Category Archives: Recreation

Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) Information

Are you or someone you know going to the Great Lakes Invitational (GLI)  this year? Buy your tickets online through the link below and part of your ticket purchase will go to help the Husky FAN Pantry! Tickets prices remain the same.

WHO: You, your friends, family, alumni, etc

WHAT: Great Lakes Invitational College Hockey

WHERE: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit Michigan

WHEN: December 29 and 30

WHY: Support the Huskies Hockey Team and the Husky FAN Pantry.  The pantry provides food, meal swipes, emergency food packs, and educational programming to the campus community at no cost.

HOW: Go to this website and enter the promotion code: MTUGREEK

This fundraiser is sponsored by Michigan Tech’s Fraternity and Sorority Life.

If you have any questions, please email Rochelle Spencer ( for Michigan Tech related questions or Lauren Kalinosky ( for ticket questions or to purchase tickets over the phone.

Family Weekend

Hello Parents!

I hope you’re all having a great week! The week here has been busy with Career Fair and exams as we’re coming up on the halfway point of the semester. It’s hard to believe that it’s gone by so fast! We’re getting into the meat of the semester now as deadlines for more exams, assignments, and projects come closer and closer.

As I’m sure most of you are aware, Family Weekend is coming up on Friday, October 9 through Sunday, October 11. This is a wonderful event where families from all over the country can come to campus and visit their students for a weekend of family fun. Fall in the Copper Country is the most beautiful time of year and there will be a wide variety exciting activities taking place, including waterfall hikes, a boat cruise along the Keweenaw Waterway, canoeing and kayaking, mine tours, a golf scramble, athletic games, and more! Homecoming is also taking place during Family Weekend, so we hope you can take in the Cardboard Boat Races Friday afternoon and the Homecoming Tailgate (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) and Football game Saturday afternoon.

When you arrive to campus, please stop by the Family Weekend Welcome Center in the Student Development Complex (SDC). There will be a schedule of events, information about the local community, and pre-ordered tickets available for you to pick up. You can stop by the Family Weekend Welcome Center throughout the entire weekend, but staff will be available to answer questions Thursday, October 8: 5–7 p.m., Friday, October 9: 2–6 p.m., and Saturday, October 10: 9 a.m.–noon.

As parents who have visited Michigan Tech for Family Weekend know, there are plenty of things to do while visiting Houghton. For the schedule of events and other things to see and do in the Copper Country, follow this link.

If there are any questions about Career Fair, Family Weekend, or any of the other goings on here at Michigan Tech, please feel free to email me at

Have a good week!


Fall Semester has begun!

Hello Parents!

I hope everyone has enjoyed the last bit of summer. In Houghton, we’ve had some HOT weather for the start of classes. My guess is that summer is trying to hold on by a thread before we start the rather quick descent into the winter months. In the midst of Welcome Week, campus is buzzing with activity. Students and faculty are hurrying to get to classes, the computers in the library are full and tapping on the keyboards is constant, and friends are hanging out in the gardens and sitting on the benches throughout campus. There are plenty of things to be excited about for this fall too, including traditions that take place at the beginning of the school year.

One of these traditions is KDay (the “K” stands for Keweenaw Day) and is one of the best times at Michigan Tech. Taking place on the Friday, September 11 at McLain’s State Park, this event provides an opportunity for new and returning students learn about all of the student organizations and opportunities for involvement while enjoying Lake Superior and the outdoors. From Greek Life to Rugby, Anthropology Club to Fishing Club, there is a wide variety of options to get involved and meet plenty of people.  If you want to learn more about KDay, follow this link.

KDay is one of the first traditions that students can experience here at Michigan Tech.
KDay is one of the first traditions that students can experience here at Michigan Tech.


Along with all the events and activities specifically set up for Welcome Week and the beginning of the school year, there are also Michigan Tech Athletes that are getting into action. Fall sports such as football, soccer, volleyball, and cross country are starting their competitions for the year. The first home game for the football team is tonight, Thursday September 3 at 6PM. The Women’s soccer and volleyball teams begin on Friday, September 4. To keep up with the Michigan Tech Huskies Athletics throughout the year, click this link. Also, if students are interested in participating in sports outside of the Varsity sports, there are tons of intramurals to stay active. Follow this link to learn more.

