During most every Tuesday meeting, a program is featured immediately
following the discussion of upcoming events and other announcements. Programs range from multimedia
presentations and informative discussions on topics such as past trips, wilderness preservation,
equipment demonstrations — to tips & techniques such as bicycle maintenance, backpacking
for beginners, how to hang a bear bag, wild flower identification, and other outdoors-related
If you would like to schedule a program/presentation or have ideas/requests for a future Rovers
program, contact Carissa M.
If you have any other questions about Minnesota Rovers, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
Upcoming Programs & Presentations
- July 22: Dragonflies and Damselflies (known collectively as the Odonata). There are 105 known species of dragonfly and 41 known damselfly species that can be found throughout Minnesota. During this interactive program, participants will receive an introduction to the ecology, natural history and identification of dragonflies and damselflies. Participants will also observe, attempt to catch (with a net) and identify these fascinating and beautiful insects species. Presented by Angela Isackson.
- July 29: Backcountry Cook-off. Celebrate our summer with a cook-off in the park! Show off an old favorite, or try an interesting new recipe before you take it out on the trail. Recipes should be suitable for backpacking, take 20 minutes or fewer to prepare, and be able to be made using a single burner stove. We’ll need lots of nummy entries, so we hope you’ll consider entering! If you don't plan to enter the cook-off, we’ll also need tasters to bring their plates/bowls and utensils to sample the goodies, find some new meal ideas for their next Rovers trip, and to vote for their favorite entry! Contact Stacey by July 22 to participate in the cookoff.
- August 12: Discussion by Rod Johnson (Owner/Founder of Midwest Mountaineering). In Celebration of the Rover's Club 60th anniversary, come hear one of the club’s past members that has made a large impact on the outdoor adventure world. Rod Johnson will tell us a bit of his life story including how the Rovers Club influenced him. Before he opened a storefront, he would go to Rovers meetings with a backpack full of gear to sell. His mission is getting people active outdoors. This should be an interesting discussion with time for Q&A afterwards.
- August 19: Gear Share Show & Tell. Show off your favorite innovative piece of gear! Dont wait for the camping trip with an audience of three people, bring it to the Gear Share Show & Tell and show and tell us about that one thing you use at camp or in your active activities, that you found in your gandmother’s basement or at a garage sale (or where ever...). It could be home-made, a rare find, or something we use in everyday life. Come to just learn and come to share. Dont be shy, there is always something new to learn for everyone. Moderated by Kathy Litt.
Past Programs & Presentations
The list below shows programs and presentations from past meetings. Use it as a reference for
programs you might be interested in presenting or suggesting.
- July 15: Urban Boatbuilders Building Youth, One Boat at a Time. Come and hear about the adventure thousands of Twin Cities youth have taken, building a wooden boat with Urban Boatbuilders! They start with a pile of boards, and at the end, wind up with a lot more than a functional boat — they are more confident, more capable people, transformed by a tangible success. See pictures and hear stories of: BWCA trips in apprentice-built ultralight canoes, floating classrooms on the St. Croix River, a 22-foot, 10-person Umiak built in 8 days, a solar electric cruiser that holds six...built by incarcerated youth. Presented by: Phil Winger, Urban Boatbuilders Program Manager.
- July 8: Share Your Favorite S'more. It seems that every time I am with a new group of people around a campfire, stories of different things people have used for "S'mores" comes up. I invite you to bring those stories and/or the makings of the storied S'mores to this meeting. (really it's just an excuse to eat sugar and talk with folks) Please feel free to bring enough to demonstrate and share with the group! Presented by Brian B.
- July 1: Learn Some Yoga to Help Enable your Outdoor Adventures. Have you ever wondered whether yoga might be of value to you? Come take a short beginners class on yoga by Dee James (Registered Yoga Teacher) and find out. Dee will explain the benefits of yoga and then teach you some of the simpler yoga poses that help with flexibility, balance, and strengthening. This should be a fun program but please do bring a mat (or blanket if you don't have a mat) that you can do your yoga poses on. Even those of you with Yoga experience should come to help out others or get a little stretch in. Presented by Dee James.
- June 24: Como Park Scavenger Hunt. Welcome players, you are about to embark on an epic adventure through Como park. For this hunt, you'll need your most powerful weapon, the one between your ears. Help your team follow the clues to be the winner of the challenge. Presented by Megan C.
