We’ve had a whirlwind few days as a crew here, working on canoe flipping, knots, our menu, route plan, stoves, and our first portage. And if that isn’t enough to wear a crew out, I don’t know what will! Although the last few days have left even my head spinning, I’ve been very happy with the can do attitude our crew has. I’ve thrown a lot at them and they have done a great job keeping up and putting in solid effort. Our canoe flipping is really coming along, and our first portage yesterday went extremely well. The crew set a goal to have everyone portage the canoe to the tennis courts (a distance of 0.25 miles) and everyone finished this and made it look easy! To celebrate our first portage, we took out the stoves we will occasionally use on trail and made some voyageur hot chocolate. It was a fun treat on a cold day!

After this, we pulled out our maps and started planning our route.  We got acquainted with the basic features of our maps and learned how to spot rapids on a river and tell the distance of a portage or paddle. Additionally, we introduced the UTM system, which is analogous to latitude and longitude and will help us locate exactly where we are on a map, within 10-100 meters. Fred stopped by our meeting and helped us find the Obukwin portages, which we will be doing our first day on trail. He also pointed out a few good cliff jumping spots and helped us picture what we could accomplish in a day. Our goal is to finish the Obukwin portages on the first day of trail and camp on Obukwin lake. These are notoriously difficult portages, and we are setting the bar high with this goal, but with enough practice portaging pre-trip we hope to be able to make it through in one day! We are looking forward to planning the rest of our route in the meetings to come!

Today is our well-deserved day off, and I hope everyone is able to catch up on sleep and spend a little time relaxing. We will learn our paddle strokes tomorrow night and hopefully get out on the water for our first paddle!

Parents, I look forward to meeting you next week at our parent meeting, Wednesday May 24th at 7 pm! Feel free to contact either me or our crew coordinator, Mary Doble with any questions.