Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

2016 Field Trips

Below are some of the planned field trips.

Museum Trips to Minneapolis, Minnesota Will include a 90 minute each way bus ride. Leave St. Ben’s at 12:45 and return by 6:00

Minneapolis Institute of Art.  Of particular interest is the extensive collection of Chinese Art.  No admission fee.

Historic Fort Snelling.  Built in the early 1820s, Historic Fort Snelling is a great place to learn about history from before the Civil War through World War II, fur trade history, slavery in Minnesota, the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 when hundreds of Dakota Indians were placed into a concentration camp before being deported to the west.  Its location — at the junction of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers — has been significant for centuries to many American Indian communities.

St. John’s Abby and the St. John’s Bible  Located a few minutes from St. Ben’s we’ll visit:

The Abbey and Bell Tower at St. John’s University - Master modernist architect, Marcel Breuer, Bauhaus-trained and a colleague of architect Walter Gropius, was commissioned in the 1950’s to build a church that would "be truly an architectural monument to the service of God." Begun in 1958 and completed in 1961, one art historian has it called "a milestone in the evolution of the architecture of the Catholic Church in this country.”

And view The Saint John's Bible, the first completely handwritten and illuminated Bible to have been commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey since the invention of the printing press.   Starting in 1998, master calligrapher, Donald Jackson  was commissioned to oversee the team of artists and calligrapher’s working to realize this vision.

Naturalist guided tour of the St. John’s Arboretum Since its founding in 1856, Saint John's Abbey has been guided by the Benedictine principles of stability, hospitality, and stewardship. In 1997, this longstanding principle of stewardship led the monks to designate the abbey lands a natural arboretum. We’ll car pool St. John’s for a naturalist guided tour of the arboretum.

Oliver Kelley Farm Step onto a working 1860s farm, home to Oliver H. Kelley, founder of the first successful national farming organization, the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, better known as the Grange. Activities follow the farming cycle and change with the season, making each visit unique. Visitors can meet the animals in the barn, help work in the fields and gardens, and see what’s cooking in the farmhouse. We’ll car pool to the Farm for an afternoon adventure. Admission is approximately $10 per person (less for children and there is a senior discount) Definitely a Family Friendly Trip.

Camp Hill Village Camphill Village Minnesota is a life-sharing, residential community of fifty people, including adults with disabilities. Our lives, work and celebrations are woven into the rhythms of nature found in the rolling hills, sparkling waterways, and prairie grasslands of Central Minnesota. Our community is deeply rooted in the belief that every individual , regardless of limitations, is an independent, spiritual being. We'll car pool to Camp Hill Village, where we will receive a guided tour of the grounds and programs. This is a working farm, and we will be walking over muddy ground, so choose footwear accordingly.

Sibley State Park There is something for everyone at this popular west-central Minnesota State Park. Hike to Mount Tom, one of several high points in a 50-mile radius, and see a patchwork of forest, farmland, prairie knolls, and lakes. Summer visitors enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing on Lake Andrew. We’ll car pool to the park for an afternoon of outdoor activity. Definitely Family Friendly

Other local sites for self planned afternoon trips.

Parks and Natural sites:

Lake Wobegon Trail.  A 46 mile long hike and bike trail that starts at St. Joseph. See map of the Lake Wobegon Trail.

St. John’s Arboretum.  8 minute drive.  19 minutes by bike along the Lake Wobegon Trail.  Many lovely trails.  For example, walk the Stella Maris Chapel Trail along the Lake Sagatagen, of which Thomas Merton wrote in his journal on July 29, 1956, almost exactly 60 years ago:  Yesterday, spent most of the afternoon in the quiet woods behind Stella Maris, reading, thinking and realizing the inadequacy of both thinking and reading.  I believe what I saw was an otter.  At that end of the lake also there is a great blue heron.  The lake is so beautiful it makes be feel guilty.  What is there in me that makes me feel I should not have so many good things?  Or, rather, not only not have them, but not see them?  