With everything getting started and so much to get involved in, it can be easy to lose sight of why we’re really here as students. Luckily, we have amazing faculty, staff, and student leaders that encourage getting involved while remaining aware of our studies and the work we must put in to our classes. Michigan Tech is truly a great place to be. As always, if there are any questions, feel free to email me at

Have a good week!


Orientation Week

Hello Parents!

Orientation Week (O-Week) can bring out the best in students.  There is a lot to gain from participating in this week as they learn all about what Michigan Tech has to offer!  They are assisted by their Orientation

Throughout O-Week there are activities available to get new students involved.
Throughout O-Week there are activities available to get new students involved.

Team Leaders (OTLs) in realizing their potential, and they are provided the time and opportunity to get out and explore. Whether that exploration be of the campus, the community, the Keweenaw, or all the groups and clubs, there is no shortage of options. There is definitely something for everyone.

One of the most important parts of O-Week is the Orientation Team Leaders. These are students who have been hired to work with incoming first-year students, and they provide valuable insight on Michigan Tech and university life. During the week, the OTLs work with groups of students to debrief after presentations, tour buildings and campus resources, and build relationships before the beginning of the semester. I had a great experience with my OTL, and I am still able to go to him with questions or even just to talk. I cannot say enough about how awesome OTLs truly are. They put in the effort to be available to first-year students and provide a smooth and fun transition into the throes of college life.

Another part of O-Week that is incredibly useful and interesting for all students is Day Zero. It was one of my favorite parts about orientation.  Day Zero classes are meant to give students an idea of what  some of the core or university wide classes are like (such as Calculus, Chemistry, and Global Issues), and they are set up to introduce professors and the material to be covered. It is an invaluable experience to get a head start on the semester and see what’s going on.

Of course, there is a significant amount of other activities, presentations, and events that occur during O-Week. There is always a chance to get involved, whether it be with trips around the Keweenaw,  free movies put on by Film Board, or on-campus events. The events that students participate in during O-Week can translate into involvement during the school year, new friends, and a better idea of everything that Michigan Tech has to offer.

There is plenty to do and see while in the Keweenaw. For more information on the schedule of events during Move-In Weekend and Orientation Week, click here. Otherwise, feel free to contact me at

Have a great week!


Outdoor Activities

Hello Parents!

Following one of the hottest weekends of the year in the Keweenaw, I wanted to share some more of the things that are available to do up here. One good resource for the outdoor adventuring student is the Outdoor Adventure Programs (OAP). They hold events throughout the summer and school year. This summer they are offering kayaking and paddle boarding clinics, have organized a trip to Isle Royale, and other camping and adventuring trips. For Orientation Week, OAP holds day trips to local places. In addition to hosting these events, OAP also rents gear, from bikes to paddle boards.

The Keweenaw History Center located in Calumet.
The Keweenaw History Center located in Calumet.

There is plenty to do around the Keweenaw. One of my personal favorites is to walk around touring some of the historical sites, and there are numerous opportunities to experience this rich history.  If you are interested in the history of copper mining, there are several places to explore that also include an underground tour. The Quincy Mine, the Adventure Mine, and the Delaware Mine are great options to learn more about mining and you can click on the name of the mine to see its website. All of these mines are Heritage Sites associated with the Keweenaw National Historical Park (KNHP). The KNHP covers a significant area of the Keweenaw and includes heritage sites, like the mines, that were integral to the history of the area. To learn more about the park, click here.

The sun over the water at the Houghton Breakers.
The sun over the water at the Houghton Breakers.

Of course, with all the Keweenaw has to offer, there are plenty of things to do and places to see without a guide or organized trip. If you are interested in learning more about the trails for hiking, biking, skiing, or snowshoeing, this site has great information. Beaches are also one of the most popular attractions around the Keweenaw. One of the student favorites is the Houghton Breakers. It is a stamp sand beach right on the edge of the Portage and is perfect for swimming, bonfires, and watching the sunset over the water. For more on the beaches in the Keweenaw, this website is a good resource.

If anyone has any questions on other things to do around the Keweenaw, feel free to email me at


Musical and Community Events

In the Copper Country, we are starting to get into some of the busiest times of year, especially for local musicians. This week has seen some ups and downs in the weather, but most people are still excited for the things to come.

