The Kids Are Alright

Hello everyone!

We have had a crazy week. Food packing on Tuesday, beef jerky on Wednesday, baking on Thursday, crew olympics on Friday, skills day on Saturday, potluck on Sunday, and ditty bag day today. The chaos is not quite finished. This final week before we depart will be another busy one. Tonight is the crew sleepover out at Basecamp. We started the evening with some friendly competition playing Spikeball (very nice picture will be uploaded tonight) followed by a little swim in the river, and currently a movie before bed.

As of now, we have most of our food all bagged up and ready to be packed, we still have a bit to dehydrate. We have all of our beef jerky done, bay bread, bannock, and hot chocolate made, ditty bags sewn, and have earned a place in a three-way tie for third in the crew olympics! We still have some skills to refine and packs to pack, but we are almost ready to hit the trail. The guys are really starting to come together as a crew and are working more efficient as a team. I am excited to see what they can do on our trip.

It was a pleasure to have all the parents out to Basecamp for the potluck and I hope that the guys were able to provide a little more insight into what we have been working on out here beyond what I can do through this blog.

We will have our equipment check day on Wednesday and our packing day on Thursday. Friday we will be paddling and portaging with loaded packs and then packing the bus on Saturday. Once the bus is all packed, the crew will have the rest of the day to themselves to spend with family and friends and then Sunday is when we start our journey.

 

Countdown: ~5 ish days

2 Weeks...

Hello Everyone!

We are approaching crunch time! Not to give it away too early in this post, but the countdown is now at two weeks... WOWZA!!! We still have so much work to do and are running low on time. Everyone, with the exception of Seth, is now done with school for the summer and I have now completed my guide, medical, and whitewater training. With schedules opening up, I will expect that the whole crew will be at the meetings and be there for the entirety of the meeting. The calendar is finalized and times are not likely to change, so please plan accordingly. We have some big days coming up that the entire crew needs present for (these have been scheduled for weeks so a work conflict or family visiting is not a valid excuse for being absent).

As of now we have learned how to flip a canoe, portage, paddle, tie knots, and read maps. We have also planned our menu, picked up our new boots, went thrift shopping for some trail clothes, started our dehydrating process, and drawn out the first half of our route. Today we will get a chance to refine our paddling skills (with the wind presenting an additional challenge), set up our tents, review knots, and finalize our route. There are plenty more things to learn before we hit the trail and I am excited to teach the crew!

As always, feel free to call, email, or text me with any questions or concerns.

Countdown: 14 days

Paddling/Dehydrating

Hello Parents and Participants!

The last week or so has gotten pretty busy with guide training and our medical course. With all of this going on, I will try my best to stay up to date with the blog and photo posts. The crew meetings will begin to run longer as the guys finish up school so we can get them as prepared for trail as possible.

We have had several meetings since my last post, and we have done some exciting things during our meetings. The guys got a chance to paddle out on the river, a big step in the pre-trip preparations. Paddling is a challenging skill to learn and can be frustrating when first starting. Sometimes you feel like you are doing the correct stroke, but the canoe doesn’t go where you, which can be a little discouraging. All of the guys had a good start and seemed to have the power and J-stroke down pretty well, but they were still having trouble keeping the boat straight. We will have plenty of time to practice paddling before we leave, but if they don’t quite master it before we leave, I am pretty confident that they will get it down before the end of the trip.

Yesterday, we started loading up the dehydrator, another very important part of our prep stage. This kicks off the time when the guys will be visiting the dehydrator site at odd hours to make sure that our food doesn’t get over done and that it gets properly bagged so that it doesn’t get moldy before we go on trail. Max, our crew’s dehydrating manager, will be taking on a lot of responsibility during this time to schedule people to check the food and keep track of what we have so far.

With these important things starting to happen, the crew is getting very close to leaving. I am looking forward to meeting more and more often and getting on trail soon. Keep your eyes on the crew calendar!

Countdown: 20 days

Menu Planning

Hello Everyone!

Yesterday was an important day for a couple reasons. Firstly, the crew was finally able to meet its newest member, Seth. The guys were very quick to get Seth involved in the meeting, which was the other important part of the meeting. We spent last night working through the menu for our trip. Charlie was named the food manager for our crew, taking on a great deal of responsibility. Any food related issues that we have are now a direct result of Charlie’s negligence, not mine. Of course this is not true, we will share the burden of any issues, but I’ll still blame him!

Going through the menu is a cool way to watch the guys interact and communicate with one another and also gets everyone excited for the trip. We walked through the different options for each meal and the guys gave each of their opinions on how much of each item they wanted to bring. Charlie was in charge of keeping the guys focused and the meeting moving forward and did an excellent job. The rest of the guys will have other jobs and responsibilities during the preparation phase. Menu planning is the first of the major meetings and their will be plenty more in the upcoming weeks. Keep an eye on the crew calendar and as always please feel free to ask any questions.

