Route Planning and Ditty Bag Day!

Hey Everyone!

 

This past Thursday and Friday we had very eventful meetings! To start out on Thursday, we went for a portage! The last time the girls portaged was at the Crew Olympics, so for our meeting, we had the girls go farther than they had gone before. They all did an excellent job with it and impressed both me and Nicole for getting through it.

After the portage, we went upstairs and had the girls made a list of attributes they think a voyageur should have. This was a great exercise for the girls to set goals for themselves and their crewmates. Once we finished with that, we went right into route planning. Kayla Fritz is our Maps/Route manager so she led the conversations and decisions made with the girls regarding where we wanted to go and what we want to include. By the end of our meeting, all of the girls were getting excited about our route and leaving for our trip!

The next morning we all headed out to Kimball to Steve Merten’s office space to have our Ditty Bag Day! Thanks to our gracious volunteers Shirley Janu, Mary Januschka, Kris Tadych, Ruth Larson, and Janel Honer for sharing their skills and sewing machines! The girls got to sew together their ditty bags that hold their smaller items in their personal packs like headlamps, hair brushes, journals and much more. The girls also sewed together their paddle bags which hold their paddle for the bus ride up to Canada to prevent them from getting scratched. It was a very successful day that went very quickly due to the girl’s hard work and focus on their tasks!

Thanks to all who helped us have another successful week of preparation!

Only 24 more days till we leave!

Your Guides,

Sara and Nicole

 

Boots :)

Hey everybody!

To start out our week, we went to The Bootshack and got our boots for the trip. We will wear these boots everyday when we are traveling. Along with our boots, we also got multiple pairs of socks, laces, and mink oil to put on our boots. It was fun seeing everyone with their boots and it was just another step that made us even more excited for our upcoming adventure. :)

Yesterday, we had another crew meeting at Base Camp. During our meeting we spent a lot of time on the water working on paddling, T rescues, and J leaning. A “T rescue” is when one canoe rescues a different canoe that flipped in the water. The canoe that is doing the rescuing, grabs the flipped canoe out of the water and gets it in the correct position for the paddlers to get back in it. The other activity that we did was J leaning, this is when the paddlers try to fill up their canoe with water so that it swamps without them tipping. This helps show the control that the paddlers can have over the canoe, it teaches a lot about balance as well. The girls were having a great time trying these activities and it seemed like there was constant laughter last night! At the end of our meeting, we put together the rest of the food that we didn’t get at Food Packing Day. We also helped put together the fungal kits that everyone will take on trail. Just a reminder that we have a meeting Thursday night and then Ditty Bag Day on Friday morning! Only 29 days until we leave!!

Your Guides,

Nicole and Sara

Dehydrating and Crew Olympics

Hi everyone!

It has been a busy week with many fun events where we continued to learn new skills and improve on the ones that we have learned so far. This week has also been full of fun times hanging out with the crew! On Thursday, we started out at the Januschka’s house where we setup our dehydrating site. We went over how the dehydrating process works by starting with our peaches. We strained them, rinsed them off, dried them, cut them, then put them on the trays to go into the dehydrator. We cruised through the six cans of peaches and had a good time listening to some country music while we were doing it. The girls have been checking in on the food over the past 24 hours and they have most of them bagged by now. Next up, we will be dehydrating our pears and pineapple. Meg, our dehydrating manager, put together a schedule for the girls to follow that rotates who is checking on the food in the dehydrator so that the work is distributed evenly throughout the crew.

After we had put all the peaches in the dehydrator, some of us headed back to base camp to work on various skills before Crew Olympics. While we were there, the girls set up a tarp on their own and did a great job! We also went paddling for a while and everyone’s strokes looked amazing for it only being their second time paddling. We were very impressed with their paddling skills, especially the use of their J strokes.

Today, we had Crew Olympics where all the crews competed against each other in four different categories that included portaging, paddling, packing a kettle pack, and setting up a tarp. The girls did an awesome job throughout the day! They were the only crew that didn’t have to redo their tarp during the competition and people were very impressed with their paddling skills considering they had only been on the water one or two times. Although we didn’t win, we are still super proud of the girls and the skills that they showed today! :) We can’t wait to keep refining their skills and learning new ones before we leave for trail. Only 34 days before we leave!! Have a great weekend everyone.

Your Guides,

Nicole and Sara

Paddling and Food Packing Day!

Hello all!