- June 17: Camping Foods Demonstration & Lecture. "Your house not Mountain House" — an introduction on using readily available products from the grocery store and a food dehydrator to create your own lightweight camping and backpacking foods. Packaging, storing and reconstituting the foods will be covered with samples available for tasting. Presented by Rich Hunt.
- June 10: Backpacking 101. Some seeking solitude like to get off the beaten path and into the backcountry. Others prefer the camaraderie of group trips. Either way, backpacking gives you access to some of the best remote viewpoints Mother Nature has to offer. Whether you are a first time backpacker or interested in refreshing your skills, come and join us for Backpacking 101. Paul Jensen, Camping & Backpacking Specialist from Midwest Mountaineering, will be sharing techniques about trip planning, safety, selecting gear, and how to leave the backcountry just the way you found it.
- June 3: Comparing Water Treatment Products for the Backcountry. Try the water treatment taste test, and learn about the latest products available for making water drinkable from REI. Presented by Chris F.
- May 27: Trailside Flat Repair. Flat bike tires can ruin a beautiful ride, if you don't remember how to fix them. Join us for a demonstration on how to repair a flat, and be back on the road in no time. Bring a wheel and your toolkit if you want to practice, before you actually need to know! Presented by Tom H.
- May 20: Unicycling. The Twin Cities Unicycle Club is the largest and oldest unicycle club in Minnesota with over 200 unicyclists. A representative will join us for a demonstration of how to ride a unicycle. Try riding one too if you like!
- May 13: Gear Swap. Quality Gear from people who know their stuff Got Gear? Spring cleaning? Unused gear cluttering your house? Sell it at the Swap! Need Gear? Trying a new sport? Looking for advice? Find it at the Swap! Set up starts at 6:30 p.m. Open to the public, feel free to bring friends and family.
- May 6: Spring Intro Show. Featuring a digital slide show set to music and club representatives available to answer questions about the club. This is a great way to find out more about Minnesota Rovers, all the activities, and the people. Held at the Bloomington REI. Check the Special Events page for more details.
- April 29: DownStream/Upstream. A Journey Through the Urban Water Cycle documents a two-week journey that 39 kids, ages 4-6, took to explore the infrastructure of water. On exhibit are the photographs, artists' books, maps, and diagrams that illustrate their exploration of the urban water cycle starting from a classroom sink to the Mississippi River — upstream and downstream. Jonee Kulman Brigham led a structured and creative collaborative project that allowed children to explore cultural narratives and issues of sustainability related to the flow of water. Joni Kulman Brigham.
- April 22: Shark Week. A journey into the depths. Over six years of scuba travels depicted in spectacular video and underwater photographic form . It will cover diving in the waters of the island of Bonaire, the shark waters of Honduras, the world class drift diving of Cozumel. Plus, surprise locations and a brief introduction to underwater photography. Presented by Chad Hopp.
- April 15: South India. This presentation is a look at life in rural India in the southernmost states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. These are some of the quietest, slowest, yet most hospitable areas of India. Explore towns and villages, mountains and plains, temples and churches. Presented by Ted Ulrich.
- April 8: MN Children and Nature Connection. When children spend time playing and learning in nature, they reap physical, emotional, social, cognitive and academic benefits. Dr Cathy Jordan will discuss what we know about these benefits based on research. She will also present information about the Mn Children and Nature Connection, a coalition of professionals passionate about reversing the trend toward the disconnection between children and their natural surroundings. Presented by Dr. Cathy Jordan Director of the University of Minnesota Extension’s Children, Youth and Family Consortium and member and former chair of the MN Children and Nature Connection.
- April 1: Landscaping With Native Plants. “If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets, ... then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar.” – Lorrie Otto
A short presentation on the benefits of replacing your non-native plants and grasses with natives. Marilynn will also talk briefly about a non profit organization that she volunteers for, Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes. Our mission is to teach, and change the practice of gardening in our communities and around the country to using native plants. Presented by Marilynn Torkelson.
- March 25: Hiking the Wonderland Trail. The Wonderland Trail completely encircles Mt. Rainer in Mt. Rainier National Park. View the journey through the eyes of backpacker who hiked it in 1988 and again in 2013. Learn tips and tricks for getting a permit in the lottery, where to cache food, the best campsites, etc. Presented by Nadine S.
