Welcoming Growth

Written by: Stephanie Hibdon

I have always enjoyed being out in nature and the outdoors. I am a Missouri native and have long enjoyed the natural resources the beautiful state provided. However, when my partner, Paul, introduced me to Minnesota, it was virtually love at first sight. The natural beauty, abundant waterways, and fishing opportunities were right down my alley, and I especially liked the idea of a more sparse population.

When I announced to him that I was moving to Minnesota, I believe he met this idea with mixed feelings. He was a native Minnesotan but had moved to Missouri with the intention to not move back north. As time passed, the idea of moving back to Minnesota grew on him, yet he cautioned me about jumping in. He wisely advised that it might be a prudent idea to experience the Minnesota winters, the mosquitoes, the deer flies, and just basically get my feet wet before jumping in. So I spent that year coming up to Minnesota, spending a couple of weeks every month to get acclimatized.

Part of my delight in absorbing the locale was the discovery of the Ely Folk School. I embraced the concept of living off the land and developing skills that were based around the local area, so I quickly enrolled in multiple classes. Imagine my delight to not only learn new skills but to meet local people who were exceedingly warm and welcoming–my kind of people. 

Since these initial classes, I’ve continued to take classes at the Ely Folk school and have been very satisfied with almost every class. I have met like-minded people and learned new skills while getting to know the area. 

I did eventually buy a place up here and have never looked back. I am sure that without the Ely Folk School, I would not have embraced the idea as readily as I did. Thank you, Ely Folk School for not only teaching useful skills but introducing me to the people of this beautiful area.

Here are a few classes coming up that you can take to get involved with the community at the Folk School:

Learn to Cross Country Ski with Jacki Fisher, February 6

Happy Hexagon Hunt, Unlocking the Night Sky with Bob King, February 7

Learn to Make Lemon Cheese with Gary Colles, February 10

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