VEC is a year-round Environmental Education Center nestled  in the heart of Minnesota on 110 beautiful acres. The hardwood forest, lake, nature trails, as well as the facilities, make VEC the ideal location for environmental education field trips. We offer a selection of over 45 informative, interactive and experientially based programs to supplement and complement your instructional objectives.  Many groups also participate in our other camp activities during their visit, such as canoeing, team building games, and archery. We know the secret camp spots the best places to kayak

Programs are available for 1/2-day, full day, and overnight. We have an overnight capacity of 84, and our cabins are heated, allowing for year-round use. To book your outdoor education field trip, call us at or email us at


Here are just some of our curriculum choices:

Predator vs. Prey

The predator and prey relationship encompasses concepts such as survival of the fittest, adaptations and the fundamental differences between animals. Through discussion and games, we'll learn first-hand about the different reactions of prey as they are being hunted, the variables that can change the outcome of a hunt, and the challenges of survival.

Aquatic Plant and Animal Life

Ever wonder what kinds of plant and animals live in the murky waters of our ponds and lakes? Because of their aquatic habitat, those little creatures have a unique way of life and survival. Students who participate in this program will learn basic ecology skills by exploring the boundaries of our lake and studying lake animals such as macro invertebrates, fish and amphibians with nets and viewing containers. Older students may elect to do part of this study from canoes.

Amazing Animals

Ever notice the expression on a student’s face when an animal’s footprint is pointed out in the dirt? We do! That look of wonderment inspired our Amazing Animals program where we teach students how to identify various animal visitors. Students get the opportunity to go out and see what kind of tracks they can find and identify them.

Outdoor Survival

An adventure in the woods! Students will work in teams to plan and build their own shelters. Students will discover edible plants, learn fire building, and orienteering.  Groups are challenged throughout the experience about survival situations. This program can be tailored to fit your curriculum goals and learning levels.


Draw, aim, fire! Participants will discover the joy behind this long established sport. Understanding the history, following the safety rules, and learning the skill is just the beginning. Through hands-on target practice and friendly competition, participants will learn about self-discipline and improve shooting skills.

Cross Country Skiing

Traversing on two skis is not only great exercise, but also an excellent way to observe the beauty of the winter landscape. Participants will learn the origin of cross-country skiing, the correct fitting and usage of equipment, and a few skill techniques before gliding across the glistening snow. Skis,poles, and boots provide.

Sample Half-Day Program

9:00 Arrival and Welcome
9:15 First Class
10:15 Second Class
11:15 Lunch Break
12:15 Third Class
1:15 Wrap-Up and Dismissal

Sample One-Night, Residential Program

Day 1

11:30 Arrival and Unload
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Orientation
1:15 First Class
2:30 Second Class
3:45 Third Class
5:00 Free Time
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Evening Program Campfire with S'mores
8:30 Dismiss to Cabins

Day 2

8:00 Breakfast
9:30 Fourth Class
10:15 Fifth Class
11:30 Departure

To arrange a personalized site visit, please call or email us at