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 a.m.-5 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.

Staff Information 

All staff are current Wisconsin Youth Company employees working in After School and summer 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 during program hours at phone numbers you provided at the time of registration. 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 This information cannot be updated via your Parent Portal.  

Program Location

Winter Wander base camp is located within the 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

Off-site Transportation 

  • Wisconsin Youth Company uses 15 passenger vans and contracted school buses for travel to off-site locations. Staff members driving campers in 15 passenger vans are trained and insured.
  • Groups depart daily when all campers have arrived at base camp (depending on specific daily activities). Groups may return slightly after designated pick-up times depending on traffic and/or weather. Your patience is appreciated.

Daily Activities 

Wednesday, December 20 | Retzer Nature Center 

The first day of Winter Wander is all about appreciating winter wildlife. Campers will travel to the Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha. During a hike at the center, campers will learn all about how animals adapt to survive Wisconsin winters. After lunch, the group will participate in a presentation about migration patterns of Wisconsin’s migratory animals.

Thursday, December 21 | Urban Air and Local Hike/Activity 

The second day of Winter Wander focuses on getting campers moving. The group will spend the morning at Urban Air adventure park jumping and having fun. Following lunch, the group will travel to a local hike or an activity of the campers choosing. Locations include: UW Arboretum, Picnic Point, Governor Nelson State Park, or the Henry Vilas Zoo.  

Families will receive an email and text message by 11 a.m. on this program day with an update about the group’s plan for the afternoon.

Packing List 

All participants should come prepared to be outside. Please bring: 

  • Coat 
  • Hat 
  • Gloves 
  • Snow pants 
  • Boots 
  • Extra pair of socks

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.  

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 alternative 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 canceled. 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 or weather-related cancellations.

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: | To communicate with our administrative or registration team or if you have questions regarding your account, please send us an email.