- March 18: Winter in the BWCA. A presentation and photo slideshow of winter camping in the BWCA. Three of us spent four days and three nights pulling sleds with our camping gear over the lakes and portages this last January. After driving down the Gunflint Trail to Round Lake we entered the wilderness at entry point 51. Learn a few things on what it takes to have a fun winter camping trip. Also I'll throw together a collection of photographs from previous winter camping trips that I have taken over the years. Presented by Jim Brekke.
- March 11: Adventures in Southern Africa. Ever wonder what it would be like to spend a month camping in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; from Cape Town to Victoria Falls? See what it's like to go from the Cape of Good Hope; to temps of 125 degrees in the Namib desert; to wild game reserves and rain forests. Come hear all about it so you can make plans to do it too! Presented by Karen Nikolai.
- March 4: The "Loon" Line. Ever wonder what the Loon on your Minnesota tax return is all about? Wonder why you should give up some of your refund? Now you can find out! Carrol Henderson will be joining us from the DNR to talk about the Non-game Wildlife Program; what it benefits, and why you may want to give it a second look when you file your taxes.
- February 25: Fun in the Sand. Deserts were made for playing in! A short presentation on climbing, hiking and mountain biking in the Sonoran Desert. Blue skies and sunshine, three-hundred-sixty days of every year; truly. Grab your canteen/Camelback for a virtual vacation on Tuesday night, guaranteed to melt your ice dams. Presented by Holly Bayer.
- Feb 18: Touring England. From the Cotswolds to Southwark, Warwick, Dartmoor, Oxford, Savernake Forest, Penzance, and finally to Lands End! Rambling, driving, punting & pubbing our way around England. Learn about best time, best places, and best way to tour England. Presented by Jen Oberg & Barry Shillingford.
- February 11: Annual Meeting. Before the program (below); vote in the 2014 Board of Directors.
- February 11: Pukaskwa Coastal Trail in Ontario. The 60 kilometer long Pukaskwa Coastal Trail parallels the Lake Superior Coast in Canada. Find out why this rugged wilderness trail will challenge a novice and expert alike, and why the incredible scenery makes this trek so rewarding. Plus tips on light weight backpacking, water taxi and fees. Presented by Martin (Mr. Kek) Kubik, founder of the BWA Committee.
- February 4: Hiking the Columbia Gorge. Travel with a group of Rovers through the beautiful Columbia River Gorge and the Mount Hood National Forest. It was a 5 day trip in August with many scenic views of the amazing geography plus trees and flowers. Presented by Jim Hoeppner.
- January 28: Invasive Species: What are they and what’s the big deal? Invasive species are entirely a human-made phenomenon. Zebra mussels, buckthorn, garlic mustard, Asian carp, emerald ash borer, and gypsy moths are invasive species that have become household names these days as the media pleads with the public to help stop their spread. In the U.S., about 3 million acres are lost to invasive plants each year (twice the area of Delaware). Invasive species, if left unchecked, will limit many uses on lands now and for future generations. Now is the time to act to reduce the threat of invasive species in our region. Will you join the front lines of our defense team? Presented by Angela Isackson.
- January 21: Biking the MRT. The Mississippi River Trail is a bike route from Lake Itasca to New Orleans. I biked the MRT from St Paul to New Orleans in November. Slides and Show & Tell of the gear I use for lightweight long-distance bike touring. Presented by David Byrne.
- January 14: Touring Europe by Bicycle. Join us for an evening to discuss traveling by bike in Europe. Veteran Italian bicycle tour guide and world traveler, Cristina Taioli will present a photo slideshow presentation, a discussion sharing travel stories, and dreaming about her cycling adventures in Europe and South America!
- January 7: Lebanon Hills — Jewel of the South Metro. Learn about recreational opportunities at the park voted City Pages Best Hike — 2013 and Star Tribune's Best of MN — Best Regional Park 2013. It is a place where you can get a real sense of wildness right in the heart of the Twin Cities. Also learn something of the history of the park and what its future may hold with the release of the proposed new Lebanon Hills Regional Park Development Master Plan. Presented by Holly Jenkins & Barry Shillingford.