Last Blog POST!

Hello for the last time!

What a crazy last week this has been! So many different preparations have happened and the excitement has continued to build. We leave TOMORROW and the adventure is calling our names!

Since crew olympics, the girls have been kept very busy with Voyageur tasks. To begin, this past week we learned about whitewater and how to shoot it. This was done in a classroom setting at basecamp and everyone really got to understanding the different skills they would need to perfect before we shot some rapids.

The next couple meetings were a whirlwind. The girls learned how to orient a map and how to get from one place to another without getting lost (which is sometimes referred to as "bush-crashing"). These skills will be really important going into the trip because the girls have chosen a difficult route with some great portages. 

The next two days were packing days. We started the first day off with ditty bag day at the Z2 factory. The girls had an awesome time learning how to sew their own ditty bags and had a lot of help from many people there. Thank you SO much to everyone who helped make that day possible, it went so smoothly and it wouldn't have been as great without you! After that, the Gans family was nice enough to let us use their house for the packing days, and I am so grateful! Our food and personal packs were loaded at their house with all of the necessities for the next 28 days. We also packed our resupply boxes and care packages. The excitement really set in when the packs were packed and everything was in my truck--this is really happening! 

The next day we cleaned out the dehydrator and the bus we will be taking up to Canada. The dehydrator was spotless and the Stiegel's house was cleaned, thank you to them for letting us use their space as well. 

Today we loaded all our packs and boxes onto the bus. We got that done in record time and now the girls are spending time with friends and family. I am so thankful for this summer and our incredible crew, this trip is going to be one for the books. 

Only 1 sleep until we are waving goodbye for 28 days!

For the last time and with lots of love,


Crew Olympics :)

Basecamp was busy yesterday!

Starting at 9 in the morning, all the crews were at basecamp and ready to compete against each other in the Crew Olympics. There were four different stations that everyone competed in. Packing the kettle pack, setting up a tarp, portaging, and paddling were all different things that the girls had to do during the day. Each girl was able to show off her incredible skills in every task that was presented in front of her. 

After a very serious dance off against the Rau crew, The Windschitl crew got 2nd! Everyone did an awesome job with all of the different skills during the day, and it was AWESOME to watch everyone succeed. Many people commented on how great our crew gets along and how awesome the girl's enthusiasm is. I was such a proud guide watching the girls have a great day. 

Only 8 days until we are sleeping under the Canadian stars :)


Food Packing and Beef Jerky Day!

What an awesome couple of days. 

On Tuesday we all met at Cathedral for food packing day. Abigail's light shined as she guided the crew through the day. Each girl got to bag some of the food that we are taking on the trip and everyone had a great time doing it. Thank you to the Hobday's for supplying us with a lunch from Noodles and Company, it was greatly appreciated! Lunch was a much needed break from the indoors and it was nice to go outside and relax. 

Wednesday was beef jerky day. All of the first session crews met at the Trigg's house and carved out all their beef jerky for the trip. The morning went by efficiently and very smoothly. Thanks to the Senchea family for bringing us some great Jimmy John's for lunch! It was an awesome ending to the morning. After that was over, the girls went right to the dehydrator to put the jerky on. They had a great time loading the trays, and hopefully after they all took a nap. 

After that we had our crew sleepover at basecamp! The night consisted of practicing the kettle pack, tying knots, tie dye, and lots of fun. The girls shared many laughs and great times together. We woke up at 5 this morning to go on a nice paddle before the day really started. As we were paddling out, the sun was rising and mist was coming off the water. It was a beautiful start to the morning. After that was over, the girls went to the dehydrator again to put more jerky on.

Only 10 days until the trip of a lifetime :)



What a WEEK!

It's me again :)

Just wanted to update everyone on how awesome our last couple meetings have been. Not only have we conquered baking day, paddled, and learned about the kettle pack, but we also finished our route! All of these things are adding up to be awesome experiences for everyone :)

To begin, we had our baking day yesterday. While there, we made our Bannock mix, Hot Chocolate Mix, baked our meat, and made our Hudson Bay Bread. It was a day filled with laughter and memories, and each girl was able to contribute their own individual skills that day! Thank you again to the Kosloski's for hosting, it is so appreciated. It was the perfect place to have our baking day!

Today we learned about the kettle pack and paddled some more. The kettle pack is our "kitchen" on trail. We keep all of our utensils and other necessities in that pack, and some would say it is the hardest to fit everything into. The girls packed a very impressive kettle pack on the first try, and it was great to see them all working together. 

Last but not least, we started and FINISHED our route. We have so many exciting things happening that it's hard to name them all! We are doing many hard portages, with a 5 kilometer bush crash that no one has ever done before. Each girl is ready for the challenge ahead and it is awesome seeing everyone so excited about it. We are also going to Fourth of July Falls and many other adventurous places. It was awesome to have everything figured out and have Fred look over our route. Our trip is really coming together and the girls are at the center of it.