Nicole and I would like to thank the parents for coming to the parent meeting this past Sunday, we enjoyed seeing everyone again. Your help throughout this summer means a lot to us and does not go unnoticed!

We had a busy past two days filled with new skills and fun times! First off, yesterday, the weather finally permitted us to go paddling on the water for the first time. The girls had fun putting the strokes that we learned on land to action in the water. Everyone got a chance to practice both stern and bow strokes so the girls could get a proper introduction into the dynamics of how tandem canoeing works. Everyone had smiles on their faces, especially when learning how to gunwale walk, which is a technique used to switch bow and stern paddlers.

Later on, the girls got a brief run through of how to set up a tarp. At Crew Olympics this Friday, the girls will be judged on their ability to set up a tarp so Nicole and I wanted to show them the correct and most efficient way to do it.

After our meeting, the girls ran to Walmart to make their costumes for food packing day! Our theme/costumes were “Fruit Ninja”, so the girls dressed up as various fruits and the guides dressed up as ninjas.

Overall, today went really well! We have a good chunk of the food we are taking on our trip double bagged and ready to be packed. The girls had a lot of food to bag up, but they managed to get it all done efficiently while still having fun and sharing laughs along the way.

Your Guides,

Sara and Nicole

Paddling, Portaging, and Knots...Oh My!

Hey everyone!

Our last two meetings were full of learning new skills and the girls did awesome! On Monday night, we started out by learning paddling basics on land which included power strokes, j strokes, c strokes, draws, and cross draws. Along with learning the different motions for the strokes, the girls were taught how each stroke moves the canoe. After paddling basics, we started to flip canoes and during the middle of this, it started to rain. The girls were such troopers and wanted to stay in the rain to practice flipping when the canoe was wet which was very impressive! Because of the storms, we moved onto learning how to tie some knots. These knots included the square knot, the bowlin, the double-half hitch, and the taut line. Again, the girls did a great job with this skill.

On Tuesday night, we started out our meeting by reviewing the knots that we learned at our last meeting. Everyone remembered how to tie them and what they are used for. After practicing for a little while, we taught the girls how to pack the kettle pack. The kettle pack is one of the large red packs that we bring on the trip and it holds a lot of our equipment like cooking utensils, pots, stoves, a grill, an oven, and more. Sara and I were very impressed with the girl’s first time getting it packed, it looked great! To end our meeting, we worked on flipping and portaging. The girls had a pretty long first portage but they did awesome! They are all excited to continue working on both flipping and portaging in the future. With every meeting, we are becoming more prepared for crew olympics!

Just a reminder that we have our parent meeting this Sunday, June 3rd at 7:00 pm. We are excited to see you all there. Thanks!

Your Guides,

Nicole and Sara

Food, Food, Food!

Hello all!

 

Tonight our meeting consisted of talking through our crew goals and objectives for the trip followed by menu planning. To talk about our crew goals for the trip, the girls anonymously wrote down what their crew goals and personal goals were. Then Sara and I said the crew goals out loud so that everyone could hear the different thoughts and perspectives. The girls then got to keep their personal goals for themselves to reflect on before we leave.  This was a cool activity since we got to hear what everyone wanted out of their trip and what they hope to accomplish for our crew. This was a good lead into talking about different parts that can be included in a Voyageurs trip. These include whitewater, bush crashing, cliff jumping, and more. The girls were super excited to hear about these different options and are looking forward to our next route planning meeting to put those ideas onto paper.

For the second half of the meeting, the girls planned out the menu for the entire trip. The food manager, Danyelle, helped organize everything and get our orders in at Base Camp. It was exciting for the girls to see all the options on the menu and to talk about the variety of meals we make on trail. Overall, it was a great meeting and we are super excited about our upcoming meetings. We are having a bunch of fun with our crew and can’t wait to grow even closer before our trip.

Your Guides,

Nicole and Sara

 

Canoe Flipping!

Hello all!

First off, Nicole and I would like to thank the Januschka’s for being our crew coordinators and for helping plan when we will be having our parent meeting. This will be on Sunday, June 3 at 7:00 pm at Base Camp. The Januschka’s sent out an email earlier this week with more information so be sure to check your email and please send a reply email letting us know if you are able to go (there has to be at least 1 parent of each girl at the meeting, 2 parents are preferred).

