Updated, April 4, 2018:
The Mennonite, Inc., has learned operations of Wilderness Wind resumed under Chicago Voyagers in 2017. Visit their website to learn more.
Original, Sept. 29, 2015:
The board of directors of Wilderness Wind, Inc., Ely, Minn., has determined that it will cease operations no later than Dec. 31, 2016.
“Wilderness Wind has had 30 great years of ministry, introducing thousands of people to the Boundary Waters,” said Paula Northwood, a current board member and one of the organization’s founders. “But all things have a natural lifecycle, and we have decided to end with grace and integrity.”
Wilderness Wind began in 1986 and has offered programmed canoe trips into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for church groups, youth groups, and families. Its mission is to nurture peoples’ relationships with God and nature through wilderness living that promotes spirituality, cooperation, and environmental sustainability. It is a member of the Mennonite Camping Association.
The last decade has seen a steady decline in both the number of group trips and lakeside cabin usage.
This, coupled with increased operating expenses, has made the fiscal model for Wilderness Wind increasingly unsustainable. The decision to wrap up operations was made at a meeting of the board in Minneapolis on Sept. 26.
The organization hopes to run a full season of trips in 2016, depending on various factors, including year-end donations, and the number of groups who commit to trips.
Individuals interested in organizing a trip in 2016, volunteering as staff, or making tax deductible donations can find information at www.wildernesswind.org.