Only 13 days until we are paddling into the Canadian Sunrise :)






Hello again! 

We had an awesome meeting the other day! Instead of meeting at basecamp like normal, we went out to Leah's house and started our dehydrator up! Our crew needs a lot of food dehydrated for our adventure ahead and it was awesome to start so soon! We have had pineapples and peaches on the dehydrator so far!

Along with that meeting, I also gave out the rest of the equipment that everyone ordered. It was like Christmas in the middle of May! Everyone was very excited to get their personal equipment and it made that meeting so much more exciting. 

We also had our parent meeting out at basecamp last night. It was great to finally meet everyone and to really start talking with all the parents! I would like to thank everyone so much for being so generous with their time, talent, and space. It's wonderful to have such support from so many individuals.

Only 17 days until we're having the best summer adventure :) 


Paddles and Tarps :)

Same day new blog post!

Today was another awesome day! All the girls who came had an awesome time setting up tarps and paddling for the second night in a row :)

To begin we had an incredible time setting up tarps for the first time! We finally learned all the knots to set up the perfect tarp. Every girl figured out all of the different aspects of a tarp and why we use them on trail. We raced against a "big storm" to practice setting up a tarp in some gusting wind. It was an awesome time trying to battle against time and the weather!

After that, we decided to go on a paddle. For some girls, this was the second night in a row, but for others, it was their first time in a canoe. They all had a terrific time and really impressed me with their different strokes and how to stay in a straight line. I was so proud by the end of the night!

I've had a great last couple of days and I cannot wait to continue to prepare for trail!

Only 23 days until we are putting up our tarps in Canada :)


First Paddle!

Hello again :)

Last night was an incredible meeting! All the girls that were present last night had a really great time and improved lots of skills. 

At the beginning of the meeting we reviewed knots. After we mastered tying the square knot, double half hitch, and taught line, we added the bowline into the mix. Each of these knots are essential parts of setting up a tarp and it was great to see the energy everyone had while forming each knot! 

After we had reviewed completely, we went out and paddled for the first time! I had originally planned paddling for tonight but since the forecast said thunderstorms, I thought we would dip our paddles in Wednesday! The girls all excelled at paddling for the first time, and it was some girls first time even in a canoe! It was an awesome time, and I hoped it made everyone as excited for the adventure ahead as it made me :)

I'll see everyone tonight!

Only 23 days until we explore a land untouched by man!! :)


Menu Planning and Knots, Knots, Knots :)

Hello Again!

To begin, I would like to thank the Van Erps for volunteering to be our crew coordinators. They have already helped with their time, skills, and friendly nature to make this trip better for everyone. With their help, we've gotten our parent meeting planned! At 8 pm on May 29th each parent should be at basecamp for an informational meeting about the summer ahead. This is a great opportunity to bring all the questions you have for me!

I would also like to thank everyone that came out to wood clearing day. It's a significant day every year for the Les Voyageur's program. Basecamp looks awesome and so does the surrounding woods!

We were a VERY busy crew last night! The girls were very ready to start planning food for our adventure. This meeting was very important. We figured out every meal and ingredient we wanted to bring with us for our expedition. Abigail was our menu and food manager, and she did a fantastic job with the menu sheet and keeping everyone on task! 

After that, the girls learned some awesome knots. The square knot, the double half hitch, and the taught line are all things that we will use almost daily on trail. Each and every girl at the meeting was able to excel at this skill and I was so impressed with their enthusiasm to learn about these knots! 

ONLY 25 days until the bus pulls away for the adventure of a lifetime. :) 

Your favorite,


Important Skills and Memories Made

Hello again! 

What a great meeting we had last night! 

The very first thing that happened when everyone arrived at basecamp was a portage. Portaging is a very important skill to possess during training and our 28 day adventure, and each girl is working on perfecting this skill. It was great to watch everyone cheer each other on as they took their first big steps with the canoe! 

After that, all the girls learned some paddle strokes. We didn't go into the water because it is better to learn on land and perfect that skill before you even step foot in a canoe. We practiced the power stroke, the J-stroke, and the draw. The power stroke is to move the canoe forward, the J-stroke is to turn the canoe so that it stays in a straight line, and the draw is to move the canoe quickly sideways in case of something ahead. Everyone will be able to perform each of these maneuvers before we leave for Canada! This activity made me SO excited for getting in the water and paddling.

After that, we made a dessert that we will be bringing on trail. Oreo no-bake is consistently a favorite of many, so I decided the girls might want to try it! We sat in a circle and chatted about the upcoming trip, each other's days, and really just got to know each other. We are becoming closer after each meeting we have, and its so awesome to watch and be a part of. 