Also a big thank you to those of you who were able to make it out to the woods clean up this morning! It was awesome to see so many volunteers and a huge help.

Countdown: 28 Days!!!

Getting Our Feet Wet

Greetings Parents and Participants!

Today was a big day! We had most of the crew there and covered a lot of things. We started the day, as usual, with a portage. Today’s portage pushed the guys further than they have gone before  and gave the guys a chance to talk and bond through some minor burning in their shoulders, a proven path to friendship.

After the portage, the crew got their first lesson in paddling. It was nice to finally get in the water and get the crew working on their paddle strokes. Before we can get out on the water, I had the crew wading in the water practicing the power stroke and the J-stroke (new pictures coming soon!). Once the guys had the basics down they hopped in the the bow of the canoe and use each stroke while I held the the stern so they could get the feel of paddling in the canoe. For their first time, the guys looked pretty good!

After the paddling was finished, the guys learned about how to read UTMs on a map. UTM stands for Universal Transverse Mercator and are the standard coordinate system used by all of our maps that we will be bringing on our trip. UTMs read like a X-Y coordinate and will be used when we start planning our trip route next week. Like paddling, the guys got the hang of UTMs pretty quick and even succeeded in passing my UTM quiz.

Getting started on paddling and maps is getting me really excited for our trip! As school winds down, the meetings are going to get longer and more frequent. June 17th will be here before we know it!

Countdown: 31 Days!!!

A Flippin' Good Time!

Greetings!

Today was the first crew meeting with the whole crew present. It was awesome to see the guys interact and work together! Over the past week and a half, I have had only a few of the guys out to Basecamp at a time due to scheduling conflicts. They got the tour of Basecamp and learned how to flip the canoes, an invaluable skill for our trip.

Flipping the canoe can be an intimidating task when first setting out, but all of the guys were quick to learn. Everyone is able to flip the canoe onto their shoulders by themselves and today we completed our first portage (see the photos on our crew page). The guys could really feel a sense accomplishment burning in their shoulders.

After the portage, the guys learned some simple knots they will need for our trip. Definitely some room for improvement but for the first day they were doing pretty well. After the knots I showed the guys the equipment that I have brought on my trips so that they have an idea of what they need. The final activity of our meeting was the map activity. The crew was given a set of maps and I told them to lay them out in order. It took about 15-20 minutes until the crew figured out the key to reading the maps and another 10-15 minutes to organize them correctly. It is always interesting as a guide to see how the crew communicates with each other and works together to accomplish their goal.

Getting the full crew together for a good meeting got me really excited for this summer! Looking forward to continuing our preparations and spending time with the crew!

Countdown: 44 days!!!

Are you excited yet?!?

Hello Parents!

Thank you all for making it to the meeting last night! It was very nice to meet and speak with a few of you. For those of you who I didn’t get a chance to speak with, don’t worry! We will have a parent meeting sometime in May (an official date will be announced soon) where I will tell you more about myself and my plans for your sons this summer.

Until then, feel free to call, text or email me. My info is listed on our crew’s homepage.

We have a busy summer ahead of us and I appreciate the sacrifices you make and the support you give to our crew. This trip will benefit you through the growth and development of you sons and I am honored to be a part of that.

As my semester winds down in the next two weeks, I will be updating our calendar and taking up a majority of your sons’ time. Like Fred said, it will be exciting for you to catch glimpses of the work we do so keep an eye on this blog and the photos I post!

Thank you again for being present last night and let’s make this an amazing summer for everyone!

Countdown: 54 days!!

Welcome to the Crew!

Greetings Parents and Participants!

Looking outside it may not seem like it, but summer is just around the corner, and with it, a new adventure! I am excited and proud to be a part of this unique experience for your sons.

I am very eager to start meeting as a crew and preparing for our trip as soon as school is over. The summer will be busy and full of excitement and our trip will be here before we know it.

This will be my fifth year with the Les Voyageurs program and my second year as a guide. My first trip was in 2013, a Far North trip in 2015, and my first year guiding in 2016. After working as Basecamp Manager last summer, I am thrilled to be returning again as a guide.

I am currently a student at St. Cloud State University studying Business Economics finishing up my junior year. I am more than ready to trade my textbooks for a paddle as soon as the snow goes away.

Using the tools on the LVI website, such as this blog, the crew calendar and the photo posts, crew members and their parents will be able to follow along with the crew’s progress while we prepare for our trip. I will be posting on this blog a few times a week and keeping the crew calendar updated so that everyone can stay up to date on what we has been working on.

Sometime in the next two weeks or so, I will be creating a schedule for our pre-trip. As school finishes, our crew will begin meeting more frequently and begin learning and preparing for our trip. I am incredibly excited to begin our trip in the next few weeks! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free call or email me!

Countdown: 63 Days