College & Adult Programs

Wilderness Leadership Expedition (WLE) //
Our Cornerstone Wilderness Course


WLE is designed for people who want to explore leadership, community, spiritual formation and service to others through the challenges and risks of the wilderness classroom. During WLE you will travel through rugged and beautiful course areas. Spiritual formation, backcountry skill development and daily opportunities to lead are core to this program. Within a community of peers, you will spend time thinking about God’s restorative mission in the world, your personal direction, and incarnational community living. WLE will let you explore using your gifts, education, passions, and career choices to make a Kingdom impact. Come join us on this wilderness adventure!

Date: May 26-June 9
Location: Mink Lake Wilderness Camp/BWCAW
Program Fee: $890

“The key is students in the applied setting leading real groups.  That is what sets this internship apart.  Some programs have months of training but you really never lead real people on trips.  You just lead your co-staff members/students. Coldwater has found a way to let students lead trips for clients or guests and not just each other.”

-Dr. Greg Robinson, Outdoor Leadership Ministries Program, John Brown University

Wilderness Leader Intern (WLI)

[College Students/Recent Graduates]

Wilderness Leader Internship is a summer immersion program for college aged leaders, focused on developing ministry capabilities as a Christian educator, mentor, and wilderness instructor.  As a Wilderness Leader Intern, you will discover and experience first-hand what it is to teach and lead in the wilderness classroom!

Interns will join our leadership team and be equipped to bring about lasting change in wilderness course participants. Students are not chosen on a “first come, first served” basis, but are selected through an application process.  Selected students will have all course fees covered (with exception of Wilderness First Responder

Certification) and will receive a $1500 stipend following their field experiences. There are 6 funded Intern positions.   

Date: May 13-August 3
Location: Mink Lake Wilderness Camp
Compensation: $1500 + Room & Board

What will the Internship encompass? Leaders will:

• Participate in our 16-day Wilderness Leadership Expedition: our cornerstone leadership course for wilderness leaders
• Receive significant opportunities to practice leadership and actually lead in our outdoor programs
• Learn the various important roles of outdoor leadership in our Wilderness Instructor Training seminar
• Engage in rigorous peer teaching, role playing & interaction involving wilderness skill instruction
• Study the Biblical foundations of Christ-centered leadership
• Express a personal “lived theology” of leadership, with a focus on mentoring and discipleship
• Receive training and practice in facilitating guided reflection
• Participate in a healthy, vibrant Christian community at Mink Lake Wilderness Camp
• Gain a Wilderness First Responder certification (valid for 3 years)
• Receive room and board at Mink Lake for the duration of the program

Wilderness First Responder (WFR)


The Wilderness First Responder course provides comprehensive instruction in backcountry medicine. Our WFR course, offered on-site at Mink Lake Wilderness Camp, is facilitated by Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO), an outdoor leadership and backcountry medicine training school. Students will gain extensive, hands-on instruction from certified SOLO educators on topics such as Response and Assessment, Musculoskeletal Injuries, Environmental Emergencies and Survival Skills, Soft Tissue Injuries, and Medical Emergencies. Course includes both a comprehensive written exam and comprehensive practical skill assessment. WFR certifications are valid for three years. Contact SOLO for recertification information. For more information on other Coldwater Foundation programs, contact us at

Dates: May 14-22
Location: Mink Lake Wilderness Camp
Cost: $TBD (SOLO WFR Fee, CPR, room and board)

Also offered between May 14 and May 22: WFR Recert, Advanced Wilderness First Aid, and an AWFA to WFR bridge course.  Call for details (218-370-8864).

Restore – A Wilderness Sabbath

[College/ Young Adult]

Restore is a wilderness trip for college students and young adults seeking rest and a change of pace following the hectic schedule and chaos of the academic year. This soul-cleansing experience will provide an opportunity for spiritual renewal, reflection, and fellowship with others. Paddle in pristine lakes of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Journal and reflect under the iconic white pines and along rocky shores. Come and join us in this true wilderness experience.

Dates: May 14-23
Location: Mink Lake Wilderness Camp
Cost: $390

Men’s & Women’s Retreats


Coldwater has been leading mens and womens experiences both in the Boundary Waters & Mink Lake Wilderness Camp for for nearly 10 years. Mink Lake Wilderness Camp, is especially equipped to serve your adult group with experiences that will be a welcome change of pace to everyday life. Experiences like these renew and restore us.

Adult experiences offer three important opportunities:

1) We unplug. One of the greatest gifts you receive from an experience like this is simply to get off the grid for a few days and to have basic quiet and solitude.   

2) We enjoy. There is something deep inside us that loves to be outside in God’s creation.  You will absolutely LOVE the peace and beauty of the outdoors! We will also enjoy the company of each other. You will forge some new friendships and enjoy old ones.

3) We connect. One of our chief goals on a trip like this is to connect with God in a meaningful way. It may be as you paddle, watch a sunset, laugh around a fire, or spend time in intentional prayer. Regardless of how, we expect that you will have time to see, smell, taste and touch the goodness of God all around you.

While these are important broad themes, all of our programs are adaptive.  We would enjoy working with you to build an experience that directly serves your group.  Whether this means adapting the schedule, trip goals, curriculum or physical medium of the trip, we are eager to facilitate an experience uniquely suited to your needs!

Please contact us for further conversation about how a Coldwater experience will impact your group!

Contact us to customize your experience and reserve your space at Mink Lake Wilderness Camp, northern Minnesota.


[College Students/Recent Graduates]

SNOWCAMP is a five-day winter leadership retreat located at beautiful Mink Lake Wilderness Camp, home of Coldwater Foundation. This retreat is a fun introduction to all things winter – winter snow sports, winter trekking, and winter camping. Our time will be balanced between intentional conversations, devotionals, and times of worship spent inside along with daily activities, snowshoeing, broomball, shelter building and even a full night spent outside!

2019 Dates TBD
: Mink Lake Wilderness Camp

Trip Fee: $100