Company.  Thank you to Ryan and Mike for joining us and helping support scholarships to future workshops!  Entertainment for the evening came from the fingers of the wonderful Bernie Thompson.  Playing the guitar, harmonica and tambourine, along with singing made for an incredible show!  He even had some guests join him up on stage playing the ukulele and singing- so much fun!

New this year was a Speed Networking Student/Professional activity at the end of the workshop.  This session paired a young professional or student with a more seasoned professional for 5 minutes to discuss anything from careers, internships, how to prepare for an interview, how folks got to where they are today, and anything else they could think of!  Every five minutes the group rotated, which allowed folks to talk to several new people- allowing for more connections.  This was such a success we plan to do it twice at next year’s workshop- both at the beginning and at the end.

Lastly, the Winter Workshop Committee and Board of Directors want to express their gratitude to Scott, John and all the staff at Treehaven for their incredible hospitality.  It has become a long-standing tradition to host this workshop at Treehaven and this year the staff really outdid themselves.  From incredible IT upgrades that included high speed internet and AV equipment set up in every room, helpful and friendly staff, to an amazing kitchen staff that provided great and yummy options for food throughout the weekend- we can’t express enough how
much we appreciate all the work you put in to make the 2017 Winter Workshop a huge success!

We hope to see all 2017 workshop participants (and more!) and next year’s workshop, held at Treehaven the weekend of Jan 19-21, 2018!

Licia Johnson and Chrystal Seeley-Schreck, co-chairs, 2017 Winter Workshop

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Thank You to Our 2017 Sponsors & Supporters


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