Summer Camp for Trail Wizards!

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, IAT-U, Ice Age Trail UniversityIce Age Trail University is summer camp …

… for Trail wizards of all ages. Plenty of fresh air, good sunshine, and happy times learning new things.

The best way to learn is by doing, and we’ll be providing lots of hands-on learning!

We’re super excited to partner with the Merrill Area School System and the Friends of the Merrill School Forest to build two boardwalks, and super excited about this year’s Camp Chef course.

North Central Technical College is offering a special training through their Culinary Arts program. It’s an exciting time for those who want to become more involved in the volunteer-support side of our Mobile Skills Crew events.

Here’s a training snapshot:

  • NPS all-star Dan Watson will lead a session on “Operational Leadership”;
  • You’ll see with new eyes after attending “3 Tiers of Trail Construction”; and of course,
  • We’ll also be hosting a suite of concurrent trainings such as Chainsaw Safety, First Aid/CPR, Crew Leader Refresher, Smart Tools and Building the Team.

Ice Age Trail University, IAT-U

Wednesday, June 21st: Boardwalk building training

Thursday, June 22nd – Sunday, June 25th: IAT-U Classroom sessions

Merrill School Forest, Lincoln County

Map of the Project Area [PDF]

IAT-U Classroom Offerings [PDF]

What We’re Doing:

Crafting 266 feet of elevated boardwalk on the out-and-back portion of the Grandfather Falls Segment where it follows a beautiful stretch along Ripley Creek on Merrill School Forest property; along with the course offerings for IAT-U (registration required for individual courses).

No previous experience is necessary, there is room for all skills and abilities. Your participation is welcome for any amount of time you can give.

Training is provided by certified volunteer crew leaders, and all participants get free meals and (for those working with us for multiple days) a free place to pitch a tent.

The IATA provides food, tools, and campsites free to all who volunteer.

All Abilities and Talents Welcome:

As with all Mobile Skills Crew events, no experience is necessary and there’s a role for volunteers of all ages and abilities.

Training is provided by certified volunteer crew leaders and all participants get free meals and (for those working with us for multiple days) a free place to pitch a tent.

The IATA provides food, tools, and campsites free to all who volunteer.


To help us plan this event with your needs in mind, please visit our online registration page and register by Friday, June 16th.


Your participation is welcome for any part of the event or the entire project.

Boardwalk construction training begins Wednesday, June 21st at 8:00 a.m.  IATA staff will be on site from Tuesday afternoon on.

Classwork begins on Thursday, June 22, and concludes Sunday, June 25. Activities begin each day around 8:00 a.m. and typically wrap up between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. On Sunday, work ends by noon.

Checking In at Base Camp:

Volunteers should report each day to Base Camp for registration, assignments and shuttles to the work site. Base Camp (also the location of the camping area for those spending a night with us) is at Nels P. Evjue Memorial Forest, Merrill, WI (click here for driving directions). Watch for yellow “Ice Age Trail Event” signs as you arrive in the area. Meals will be served here along with classroom instruction.


If you’re in need of a ride or have an extra seat or two in your car, please head to our Facebook page and post a note.

What to Bring:

·         We recommend a long-sleeve shirt and pants for trail work.

·         Plan for variable weather – bring warm layers and rain gear.

·         Sturdy hiking or work boots (no tennis shoes) and leather work gloves.

·         Day pack, water bottles, insect repellent, sunscreen and a hat.

·         Note-taking materials for the classroom.

·         If camping, bring a headlamp, tent, sleeping gear and toiletries.

·         Consider bringing a lawn chair; you’ll appreciate having it to relax around the fire in comfortable clothes at the end of the day.

Special Notes:

We love dogs, but we ask that you not bring them to this event. Woolly mammoths are welcome.

Looking Ahead:

We’re heading to Kewaunee County to raise dollars for the IATA by serving good grub at Farm Technology Days, July 11 – 13. Details here.