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North Woods Sniff-athlon 2019!

  • Camp Warren 3726 Miller Trunk Road Eveleth, MN, 55734 United States (map)

Elite teams are invited to the North Woods
SNIFF-ATHLON at Camp Warren in Eveleth, MN.

Come test your nose work skills
in the rustic north woods of Minnesota!

The Sniff-athlon is a fun, challenging test of nose work skill, endurance, and spirit for the Elite teams looking to hone their skills and team work. These searches will be designed by Jeff McMahon, one of the original nose work competitors, instructors, certifying officials and judges of the sport. The Sniff-athlon will consist of 8-10 varied and unique search challenges over 2 half days and one full day. Target odors will be birch, anise and clove with any combinations of the three. There will be an end of day walk-through and debrief of the search area to help uncover the mysteries of success and failure in each search.

Word Origin and History for SNIFF-ATHLON
noun. first used in 2018 in Minnesota, from sniff (relating to nose work) + Greek athlon "contest, prize," of uncertain origin. A modern Nose Work event consisting of scent challenges to build endurance and test the nose work skills and spirit of you and your canine partner.

The Sniff-athlon will take place at Camp Warren, which is about a 3 hour drive from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Located on the shores of Half Moon Lake, near Eveleth, Minnesota; it is a YMCA camp that encompasses 480 acres of surrounding pine trees and lake shore. It was founded in 1927. Many of the cabins have been renovated in the past ten years. Click on the word "map" to go to Google Maps and see the precise location and to get directions.

Both on-site and off-site accommodations are available

On-Site accommodations will be available in the various cabins throughout the camp. There will be 2 to 3 people and their dogs in each cabin. The camp style cabins each have 5-9 bunk beds that accommodate 8-18 summer campers, along with a bathroom and shower. Each cabin also has a fireplace, and room enough for dog crates. Participants will need to provide their own bedding, sleeping bags, towels and linens. Dogs are to be crated in the cabins when unsupervised, or they can hang out in your car. (if you are ride sharing up to the camp, please indicate this on the registration form under comments) Meals are served family style at the Cub Lodge.

(may be adjusted as needed)

11:30am - - Check IN
12:30-1pm - - LUNCH
1:30-4:30pm - - Sniff-athlon Search 1 & 2
4:30-5:30 - - Debrief
5:30-6:30pm - - dinner
7pm - - Settle into cabins and hang out at Silha Lodge

8am - - breakfast
9:30-12pm - - Sniff-athlon Search 3 & 4
12:30-1:30pm - - lunch break
2-4:30pm - - Sniff-athlon Search 5 & 6
4:30-5:30 - - Debrief
5:30-6:30pm - - dinner break
7-8pm - - group conversations, discussion

8am - - breakfast
8:30-11:00am - - Sniff-athlon Search 7 & 8
11:00-12-30 - - Debrief & Awards
12:30-1pm - - LUNCH
1:30pm - - Sniff-athlon Teams check OUT


  • This event is open to dog & handler teams who have earned the NACSW Elite title or equivalent in another scent detection organization by July 31, 2019.

  • One dog per handler. If handler has two equally titled/qualified dogs, handler may choose to run both dogs split between the three days, and scores will be kept separate from all other team's scores. Two dogs per handler will only be allowed if the event does not fill with single dog/handler teams.

  • In the event there are remaining spots, this event will be opened up to additional qualified teams who may be close but have not yet earned their Elite title.



Jon Sarabia & Kristina Leipzig

Jon Sarabia combines an impressive background in K9 scent detection, including as a handler and trainer of K9s and K9 teams for Air Force and TSA, with a genuine love for the sport of nose work.

Kristina Leipzig has years of experience as a nose work handler, instructor and CO. Her handling experience has led her all the way to the Summit level with her dog, Kuma. Kristina's approach to instructing nose work is fueled by a genuine curiosity in the relationship between the visible behavior of our dogs and the invisible "behavior" of the odor.


ON-SITE: (includes Entry Fee, On Site Lodging & Meals )
Early Bird (before July 15, 2019): $450.00/handler & dog team
Regular (after July 14, 2019) : $500.00/handler & dog team

OFF-SITE (includes Entry Fee, with On Site Meals & Camp Fee - No Lodging)
Early Bird (before July 15, 2019): $350.00/handler & dog team**
Regular (after July 14, 2019) : $400.00/handler & dog team**

Early Bird Fee (before July 15, 2019) for each handler & dog team: $200.00**
Regular Fee (after July 14, 2019) for each handler & dog team: $250.00**

ON-SITE LODGING & MEALS: $250/person
LODGING for 2 nights and 3 days includes taxes, insurance and service fees. Two to three people and their dogs will be assigned to each cabin.
MEALS will be served family style in the main lodge. Menu modifications can be made for lactose intolerance, gluten free, vegan and vegetarian diets. Seven meals are included in the meal packet price.

OFF-SITE LODGING & MEALS: $375/person (approx.)
Off-site lodging is available at Super 8 Motel - ask for Camp Warren/The K9 Nose rate (approx. $98.50/night + tax. Payable to Super 8 Motel) The motel is 4.5 miles away from the camp, and we have a reserved block of rooms available through August 23, 2019. An On-site Meal and Camp Fee of $150.00/person will be added to the Entry Fee for competitors who are staying off-site.

**This price does not include lodging. If you are planning on Lodging off-site, please coordinate your lodging reservations directly with the Super 8 Motel or a hotel of your choice (the Motel 8 price is approximate and does not include tax and they are waiving the dog fee).


PLEASE NOTE: Currently, all spots have been filled. If you would like to be on the wait list, please fill out this form. If a spot opens up, you will be contacted ASAP.

Payment for both Step 1 & Step 2 must be received by August 2, 2019 to confirm and secure your spot. You may add both Step 1 & Step 2 to your cart and complete your registration in one transaction. Off-site Lodging will need to be directly paid to Super 8 Motel or the hotel of your choice.

Don't forget to click on the orange box with the word "cart" in the upper right corner of your browser to complete your check out process. You will receive a confirmation email shortly after completing your check out process.

Cancellations: Any cancellations made before August 1, 2019 will receive a refund minus a $50 cancellation fee. as long as your spot can be filled from the wait list. If your spot cannot be filled, then you will NOT receive a refund. Cancellations made after August 1, 2019 and before August 22, 2019, will receive a refund minus $150.00 cancellation fee, AS LONG AS YOUR SPOT CAN BE FILLED FROM THE WAIT LIST. IF YOUR SPOT CANNOT BE FILLED, THEN YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE YOUR MONEY BACK. Cancellations made after August 22, 2019 and before September 1, 2019, will receive a refund minus a $250.00 cancellation fee, AS LONG AS YOUR SPOT CAN BE FILLED FROM THE WAIT LIST. IF YOUR SPOT CANNOT BE FILLED, THEN YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE YOUR MONEY BACK. For cancellations after September 1, 2019 – NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED. No part of the fee will be refunded if this event cannot take place or be completed by reason of fire, civil disturbances, an Act of God, public emergency, or any other cause beyond the control of the event organizers.

Earlier Event: August 12
Nancy Reyes Seminars
Later Event: September 13
The Great Minnesota Sniff-Over