The Pine Mountain Music Festival (PMMF) began at the end of June and will continue through July 18. It is a celebration of all types of music, from professional opera to chamber music and many others. This week the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts will be hosting performances of The Barber of Seville. The Barber of Seville is a beloved opera buffa (a comic opera) about the desire to win a woman’s heart without money. The Bergonzi String Quartet will be playing at the Calumet Theater, a local landmark and beautiful theater. These performances, among others, will continue throughout the Upper Peninsula. If you are interested in finding out more out about the PMMF, follow this link to its website.

A band performing at The Really Big Show. Photograph by Ray Bosley. Courtesy of
A band performing at The Really Big Show. Photograph by Ray Bosley. Courtesy of

Another musical event coming up is PJ Olsson’s Rock Camp (for more info, click here). This is a camp for students, ages 11-20, to get some intensive and awesome mentoring in playing instruments, singing, performing, setting up, and controlling the performances. During the two week camp, students develop their skills and come together as bands and groups. They create a set, practice and memorize their performance. At the end of the two weeks, the campers hold “The Really Big Show”, this year on Saturday, August 1.  For local young musicians, it is an incredible opportunity to learn, make new friends, and have a lot of fun. I have personally been to the final performance in the past; it is a great way to show support for these students and to get the chance to see some amazing young talent.

This weekend is the annual Strawberry Festival held in Chassell. The short drive is always worth it to see the parade, get some strawberry shortcake, or watch the Strawberry Festival queen pageant. At the peak of strawberry season, the Copper Country Strawberry Festival gets the community out and about to enjoy some of the awesome things (and one of my personal favorites) about living here . The strawberries are fresh picked from local farms, most of which provide picked strawberries as well as pick your own services. If you are interested in learning more about the Strawberry Fest or any of the berry farms, check out their website here.

Summer Youth Programs (SYP) are an amazing way for middle and high school students to experience different fields at Michigan Tech. Many of the students that participate in these programs end up coming to school full time at Michigan Tech (I joined those ranks when I started college). There are many options for SYP, for example students can see what it would be like to be a civil engineer, get hands on experience in a blacksmith shop or adventure through the Keweenaw on hikes. Needless to say, it is a great program for students who aren’t quite sure what they want to do yet, where they can try out majors and career paths as middle and high school students. For those students who decide on  Michigan Tech when they start college, the Center for Pre-College Outreach hires students to work as counselors, providing another great opportunity to get involved.

If you have any questions about what I have discussed here, any other events going on in the Keweenaw, or just in general, feel free to email me at

Have a good week!


Hello, Parents!

As Track B for summer classes begins and everyone is starting to get into the dog days of summer, I am getting started at the new ParentNet writer! My name is Erica LeClaire and I will be taking over for Valerie as she begins her journey after undergrad. She has been an awesome writer for ParentNet, a great student, and a perfect example of how one can succeed in college. I’m hoping that she trained me well to take over her position and that I’ll be able to continue her high level of work for my tenure. I want to wish her good luck as she sets off for graduate school.

With that, I will let you know some more about me. I am a local student here at Michigan Tech going into my third year. Through elementary school, I lived in Livonia, outside of Detroit. Both of my parents are from the Keweenaw, so they decided to move back and we’ve been here ever since! Growing up here, you get a new appreciation for the outdoor activities, the history, and the heritage of this beautiful place. Partially because of my appreciation of those things, I decided to pursue a more non traditional major at MTU and am in the history program.

In addition to studying and classes and all of those parts of college I am involved in some extracurriculars  as well. I am an active member of the Alpha Gamma Delta Women’s Fraternity and I’m the current president of the Anthropology club. Between these organizations, I get to have some pretty diverse experiences and met many different people on campus and in the community. As a part of Greek life at Michigan Tech, not only have I gained an invaluable network of people, but I have been able to find a place that I can lean on for help, trust with anything, and, as our motto states, live with purpose. Though it isn’t for everyone, I found my niche in Greek Life and have enjoyed my experience greatly. Anthropology club, on the other hand, connects me and other Social Sciences majors (or just people interested in it) with each other, our professors, and the greater Social Sciences community.

This is me at Hungarian Falls, a local favorite spot for hiking, snowshoeing, pictures and other things.