Click here for map of trails.

Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

38 minutes drive, each way. The Platte River Trailhead, situated just off Morrison County 35 and the refuge entrance road, offers an informational kiosk, restroom and access to the trail. It is a scenic 3.7-mile accessible hiking trail that leads visitors along the banks of the river, through oak savanna, prairies, wetlands and woodlands to the edge of Rice Lake. The trail is “hard packed gravel, suitable for wheelchairs”.

Lake Maria State Park

38 minute drive, each way. Enjoy one of the few remaining stands of the "Big Woods," a maple, oak and basswood forest that once covered part of southern Minnesota.

14 miles of hiking trails through rolling, wooded terrain.

Natural soil surfaces; not wheelchair accessible.

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

Sandhill Cranes; tallgrass prairie

48 minutes drive, each way. Closed July 4. Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.   The nearby Blue Hill and Mahnomen Trails offer great scenery and wildlife watching and are open year round. The Blue Hill Trail at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge offers five miles of scenic hiking over moderately level terrain. Blue Hill, the highest point on the refuge, rises about 90 feet above the surrounding area. This hill of sand, rocks and gravel is surrounded by flat to rolling sandy terrain and wetlands formed by glacial meltwater 12,000 years ago. The Mahnomen Trail at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge offers three miles of scenic hiking over moderately level terrain.

Sibley state park

53 minute drive, each way.Hike to Mount Tom, one of several high points in a 50-mile radius, and see a patchwork of forest, farmland, prairie knolls, and lakes. Summer visitors enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing on Lake Andrew. A canoe route invites adventurers to portage and canoe on Henschien Lake and Swan Lake.

2.7-mile wheelchair accessible trail.

18 miles of “easy to moderate” trails

Glacial Lakes state park

75 minute drive, each way.Stand on top of the scenic glacial hills and experience the vast, open prairie which once dominated Minnesota. Wildflowers and prairie grasses blanket the landscape from spring through fall. Canoe rental available.

16 miles of hiking trails

5 miles of paved bike trails

Some Museums in Minneapolis/St. Paul: Minneapolis is a 90 minute drive from St. Ben’s.

Minnesota History Museum, St. Paul:  This is a large museum that tells of the history of the land and people.  There is an admission fee.

Minnesota Science Museum, St. Paul:   Of special interest is their exhibit "RACE: Are We So Different?" There is an admission fee.

All My Relations Arts Gallery.  All My Relations Arts honors and strengthens relationships between contemporary American Indian artists and the living influence of preceding generations, between artists and audiences of all ethnic backgrounds, and between art and the vitality of the American Indian Cultural Corridor.  Free. Open Tuesday through Saturdays.

Somali Museum, Minneapolis.  This is a small museum staffed by an intergenerational staff of Somali immigrants, who share their knowledge of the life behind the artifacts.  There is an admission fee.   Plan for a visit of an hour.  Also, you could ask  the staff for directions to a nearby a Somali indoor mall, Karmel Square Mall, perhaps for a meal.

Karmel Square Mall/ Karmel Suuqa, Minneapolis.   With over 22,000 Somalis in Minnesota, the continent’’s first Somali mall, bustles with activity as people browse clothing stores and perfume shops, pick up dry cleaning, sip tea, and use the Internet cafe. Karmel Square is a microcosm of Somalia’’s rich cultural traditions. Somali women were the driving force behind its development.  Inside are 175 clothing shops, hair salons, henna shops, restaurants and even a mosque. All but 25 are owned by women.

Click here for an article describing its food for nonSomalis.

American Swedish Institute.   History of Swedish immigrants to Minnesota housed in a early 20th mansion.  There is an admission fee.

Mill City Museum.   History of how Minneapolis grew as a city due to the presence of the Missisippi River which made the flour mills possible.  Housed in an original flour mill with fantastic views of the river.  There is an admission fee.

Walker Art Center. One of the premier modern art museums in the country.  There is an admission fee.