Thank you for choosing Wisconsin Youth Company’s Wander Wisconsin Program! 

Please note: Families are varied and the use of the word Parent(s) refers to the adult(s) who are responsible for the child(ren).   

Please carefully review all tabs on this webpage prior to the first day of Wander. Additional information can be found in our program handbook.  

Winter Wander Base Camp 

  • Elver Park Neighborhood Center, 1201 McKenna Blvd, Madison

Winter Wander Program Information 

  • Program Cell Phone  |  608-445-8033
  • Program Hours  |  8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.   
  • Program Drop-off Hours  |  8–8:30 a.m. 
  • Program Pick-up Hours  |  4:30–5 p.m. 

Snack and lunch 

A morning and afternoon snack is provided daily. Campers should bring a non-refrigerated and nut-free lunch and water bottle daily. A pizza lunch will be provided for campers attending the trip to the Kalahari on Monday, January 2. Lunch will not be provided on any other program days. 

Staff Information 

All staff are current Wisconsin Youth Company employees working in After School program roles. They receive Winter Wander specific training prior to the start of the program and are certified in first aid and CPR. All staff receive additional training regarding health & wellness and cleaning & sanitation protocols.   

Parent Contact Information  

Program staff may need to contact you from program at phone numbers you provided during the registration process with questions or concerns, for this reason when phone numbers or pick-up arrangements change, please update this information with our administrative office. To update this information, or any other information regarding your child(ren) and your family, please send an email to info@wisconsinyouthcompany.org. This information cannot be updated via your Parent Portal.  

Program Location

Wander Wisconsin operates out of Elver Park Neighborhood Center. Families should park in the parking lot and enter the building through the main door, facing McKenna Blvd. Upon entering, take a right and the program space will be down the hallway on the right.

Drop-off and Pick-up 

  • Campers spend the majority of the program time engaging in off-site activities. To help ensure timely departure from Wander Base Camp, please drop-off and pick-up during the set drop-off and pick-up times listed on the Welcome tab. 
  • Drop-off and pick-up from off-site locations is not recommended. If you have questions or concerns about the drop-off and pick-up times for any program day, please contact info@wisconsinyouthcompany.org 

Off-site Transportation 

  • Wisconsin Youth Company contracts with an outside school bus service for travel to off-site locations. 
  • Buses depart daily when all campers have arrived at Base Camp (depending on specific daily activities). Buses may return slightly after designated pick-up times. depending on traffic and/or weather. Your patience is appreciated.

Daily Activities 

Wednesday, December 21  |  Retzer Nature Center and Planetarium 

  • Winter Wander kicks off with a visit to the Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha. Campers will first learn all about how animals adapt to survive Wisconsin winters while hiking at the center. After lunch, the group participates in a presentation about the changing night sky in the Retzer Center’s planetarium

Thursday, December 22  |  Elver Park Hike and Tyrol Basin 

  • The second day of Winter Wander is all about appreciating the great activities we can do in winter. Campers walk across the street to Elver Park, where they explore the trails. Following the hike and lunch, the group travels to Tyrol Basin for an afternoon of snow-tubing! Be sure to dress warm! 

Monday, January 2  |  Kalahari Indoor Waterpark 

  • We kick off the new year with a visit to the Kalahari indoor waterpark in Wisconsin Dells! The group spends the entire day at the waterpark with a break in the afternoon for a pizza party. Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit and towel! Campers must be at least swim level yellow – intermediate for this adventure trip.   

Tuesday, January 3  |  Mackenzie Center 

  • For the final day of Winter Wander, campers head north to the Mackenzie Center in Poynette. The group participates in a few different outdoor activities while at the center, so be sure to dress warm. Campers will  create shelters, do archery, and learn about fire building. 

Packing List 

All participants should come prepared to be outside. Please bring a coat, hat, gloves, snow pants, and boots daily. Please pack a water bottle and nut-free lunch daily. Campers should wear sturdy shoes for times not spent in boots. Campers may also bring a non-electronic item for longer bus rides. . Wisconsin Youth Company is not responsible for lost items.  

If your child will be attending the Kalahari trip on January 2, please remember to pack a swimsuit and towel. All campers will also receive a Winter Wander t-shirt that is designed to be worn in water, please send your camper with this shirt on this day. Additionally, a pizza lunch will be provided at the Kalahari, so there is no need to send a lunch on this day. 

Weather Related Modifications and Cancellations 

If weather conditions (extreme cold or snow) prevent regular planned activities from occurring, an alternate activity will be provided. Please see below for a list of possible alternate activities. If weather conditions have the potential to cause a dangerous situation for staff or families, Winter Wander will not operate.  Wisconsin Youth Company will do its best to notify families as soon as possible in the case that a program is cancelled. An announcement will be made via email and on our website. Families will also be notified of the cancellation via text message. There is no credit or fee reduction for days missed. 

Possible Alternate Activities: 

  • Bowling at Schwoegler’s 
  • Movie at a local theater 
  • Indoor mini-golf at Vitense 
  • Winter disc golf or sledding at Elver Park 

Site Cell Phone Number: 608-445-8033  |  This number can be used to call or text Wisconsin Youth Company staff at your child(ren)’s location during program hours. Please note that staff are engaged with campers during program hours and may not be able to answer. Please leave a message and they will get back to you.  

24-Hour Attendance Message Line: 608-276-9898  |  Please call the message line when your child(ren) will be absent from program. All absences must be reported. Please leave a message regarding your child’s name, program and the date(s) of absence.  

Administrative Office: 608-276-9782 ext. 0   If you need immediate assistance, please contact our administrative office. Our administrative office can also assist you with your registration questions.  

Wisconsin Youth Company Email: info@wisconsinyouthcompany.org  |  To communicate with our administrative or registration team or if you have questions regarding your account please send us an email.