Our Turn: Orchids, onions and warm fuzzies
Thirteen students and two advisors from NCSS recently returned from an adventure on Lake Superior. The adventure involved sea kayaking and camping among the Apostle Islands. The trip was a culmination of nine months of logistical planning, fundraising and academic preparations. We partnered with Chequamegon Adventure Company of Minocqua.
Each night we sat around a campfire and debriefed the day’s events. Each student was given a time to speak about their daily orchid (a highlight), an onion (a challenge) and a warm fuzzy (something they appreciated). We debriefed the entire trip in a similar fashion upon our return. Below are the student responses to their trip Orchids, Onions and Warm Fuzzies for the four day experience.
• Playing music in the van rides and around the campfire.
• I did not do a wet exit the whole trip.
• Getting to paddle with someone because we were able to bond more and it made us better paddlers.
• The trip itself, it was amazing.
• The paddle from Oak Island to Stockton Island with Amber, because we worked well together and the crossing was just challenging enough.
• Seeing ursus americanus (a black bear) on Oak Island.
• Finding out that I’m stronger than I thought.
• When we arrived at Stockton, set up camp and then the rain began.
• Seeing everyone help set up camp.
• Jam sessions with Mr. Santy, Andy, Alec and Aaron.
• First day of paddling and the nap before dinner after I finished setting up.
• Being able to experience people without electronics.
• When one of my classmates tried to wake Mr. Rumney up by blowing into an air horn right next to his tent.
• Challenging weather.
• The very long paddle from the mainland to Oak Island.
• Weather hindered us from getting to the Stockton Island quarry.
• I really don’t have one.
• Can’t think of something that would be one, maybe the weather.
• It wasn’t necessarily bad, but the 10 mile paddle on the first day was a challenge.
• Rainy weather and winds.
• The trip wasn’t long enough.
• Having wet firewood and trying to make a fire with it.
• Wet day three.
• Three foot swells on the last day.
• Andy (owner and lead guide) from Chequamegon Adventure Company.
• People who kept me going on the last day of paddling.
• Thank you Andy for towing me and making awesome food!
• Thank you Mr. Santy for keeping me strong when I wanted to give up paddling.
• To Amber because she never gave up, even on the harder crossings.
• To the whole group for doing an amazing job facing challenges and making good decisions on the trip.
• Everyone who helped me keep my spirits up.
• To the entire group for the experience of a lifetime.
• Talking to Mr. Sjoberg, laughing and just having a great time.
• Andy for keeping his cool as a guide.
We’d like to thank all those that supported our fundraising efforts, SDR administrators for supporting expeditionary learning, parents for entrusting us with your children and finally to the students for supporting and treating each other so well, along with pushing yourselves beyond your comfort zones.