L-W Students Travel to Ontario Canada for Wilderness Camping
Monday, August 17, 2015

Lincoln-Way students gained wilderness leadership skills during a 10-day canoeing and camping trip to Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada.

The trip was led by Lincoln-Way teachers Betsy VandenBerg, Sarah Brady, and Mike Beckett.

Students paddled, portaged, and fished in one of the last pristine places on Earth, said VandenBerg. They experienced water so clean you can drink it straight from the lake, world-class fishing, wildlife watching and a lot of canoeing.

Students utilized a 36-foot "Montrealer" canoe, a replica of the big fur trade canoes used by the original voyageurs. After paddling to Voyageur Island, they were instructed in wilderness camping, canoeing, and safety.

Students then embarked on their week-long wilderness experience in the park where they paddled lakes and explored old graves and rock painting pictographs along paths which were once traveled by aboriginals and French-Canadian voyageurs.

The trip gives students a unique opportunity to gain real wilderness skills and develop life skills in decision making, problem solving, leadership and teamwork, VanderBerg said.
The trip takes students out from behind phones and computers and helps instill a deeper relationship with nature and greater self-confidence, VanderBerg said.

The wildlife was plentiful, with groups seeing beaver, loons, eagles, and even moose grazing along the shoreline. One group caught so many fish, they were able to eat fish at every dinner. The highlight of the trip for many of the students was the opportunity to jump off a 35 foot cliff.

Students who participated included Central student Cassie Machen, East students Janine Chiszar, Andrew Benzing, Addison Kraft, Andrew Georgakopoulos, Maria Conversa, Nick Decero and Emily Berndt; West students Grahm McClure, Katelyn Piwowar and Eric Zielinski.