Many people become aware that their education or their work have not given them the perspective and confidence they need to move through the challenges they are facing.

Coldwater will help you to connect experiences in the wilderness classroom with the realities of navigating life in the world.

College & Adult Programs

“WLE was honestly the hardest thing I have ever done….it was also one of the most rewarding and refreshing experiences I have ever had.”

–Hannah Lindsey 2018

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 10-May 28
Program Fee: $895

40/40: A Spiritual Formation Practicum

[College/ Young Adult]

Over the course of 40 days, this small group of young adults will form a close-knit community and experience the space and structure needed for personal growth in relationship with Christ. Together with Coldwater leaders, away from distractions and habits of everyday life, this group will pursue God’s presence and guidance in their lives and wrestle with questions of identity, purpose and direction. Participants will be introduced to and practice spiritual disciplines such as solitude, worship, prayer, reflection, service, study, rest, forgiveness and celebration, as they learn to seek God’s voice in their lives.

Date: June 20-July 30
Program Fee: $2250

Wilderness First Responder (WFR)
Advanced Wilderness First Aid (AWFA)


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

Registration is also open for the recertification courses! WFR, Advanced Wilderness First Aid, and CPR.

AWFA Dates & Cost: TBD
Bridge to WFR Dates & Cost: TBD
CPR Dates & Cost: TBD

: Mink Lake Wilderness Camp

BWCA Paddle Trip // A Wilderness Sabbath

[College/ Young Adult]

This 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.

Boundary Waters Paddle Trip
Date: July 31 – August 6

Trip Fee: $460


[College Students/Recent Graduates]

SNOWCAMP is a four-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!

Dates: TBD
Trip Fee: $155

Men’s & Women’s Retreats


Coldwater has been leading men’s and women’s 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!

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