Thank you for everything, I am so excited for our next meeting and what is to come!

Only 37 days until we are enjoying the simplicity in Canada :-) 


Flipping Awesome!

Hello again!

What a night! This crew continues to impress me during every meeting we have together, I couldn't be more proud of them! :-D

The very first thing we did at basecamp this evening was sand paddles. We need to make sure paddles are ready to be painted by some awesome artists, and sanding is the first step. Each girl is responsible for their own paddle sanding and painting, and it's an exciting way to express yourself through artwork throughout the trip. The girls should be coming up with some pretty spectacular ideas for their paddle art!

The second thing we did during this meeting was learn how to flip canoes. It was awesome to see how persistent everyone was and how hard everyone worked during this activity. Each and every girl got the canoe (Or Tina, as some would call her) on their shoulders, it was so impressive! The technique used to flip canoes is a very valuable skill during the time we will spend in Canada, and every crew member was able to start perfecting that skill tonight. Not many people really know how to portage a canoe, and it is a very impressive ability to possess! The enthusiasm everyone showed was great, especially in support of each other during the flipping process.

One last thing we did at the meeting tonight was help Fred with some work that he needed done. The girls had to bring a trailer to Fred's house and help unload the chairs from inside, and then roll it back to basecamp. It might seem like a small task, but there was so much teamwork going on throughout the whole process that it needed to be mentioned. Every girl on the trip is a contributing and valuable asset to the crew, and that was very obvious throughout the different activities we did tonight. 

Parents: I thank you again for letting me spend so much time with your girls. It is a great experience for everyone involved, and I hope this blog continues to help keep you in the loop. Just as I said in my previous post, I would love to answer any and ALL questions you have about the adventure ahead. Do not hesitate to call! --(320)-293-4823--

45 days until we are paddling across the cool Canadian waters :-) 

Excitedly and Enthusiastically, 


Basecamp, Maps, and Equipment oh my!

What a busy meeting! Our crew did so much today. There were so many things accomplished, and I am a very proud guide! 

The first thing that happened when we got to basecamp was a tour. It will be our crew's second home this summer, and it was exciting for many of them to see all of the wonderful things that basecamp holds for the first time! We went down to the river and looked at where we will soon be practicing paddling and different canoe maneuvers. The view from basecamp is lovely and the water is almost warm enough (almost is the key word) to go into!

The next thing that the girls did was the map activity. I gave the crew a big pile of maps for the summer, and they went to work at organizing them. Without my help, they were able to put everything in order and place all the maps together within a very short amount of time. We then looked at different places we might want to go this summer, and different portages we will conquer. It was awesome to see the teamwork that took place and all of their great ideas on how to organize the maps. Each and every girl on the trip brings so much to our crew, I am so eager to get to know all of them more as the summer goes on!

After that, we went over equipment and order forms. Since everything is due relatively soon, the girls got to try on the different sizes of rain gear and other necessities for the trip. Please have everything turned in either on an Excel Spreadsheet or a Google Docs form by May 4th! 

Along with all of these things, all the girls got their pre-trip jobs! Each job is a valuable part of how Les Voyageurs works, and I'm excited to work closely with everyone in their respective positions :)  

Parents: Thank you so much for letting me spend so much time with your girls. Each one is unique and a very important part of our crew. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, never hesitate to call/text me! 

My number: (320)-293-4823


Only 52 more days until we are basking in the Canadian sunshine!

Your Guide,



Introductions and First Crew Meeting

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the Windschitl blog for the summer of 2018! Here you will be able to find information about our crew for the rest of the summer. I am so excited for our upcoming adventure. I thought I would start off with an introduction of myself and a little summary of our first crew meeting!

To begin, I'm Hannah Windschitl. I am attending the College of Saint Benedict, with a major in Environmental Studies. I plan to pursue a career in outdoor education! This will be my second year guiding and my fourth summer being involved in the Les Voyageurs program. I went on my first trip during the summer of 2015, and the summer after I participated in a Far North trip. Last year I co-guided a second session trip with Megan Ackerman. This program is life changing, and I am so thrilled to have eight more girls to share this experience with. 

As most of you probably already know, we had our first crew meeting on Wednesday! It was great to see everyone together for the first time. We went out to Caribou and while getting to know each other over coffee (or tea), we shared many laughs. Questions were answered, stories were shared, and good times were had. This meeting made me so much more excited for the parent meeting and the rest of the summer! 

Along with that, the parent meeting will be on April 22nd, at 6 pm. I am eager to see everyone!

Only 64 more days until the last supper! 



Hannah Windschitl