Where to take exchange students from Germany?Our school will be hosting 22 German exchange students in October. I vaguely remember visiting a fur trading post while there were historical re-enactment days going on several years ago. I am wondering if you have a calendar of events or any other interesting activities or destinations you could recommend to me. - Margaret, Shoreview, Minn.
You're on the right track with the fur-trade posts and historical re-enactments — Germans are enthralled by American Indians and the Wild West, and there are many clubs in Germany whose members spend weekends re-enacting the frontier eras.
They'd love to go to a powwow. The season is winding down by October, but the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa (Ojibwe) holds the Miigwetch Manomin traditional powwow near Ely the second weekend of October, 218-757-3261. Be sure to brief the students first about powwow etiquette; see Powwow primer.
And definitely take them to the Mille Lacs Indian Museum on the west shore of Lake Mille Lacs. They'd probably be thrilled to make their own medallions and belt buckles at the Oct. 17-18 workshop. My favorites are the Ojibwe translation computer (the word for "blueberry pie'' has at least 90 letters) and the Four Seasons Room. Call to reserve a group tour, 320-532-3632.
The other great place to take them is the North West Company Fur Post in Pine City, just an hour north of the Twin Cities. On Oct. 17, it holds "Mystery at the Fur Post: Murder in the Museum.'' Something the exchange students can't do in Germany! You'll need to reserve a group tour there, too, 320-629-6356.
For more about fur posts, see Scenes from the fur trade.