Throughout the 2013/2014 school year the Wilderness Classroom is partnering with the Kraft family to connect classrooms with their family as they explore 14 countries during a year long adventure around the world. They will be posting regular updates to the Wilderness Classroom website as well as their own blog.
The Krafts will share mystery photos, videos and other content about the animals, cultures, art, geology, and a variety of other areas of study, depending on where they are. They also plan to identify and explore an environmental issue in each area they visit.
The Kraft kids currently attend an International Baccalaureate or IB ( and elementary school in the Minneapolis area. During the year, their parents, Larry and Lauri, will be homeschooling them. But as they plan to re-enroll the kids in the same school when they return, they are using IB outcomes to guide much of their curriculum and how they’ll approach different topics. This should make for a unique perspective in the content they share.
While they are still planning the details of their curriculum, a few of the educational topics that they’ll likely tackle include: the rainforest, deforestation, glacial melt, global warming, evolution, animals, coral reefs, why people fight and the impact of war, understanding different cultures, European art, and the Arctic.

Meet the Kraft Family

Jamie is 8; Jason is 6. During the trip they will be in 3rd and 1st grade, respectively, and will each have a birthday. “We’re really excited to experience the world and some of the issues we’ve identified through their eyes. It’s already fascinating just to talk about the concept of the trip with them: Jamie is most excited about visiting India and dogsledding in the Arctic, and she’s bummed about not being in the States for Halloween… it’s mostly about missing out on a giant bag of candy,” explained Larry.

Larry is a high-tech executive and most recently has run marketing and sales at Digi International, a $200M public company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Lauri has managed PR for a technology company, performed full-time in musical theatre, and lately has been working on writing a children’s book.


Below is their itinerary along with time estimates for when they will be in each country.

Leaving Minneapolis – mid-August 2013

Costa Rica – mid-Aug – late Sept
Peru – late September – October
Galapagos – Early-Mid NovemberMinneapolis – Mid-Late November
Australia – December
Vietnam & Cambodia – January-mid February 2014
India – mid-Feb – March
Namibia – AprilZambia – May
Europe (Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Norway) – June – July
The Arctic (Svalbard) – early AugustBack home! – mid-August 2014

You can learn more about the Kraft Family Adventure using the links below.
A Prezi that explains their journey The Kraft Family Blog
Jamie and Jason’s Blog

The Clever Dutch and How They Manage Water

Have you ever tried to build barriers to protect a sandcastle from waves on an ocean beach? At a much bigger scale, this is the same problem The Netherlands faces (The Netherlands is also sometimes called Holland and people that are from the Netherlands are called the Dutch).  Almost half the country is either below Read More

Video Trip Summary

Here’s a 2 1/2 minute video we created for our home town school board and community.  It provides a good and quick summary of some of the interesting experiences we had on the first 2/3 of our trip.  We made it just after arriving in Africa in late March.

Black Rhinos: A Success Story in Namibia

We were lucky to find a connection to home on our trip:  we met Jeff Muntifering, a Conservation Biologist for the Minnesota Zoo.  Jeff and his family live in Namibia, where he has worked with Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) since 2002 to protect endangered black rhinos. We’ve learned a lot about things people have Read More

Food & Trees For Africa

In two cities in South Africa, Johannesberg and Cape Town, we connected with a great organization called Food and Trees for Africa (FTFA). FTFA runs a number of programs that have to do with green things — their programs involve tree planting, food security, carbon offsets, education and more. Johannesberg: Hug a Tree (Trees for Read More

Elephants Everywhere

We’ve seen lots of African elephants on our trip — in South Africa, Namibia, and especially, Botswana. In some places in Botswana, there are herds of elephants right by the side of the road (and numerous road signs reminding drivers to slow down and watch out for elephants.) In Chobe National Park (Botswana’s second-largest national Read More

Mafura, Miombo and Mozambique

In Mozambique, we learned about something different:  soapmaking. What does soapmaking have to do with the environment?  If you’ve ever read the label on a bar of soap, you know that soaps can be made of many different things.  Many soaps are made with palm oil.  In Costa Rica, at the beginning of our trip, Read More

A Bleached Coral Reef that Recovered

Can Coral Reefs Recover? In our last post, we shared a conversation we had with Madhu (MD Madhusudan), one of the founders of NCF (Nature Conservation Foundation). We talked about how conservation should be rooted in science.  And how the best solutions include partnership with local people to be successful. Our last post was about tigers and Read More

Tiger conservation programs in India

In our last post, we talked about tigers.  Here, we’ll share some more thoughts about how tiger conservation programs (and other conservation programs) can be created successfully. We went to the Nature Conservation Foundation to find out about conservation in India.  We left after learning about many other things, too:  science; government policy; climate change; Read More

Tigers in India

Imagine a fort, deep in India’s forest, called Ranthambore Fort.  Now imagine you’re a maharajah — an ancient king, hundreds of years ago — vacationing there.  The forest is your playground — you hunt tigers there for sport.  You practice conservation, of a kind — you hunt, but not too many, so there will still Read More