Bringing Positive Energy to the Outdoors

lars-peo-featurePositive Energy Outdoors is a 501(C) non-profit group, dedicated to encouraging people to expend energy in positive ways. Their efforts keep people moving even in the winter, when nature and people normally slow down. If you are staying at Larsmont Cottages and go on one of their sled dog adventures, you will soon be gliding across vast white vistas while helping others get moving as well.

“All the public programming, whether it is going dog sledding, riding on horse-drawn sleighs, kayaking, or voyageur canoeing, it all supports programming for kids,” said Stephanie Love at Positive Energy Outdoors. “We serve about 1200 kids each year and about half of those come from low-income households. So, they get to do programming for free or at a very reduced cost, because of the public in our programs.”

Meet Val, one of the adorable, hard-working dog sled team members. Get to know all the dogs.
Meet Val, one of the adorable, hard-working
dog sled team members.
Get to know all the dogs.

When I talked with Stephanie over the holidays, she was getting ready to introduce a group to the great north woods, on the favorite vehicle of Jack London.

“Right now we are about to go on our Two-Hour Family Tour,” said Stephanie. “On this tour, we can take a group of up to 6. It is designed for either kids or those who have very young children or those who just want an introductory experience.”

Scientists often talk about “useful” energy, as opposed to energy which is out there but isn’t doing us any good. The tours start with the guests learning how to get the dogs to work together as a team in a way that makes their energy useful to us, by getting the sled moving. Stephanie was getting ready to show this family how this is done.

“They are going to get introduced to the dogs and introduced to the equipment,” said Stephanie. “Then, they will work together and harness the team. Then, they hook the team up to the sled.”

Once groups learn to harness the dog’s energy, they put it to good use. Positive Energy Outdoors has a number of packages and options available from two-hour tours to full-day mushing adventures. They take people through bogs, with tall strands of grass struggling to poke their heads above the deep snow, and the flat expanse of snow above the thick ice on Island Lake. The family taking the tour was not just along for the ride.

“They will take turns driving on a bigger beginner-friendly route,” said Stephanie.

The tours are also great for animal lovers. As much as people talk about smart cars and loving their BMWs, these vehicles can’t really think or return this love. Sled dogs can, and that makes the interactions more fun.

“It takes them about two hours to finish the route,” said Stephanie. “When they finish that, they get to come back and feed the dogs treats and then give the dogs water and then get the dogs back to their houses.”

These dogs work hard to give adults and disadvantaged children a good time out in the woods. As a non-profit organization, Positive Energy Outdoors needs help taking care of their four-legged friends. The group is looking for people to sponsor dogs to keep the working dogs well taken care of and to help the older dogs enjoy their retirement.

Positive Energy Outdoors has many other winter activities like horse-drawn sleighing, snowshoeing, and skijoring. They also have a number of activities in the summer. They are ready whenever you want to expend some positive energy, while being outdoors.

Photo of Val courtesy of Positive Energy Outdoors.

Featured image by Guillaume Baviere licensed under CC-BY 2.0