One Last Hoorah!

Hello Everyone!

The crew has been very busy the last couple weeks! Probably the busiest anyone has ever been in a long time. We got a lot of necessary preparations done for the trip in such a short amount of time. 

About a week ago, we had Food Packing day, Beef Jerky day, and Hudson Bay Bread Baking day. Food packing day, the crew dressed up as duck duck gray duck, and all of my little ducklings were running around packing all of the food we needed for trail. Beef jerky day, the crew cut their own jerky and put it in the homemade Voyageur marinade for flavor. It went on the dehydrator after it was done soaking. Then the next day we had Hudson bay bread baking day. We made our Bay Bread, Hot Chocolate, Bannock, and Hamburger. The crew experimented with different flavors on the bay bread and hamburger. I think the crew and myself is looking forward to the variety of tastes we will have up in Canada!

Then we had crew olympics. All of the crews competed in a paddling race, putting up a quality tarp, packing a kettle pack, and portaging. It was a lot of fun!

Ditty bag day was last Sunday. The girls learned how to sew their own ditty bags they will be using on trail. Thanks to everyone who let us use sewing machines and shared their knowledge and expertise!! It was so helpful and made everything go very smoothly!! 

The next day we learned about whitewater, and went to Watab Park to look at a smaller scale of whitewater. The crew learned how to orient a map and how to use a compass in case of a bush crash where we would have to make our own trail up there. I also taught the girls how to set up our tents. On Tuesday, we went for a long paddle, all the way to Little Rock Lake. The girls learned a lot and are doing great with skills!

The last thing we did was pack EVERYTHING. Food packs, personal packs, kettle packs, tents, resupply boxes, you name it. The crew fit everything we will be using for a month in one truck! After our two packing days, I think the girls realize this is it and we are gonna be gone in a few short days!

Thank you to all the parents who have helped in any way possible! Whether it was bringing/making lunches, letting us use your home, sewing expertise, crew coordinators, varnishing paddles, and anything else that helped out the crew. We all appreciate everything done to help us have a good experience in Canada.

Thanks for everyone's hard work!!!

Megan

Finally on the water again!

Hello everyone!

We have been busy refining our skills! The girls are learning more and more everyday and that is great to see!

Last Wednesday, we were finally able to get on the water! We learned another stroke called the C-stroke, and also worked on our J-stroke. The girls were really getting the hang of paddling. The same day we went over how to start the stoves.  They are nice to know how to use in case of a rainy trip.

Tonight, we went paddling again. The crew learned how to T-rescue, just in case a canoe would dump in the middle of a lake. This rescue allows another canoe to safely get the canoe that tipped over back in the water with no water in the canoe. We also learned how to J-lean. The object of the "game" was to lean the canoe to fill it with water, but without tipping the canoe. Using a high and low brace with the paddle helped the girls not tip. It was a windy day to paddle but we showed the wind who was boss. 

To end the night, Fred came to take a look at our route. He gave us some tips and suggestions to help better our route. We will be making a few minor changes to the route. The girls really enjoyed all the input he had!

14 days till trail!

Megan

 

Rain Delays x2

Hi again,

The storm rolled in again and kept us off the water for the second day in a row. We needed to plan our route sooner or later, so today seemed like the perfect day. 

Once again, we got all the ideas flowing. Deciding on what big name portages to accomplish, what lakes paddle across, what rivers to shoot some whitewater and so on. The girls plan on doing a night paddle, some cliff jumping, pictographs, and 4th of July Falls. Excitement was in the air and everyone was really happy at the end of the night! 

I am really pleased on how every is coming together!

Thanks for all the hard work!

Megan

 

Rain Delays...

Hi Everyone!

We had a meeting yesterday and we were all excited to paddle. We got done with our dry land paddling and were about to get canoes in the water when the clouds starting forming. The thunder and lightening kept us off the water for the evening but everyone was very flexible. 

Instead, I taught the girls how to set up a tarp. Our knots came in handy when in the rain! We also learned how to pack a kettle pack. This is a useful skill since we will be packing and unpacking it at least twice a day. The last thing we did was learn a few things about maps. The crew learned how to find UTMs, which are like coordinates, and all the different symbols a map uses to define the lay of the land. They also got ideas flowing for planning the route! 

The crew is working really well as a team!

Guide,

Megan

 

First Paddle!

Hello Everyone!

Tonight about half of the girls came out for their first time paddling. We learned a few different strokes. The first one was the power stroke, which is the main one. The second one was the draw stroke. The final stroke we learned was the J-stroke, which is used for steering the canoe. The strokes were taught on dry land, then on the dock with our paddle in the water but no canoe, and then finally we took the canoes out. It was a beautiful day on the water and the girls did great! 

To end the night, we went for a little swim. It was very refreshing after a hot day. 

Pleased with our progress,

Megan

Boots, Portaging, Menu, and Dehydrating... oh my

Hi Everyone!

We have had some very productive meetings this week! The girls are learning so much and are catching on really fast which is great!

On Tuesday we did our first portage. Learning to balance the canoe can be challenging but everyone got the hang of it pretty good. With that, the girls practiced their flipping skills. They also started on planning their menu for trail. Lots of excitement and good ideas floating around for eating trail meals!

Today, we started our meeting at the boot shack and everyone got a pair of boots, socks, laces, and mink oil. Then we went to our dehydrating site and put pears on for our first fruit. The girls learned how to tie bags correctly and how to dehydrate fruits and veggies properly. There is a rotation set up for checking the dehydrator so everyone will be putting in just about the same amount of time. They also completed their menu order and got personal equipment. 

Everyone is doing a great job at staying busy during these meetings. Canada will be here before we know it!

Guide Megan

 

Starting with a Bang

Hi Everyone!

We have been busy this past week! The first meeting was last Wednesday at basecamp. We did a map activity where the girls worked together to figure out how to put the maps together. They got a good system down, but had to have a little help to figure out the correct way. Now, they will be putting maps  together in no time! I also taught them three knots that we will use up in Canada.

On Monday, we went through personal equipment and did a savers run. I would say everyone had a pretty successful trip with lots of crazy clothes. 

Today, I taught the girls how to flip a canoe. It is a working progress, but for everyone's first time they did great! Girl's might be coming home with a few bruises but canoes tend to have the effect:) We also learned one more knot today. 

Next week should be another great week to continue learning a variety of skills!

32 days until we are off into the wilderness.

Keep up the good work,

Megan

Let the Adventure Begin

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the Ackerman Crew Blog of 2018! It finally looks like the weather is warming up, and the busy summer will be right around the corner. I am looking forward to leading my very own group of girls on a life changing experience.

To start off, I will tell you a little about myself. I am Megan Ackerman. I grew up on a farm in Sauk Rapids. I am currently attending Bemidji State University obtaining my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This will be my fourth year involved with Les Voyageurs and my second time guiding. My first trip was in 2015, I did a Far North trip the year after, and I guided with Hannah Windschitl in 2017. This program has impacted my life greatly, and I am privileged to experience another trip with your daughters.

In addition, this page along with the crew calendar and photos, will keep everyone updated with various information and the progress the crew is making throughout the summer. I look forward to our first crew meeting on the 21st with the girls. I am excited for the upcoming parent meeting on the 22nd at 6 pm and hope to meet everyone!

Don’t hesitate to contact me if there are any questions or concerns!

With great excitement,

Megan