To begin our meeting, the girls were given their pre-trip jobs which will give them different leadership positions before we head off on trail. These jobs include food manager, special events manager, dehydrating manager, contact/meeting manager, skills manager, maps manager and equipment manager.

After that, we gave the girls a stack of maps and let them figure out how to correctly align them. This was quite challenging at first but with teamwork, the girls got all of the maps to fit together. While they were doing this, they used a different method that took more time so, once they were done, we taught them an easier way to put the maps together.

Then we moved out to the canoe racks to teach the girls the different parts of the canoe. We also taught them how to properly flip a canoe onto their shoulders for portaging. This was broken down into multiple steps that helped the girls feel comfortable leading up to actually putting the canoe on their shoulders. Everyone did a great job with these steps and flipping overall. We were really impressed and we are excited to work on it more in the future too!

Only 49 more days until we leave!

Your Guides,

Sara and Nicole

 

Savers Trip!

Hello again!

Tonight our crew went to Savers to shop for some of our trail clothes! While we were there we were looking for long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, trail pants, camp pants, running shorts, and windbreakers. Since we went there fairly early, there were still a lot of options and everyone was able to find some of the clothes that they needed. All the girls helped each other find different options and we could tell that the excitement was building as they got to pick out the clothes they will wear every day on trail. Overall, it was a very successful shopping trip! We were sad that Emma and Danyelle couldn’t join us tonight but it will be fun to help them find their trail clothes in the near future too. Our next crew meeting will be a week from today (Tuesday, May 22) at 6:30 pm at Base Camp. We are super excited about the upcoming meetings and for the girls to learn some new skills. Also, just a reminder that this Saturday, May 19 is Base Camp clean-up day, we would love to see everyone there.

Your Guides,

Nicole and Sara

First Meeting at Basecamp!

Tonight was the night, the first official meeting at Basecamp!

We started off our meeting by going on a tour of Basecamp and all of its glory. We walked down the trail to the river and I (Sara) got to show the girls all of the different ways we keep basecamp clean because this will be our second home this summer!

After the tour, we rolled up our sleeves and started to sand our paddles to get them ready to paint. We were aided by our wonderful Basecamp Manager, Greta Trigg, where we shared what we were thinking of putting on our paddles and some laughs along the way as well.

We then started to go over the equipment list and the girls got to try on different sizes of gear they can get through LVI. We also got to facetime Nicole while we were doing this, so she could be a part of our meeting, even though she is in the Twin Cities! Remember to submit your equipment sheets by Friday, May 4th either on an Excel Spreadsheet or a Google Docs form!

After the meeting tonight, Nicole and I can tell we have an incredible group of girls and we cannot wait for our summer together to start!

Lastly parents, if you have any questions do not be afraid to text, call, or email us!

Sara’s phone: 507-456-1401

    Email: sarahiggins22@hotmail.com

Nicole’s phone: 320-249-0180

    Email: nicoleprom99@gmail.com

Your Guides,

Sara and Nicole

 

Introductions

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to the Higgins and Prom blog for the summer of 2018! On this page, you will be able to find various information that will keep you updated on our crew throughout the summer. This will include a calendar where all of our scheduled meetings can be found, blog posts that summarize meetings and training that we have completed, and fun photos to show what we are learning before the trip. As summer starts approaching, we will be meeting more frequently to start preparations for our upcoming trip. We are both super excited to begin this adventure with you! But first, we would like to introduce ourselves.

To begin, I’m Nicole Prom. I am attending the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities and I am in my freshman year, soon to be sophomore, majoring in Biology. I went on my first Les Voyageurs trip in 2016 and this will be my first year guiding. I am super excited to have the opportunity to guide your girls on this amazing trip, and I can’t wait to begin!

And I’m Sara Higgins. I am a freshman at St. Cloud State University majoring in Biology with a minor in Communication Studies. This will be my third summer being apart of the Les Voyageurs program, starting with my first trip in 2016, my second year going on the Middle Track Far North trip in 2017, and now my first year guiding in 2018. I am so excited to have the opportunity to co-guide with Nicole and to be able to spend the summer doing what I love with your daughters!

Just a reminder, we have our first meeting on April 22nd at 11:00 am to introduce ourselves. The parent meeting will be that same day at 6:00 pm in the Cathedral High School Performing Arts Center. Please let us know if you have any questions. Our contact information can be found on our crew’s homepage. We look forward to meeting everyone!

With excitement,

Sara and Nicole