With the experience of being a commuter student, it was very important for me to get involved on campus. I have seen people fall on all different sides of the spectrum, from being super involved to not participating in campus life at all. When you don’t live in the dorms it is more challenging to decide to make the conscience effort to go to campus and meet other people, become part of an organization, or whatever it might be. Because of my interest in the lives of commuter students here at MTU, I took over the Commuter Assistant position and have been doing that for the past year. I am a resource for those students to get involved on campus, meet each other, and hopefully gain some new experiences in the campus community.

Working in another integral part of my life. Currently, I am a student security clerk with Public Safety and Police Services, while also working with the Wahtera Center for Student Success for ParentNet and as Commuter Assistant. I’ve mentioned what I do for the Wahtera Center, but as a student security clerk I am involved on campus in an entirely different way. For this job, I walk through campus, meet and interact with undergrad and graduate students, usually open/close a lot of doors.

Another for me that is very important is being involved with the community and volunteering within it. Being part of a sorority helps with becoming more involved in local and national philanthropic endeavors, we work with a local group that provides food for low income children outside of school and we also raise money for juvenile diabetes research and awareness. Recently, I have participated in the local Relay for Life in Houghton and the BridgeFeast fundraiser for the local Rotary.

I would like to thank you all for reading my post. I look forward to getting to share the happenings of Houghton and Michigan Tech throughout the year and hope that you gain something from it. I would once again like to recognize Valerie Taglione and thank her for everything she has done for me, ParentNet, and the university. If anyone has any questions, comments, or would just like to find out more about any of this, you can email me at


Fall in the Copper Country

Hello again, Parents!

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful week! As I’m sure you’ve noticed in each of your hometowns, fall is here and is in full swing. Fall is such a

A view of the fall colors. Photo courtesy of David Clark Photography.
A view of the fall colors from Hancock. Photo courtesy of David Clark Photography.

beautiful time in Houghton; the leaves are changing, the air is crisp, and Halloween decorations are making their way onto local doorsteps. Although the leaves have been a bit late to turn this year, the colors are now starting to come out and it’s definitely been worth the wait! The fall color tours are starting up as people from all over come and take rides up the chairlift at Mont Ripley to get a gorgeous view of the town and the vibrancy of the changing colors. In addition to this festive event, the annual Copper Country Color Tour sponsored by the Michigan Tech Cycling club took place on September 28, where cycling enthusiasts could choose to bike a 50 km, 100 km, or even 200 km route around the lively Keweenaw Peninsula! Every year this event takes place during the peak of the color season so cyclists are able to see the beauty that the fall season brings to the Keweenaw. This year, the Copper Country Color Tour was quite successful as it celebrated its 40th year with a multitude of students and community participants!

Fall also signifies another special event for the area: Family Weekend! Family Weekend is an exciting time where parents and family are welcomed to the campus for a weekend filled with fun activities to participate in with their Tech student. This year, Family Weekend will take place on Friday, October 11 and continue through Sunday, October 13. During Family Weekend, the campus is open for families to explore campus and engage in some exciting adventures including tours of local attractions such as the Quincy Mine, the Sturgeon River, and the Chair Lift Color Tour; varsity athletic games in volleyball,  soccer, and football, the high ropes course challenge, and the Portage Lake Sunset Cruise! Family Weekend is great opportunity to both visit your hard-working student and to get to know the Keweenaw a little bit better. For more information on Family Weekend, please visit the website here.

In addition to the events going on around campus, the Keweenaw also has some autumn festivities going on in the area.  Like Mont Ripley, Mount Bohemia  is also having fall color lift rides on Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13 from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM.  Now residents and tourists alike can explore the vibrant colors of the Keweenaw.

The Annual Fall Festival sponsored by the St. Paul the Apostle church in Calumet took place from Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 6 and included activities such as bingo, Sunday Mass with polka music, ethnic food booths, a bake sale, and raffles.

The start of the Gratiot River North trail ran in the Fall Color Classic. Photo courtesy of
The start of the Gratiot River North trail ran in the Fall Color Classic. Photo courtesy of

The Fall Color Classic trail run also took place on Saturday, October 5 at 10:00 am. Residents were welcome to participate in an 8 km trail walk/run through the North Woods beside the vibrant shoreline of Lake Superior. Sponsored by the North Woods Conservatory, all of the proceeds of this event go towards Seven Mile Point and the Save the Keweenaw Beaches effort.

