Iditarod Camp for Teachers in Willow, Alaska

OK, so now I’m back-logging this bloggity-blog. Before my trip to Denali, I spent a few a few days in Willow, Alaska, to write about an Iditarod summer camp for teachers from across the USA. We stayed at Iditarod veteran Vern Halter’s Dream-a-Dream-Dog Farm, where the teachers shared strategies for incorporating the Iditarod into their curricula (no matter what subject they teach) and where they relished in plenty of hands-on bonding time with Iditarod sled dogs. The week-long camp gives the teachers a chance to learn how to harness, feed and groom the dogs and take daily rides in an ATV pulled by these exuberant canine athletes. They meet famous mushers (like DeeDee Jonrowe, a breast cancer survivor, Ironman competitor, and 28-time Iditarod musher) and other inspiring mushers and race volunteers, and share ideas for innovative lesson plans that engage students with the excitement and energy surrounding Alaska’s greatest sled-dog race. As you can imagine, I loved hanging out with these inspirational educators. And you should have seen them with these dogs. They rolled up their sleeves and jumped right into the action. And, trust me on this, there is some serious action when you harness 16 or so energetic sled dogs and run them through the woods of Alaska.

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