For some Wisconsin residents, the new year means more opportunities to travel.
In the coming months, Spring Valley, Elmwood and Baldwin’s Community Education programs will host a variety of trips across Wisconsin and Minnesota. The groups have put their collective energy toward some collaborative trips and tours for residents.
The joint effort came after community education coordinators struggled to find enough participants within their own villages. These types of collaborations happened often in the past, but fell out of practice, according to Eric Johnson, Spring Valley Community Education coordinator.
“So when I took this position at the start of the school year, I just thought, you know it doesn't make sense for me to try to do this by myself,” Johnson said. “All you really need to do is add stops in other communities and then you have a large pool of people who could possibly go.”
Many of the trips include stops to pick up participants from the different villages. Even when there is not a stop scheduled, Johnson said Elmwood and Baldwin coordinators still promote the excursion to their residents.
“It’s just a collaboration to try and get more opportunities for all of the communities,” Johnson said.
This year’s travels include a trip to Minnesota for a comedy, a murder mystery show in Hudson, a visit to an antique market and an opportunity to learn about bikes and space in Sparta.
To determine which trips to pursue, Baldwin Community Education advisory board generated a list of ideas and using that list Johnson researched costs. Later the district coordinators sat down and chose which trips they would organize.
“This is actually our first group of trips that we are going to do together,” Johnson said,
They plan to survey participants to see what kind of future trips they are interested in. Individuals with ideas are invited to bring their recommendations to Johnson.
Johnson said he looks forward to the social connections people will make with members of their neighboring communities. He expects to continue the collaborations in the future.
“It definitely takes a lot more coordination and time to figure it out together, but I think it’s well worth it,” Johnson said.
More information can be found on the Spring Valley Community Education, Elmwood Community Education and Baldwin Community Education websites.
If you go ...
"Men are from Mars - Women are from Venus"
When: Thursday, Feb. 13
Where: Ames Center in Burnsville, Minnesota
Cost: $45 (ticket and transportation)
Deadline: Friday, Jan. 24
5:30 p.m. - Depart Spring Valley High School
5:45 p.m. - Pick up at Baldwin Park and Ride
6:30 p.m. - Dinner (pay for self)
8 p.m. - Show
10:30 p.m. - Drop off
When: Sunday, April 5
Where: Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson
Cost: $27 (ticket and transportation)
Deadline: 3 p.m. Friday, March 20
11 a.m. - Leave Elmwood
11:30 a.m. - Leave Spring Valley High School
12 p.m. - Leave Baldwin
2 p.m. - Show
4 p.m. - Return to Baldwin
4:30 p.m. - Return to Spring Valley High School
5 p.m. - Return to Elmwood
When: Saturday, April 18
Where: Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota
Cost: $37 (transportation) Purchase tickets at the door ($12 or pre-purchase for $10)
Deadline: April 10
8:15 a.m. - Depart Elmwood
8:30 a.m. - Pick up Spring Valley High School
8:45 a.m. - Pick up Baldwin Park and Ride
3 p.m. - Leave Canterbury Park to return
Deke Slayton Space and Bike Museum
When: Saturday, May 2
Where: Sparta, Wisconsin
Cost: $45 (admission and transportation)
Deadline: Wednesday, April 17
8:30 a.m. - Depart Baldwin
9 a.m. - Leave Spring Valley
9:30 a.m. Leave Elmwood
11:30 a.m. - Lunch (pay for self)
1:30 p.m. - Tour
5 p.m. - Drop off at Elmwood
5:30 p.m. Drop off at Spring Valley High School
6 p.m. Drop off at Baldwin
"The Music Man"
When: June 17
where: Chanhassen Theater
Cost: $95 (ticket, lunch, tax, gratuity and transportation)
Deadline: Friday, May 1
9:30 a.m. - Depart Elmwood
9:45 a.m. - Leave Spring Valley High School
10 a.m. - Leave Baldwin
11:30 a.m. - Lunch at Chanhassen
1 p.m. - Show