That’s all for this week! I hope fall is as festive and celebrated in each of your homes as it is here. Have an enjoyable week!


Jam-packed June

June is always one of my favorite months of the year. Not only is it my birthday month, but it’s also filled with a lot of awesome events in the Houghton area! For students staying in the area for the summer, I highly recommend that they check out some of the traditions of the Houghton-Hancock community by attending some of the most exciting summer events.

SFF-Logo-2009Seafood Fest
Coming up on June 13–15, the annual Seafood Fest is hosted by the Houghton Rotary Club. The main attraction, of course, is the fresh seafood, like lobster, crab, shrimp, and an assortment of Great Lakes catches. However, there is also live music and a variety of local vendors and activities set up along the Portage Canal. This is a great family-friendly event that is always well-attended and never disappoints. It acts a very successful fundraiser for local charities and international projects as well. I’ve had a great time at Seafood Fest in past years, and I encourage your student to attend!

FinnFest USA
A truly international experience, FinnFest offers a chance to learn about Finnish culture from those who know it best. Hancock will welcome some visitors from Finland who will provide a cultural exchange with festival attendees. There are speakers, arts presentations, music, and many cultural demonstrations and seminars. This is the 30th anniversary of FinnFest USA, so it’s bound to be a special and memorable event!

The Portage Lift Bridge – photo courtesy of the Michigan Tech Department of Engineering

Bridgefest was originally organized to celebrate the anniversary of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, which officially opened in 1959. To this day, the lift bridge links the Houghton and Hancock communities, and offers a vital link between the northern Keweenaw Peninsula and the rest of the Upper Peninsula. The weekend celebration includes outdoor concerts, contests, boat tours, sporting events, and the annual Bridgefest parade and Jon Davis Memorial Fireworks. Exhibits from local artists and plenty of snack carts from local vendors will be set up along the waterfront. This event is a community favorite, so your student definitely doesn’t want to miss out!

All of these festivals and events are unique to the Houghton and Hancock area, and they are a great way to really connect with the local community. For me, attending the local events really made me feel at home in the area and like I was a part of the community. Additionally, many parts of these events are free, so it’s a great way for college students to get out and enjoy the area without having to break the bank! I hope that you will encourage your students to explore these events and all of the great opportunities that the Houghton-Hancock area offers during the summer months.


Summer Youth Programs


Though the weather has once again taken a turn for the worse, summer is technically in full swing at Michigan Tech. Even though campus is a bit quieter during the summer months with many students away, it is still a busy time behind the scenes. Not only are Track A summer courses underway, but many departments around campus are preparing for a variety of summer programs and events.

Summer Youth Programs (SYP)

Summer Youth Programs are a popular and fun series of explorations that are geared toward high school and middle school students. There are three types of programs available.

Mind Trekkers Summer Camps are aimed at students who are in grades 6–8, and are hands-on with plenty of activities. They allow students to explore the Keweenaw, learn about basic laboratory techniques, and use some of the latest computer software.

Pre-college Explorations are for students in grades 9–11 and offer the chance to experience what college might be like without worrying about assignments and grades. They allow students to explore and get involved with different areas of engineering, science, and computer programming.

Finally, Competitive Scholarship programs offer highly-competitive scholarships to talented 9–11 grade students. They allow students to immerse themselves in a specific area of science or engineering. All of these programs focus on teamwork, networking with professionals working in the field, and learning how to be a successful college student.

From forensics and computer programming to wolf/moose tracking and robotics, there is a wide variety of courses to fit the interests of any student.

All of these programs last for one week and take place at the end of June and throughout July. There is a complete schedule for all of the programs and their important dates online. In addition to being an excellent introduction to college life, these explorations are a great way for students to meet other motivated students with similar interests from around the world. Students get the chance to live in the Michigan Tech residence halls with a roommate of the same age and gender.

Student Staff

Camps are run with the assistance of student staff members who work as activity and residence counselors. Activity counselors plan fun and engaging evening activities and games for students when they are not taking part in their exploration activities. These can include trips to the beach, card games, or many outdoor games. Residence counselors are there to supervise students when they are in their rooms and at meal times. The residence counselors live in the halls with the participants, with approximately ten students to each residence counselor. Residence counselors hold meetings each night to let participants know about the activities that are coming up the next day.